Monaghan double will continue glory run
If 2013 proved an unforgettable year for Monaghan football then even before the 2014 season engages top gear the promise of further success hovers on the skyline.
On Sunday two teams from the Farney county, Truagh and Emyvale, will carry Ulster's hopes into the All-Ireland club intermediate and junior football championship semi-finals respectively.
Truagh, so impressive in winning their provincial crown, face Louth and Leinster champions Geraldines at Crossmaglen while Emyvale have a daunting task against highly-rated Two Mile House, from Kildare, at Longford.
Truagh beat Down representatives Drumgath in the Ulster quarter-final before overcoming Derry champions Foreglen in their semi-final and then unleashing a power-packed performance to get the better of Tyrone title-holders Eskra in the decider (0-17 to 0-12).
This catalogue of victories has massaged confidence within the team, but skipper Pauric Treanor confirms that there will not be the slightest hint of complacency in evidence on Sunday.
"We have confidence in our own ability no matter who we face, but we also know that Geraldines are going into this game with a good reputation," said Treanor.
Paudie McKenna, John McCarron, Niall Coyle and Daniel McKenna, along with Treanor himself, have been in scintillating form for Truagh.
Emyvale, meanwhile, enter the lion's den against a Two Mile House outfit that has won generous plaudits in lifting both the Kildare and Leinster crowns.
Emyvale cut a swathe through Monaghan and Ulster en route to their county and provincial titles, but captain James Bellew acknowledges that Two Mile House represent their biggest challenge.
"They are a strong, well-equipped side. If we can get into our rhythm, then we will give a good account of ourselves," said Bellew.
Emyvale beat John Mitchels in Birmingham in their All-Ireland quarter-final, which followed their 1-6 to 0-6 win over Tyrone side Killeeshil in the Ulster final.