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Monaghan’s sad exit leads to boss McEnaney calling it quits

By John Campbell

The All-Ireland football qualifiers have claimed yet another Ulster managerial casualty.

Monaghan boss Eamonn McEnaney confirmed after their defeat by Laois that he is stepping down after having been in charge since 2010.

He thus follows in the footsteps of Armagh’s Paddy O’Rourke, who tendered his resignation following his team’s eclipse by Roscommon last month.

And with the Derry county board due to convene next week in order to review the championship season in particular, there is huge uncertainty surrounding John Brennan’s tenure being extended after their setback against Longford.

Monaghan secretary Sean McKenna revealed that yesterday’s defeat had been “particularly hard to take” in view of the fact that Laois supporters had been outnumbered at the game “by about three to one”, as he put it, because of pessimism in relation to their team’s chances.

“The most depressing aspect of the match was that we were very flat and many of our more established players just did not perform on the day,” said McKenna.

“Eamonn McEnaney has done his very best with the talent he has had at his disposal but it might be time for us to go back to the drawing board just as sides like Ty

rone, Armagh and Cavan have had to do in order to re-build.”

McEnaney rendered outstanding service to Monaghan as a player in the 80’s when he shared in a National League title triumph in 1985, but the county’s fortunes have nosedived lately and the manner in which they allowed Down to transform a nine-point deficit into a one-point victory margin in last month’s Ulster semi-final left a bitter taste in the mouth within this football-mad county.

McEnaney said that Monaghan had experienced “too many bad days at the office” for his liking. Yesterday was the worst of all by some distance.

Meanwhile Leitrim’s 0-11 to |0-9 win was their first-ever qualifier victory..

Leitrim produced a strong finish with Emlyn Mulligan in particular proving an inspirational figure in the side, his experience and subtle finishing embossing what was a red-letter day for the minnows.

Limerick and Tipperary also came good in spectacular style.

A Derry O’Connor goal in extra-time proved crucial in Limerick’s 1-21 to 1-15 victory while new Tipperary boss Peter Creedon won acclaim for his tactical awareness following his team’s heart-stopping 1-13 to 0-15 win over Wexford.

Belfast Telegraph


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