Settled Jackies can stun Farney Army

ON THE banks of the Boyne, it's sure to be a battle. Monaghan against Dublin in Sunday's Bord Gais Energy National Football League Division 1 semi-final at the Gaelic Grounds in Drogheda.

It was close when they met in the pool stage. Monaghan won by a point. It could be tight again.

Monaghan are one of the top sides in the country. They reached last year's All-Ireland final. Dublin boss, Peter Clarke, helped them to get there.

Monaghan have only lost once this term, away to Cork. Dublin's defeat to Cork at Ballyboden was their only other reverse of the campaign.

The Jackies are beginning to get a settled look about them. They have used the league well. But this will be another honours exam paper.

Dublin overcame last year's Division 1 finalists, Laois, on their last outing. That was in Portmarnock. Denise Masterson, at midfield, was home from home.

Siobhan McGrath also excelled in the Dublin defence, while Amy McGuinness, Sinead Aherne and Orlaith Egan were willing to show for the ball.

Scores will have to be well crafted. Monaghan possess top-class defenders in Sharon Courtney and Grainne McNally.

And in attack, their gems include Ellen McCarron, Niamh Kindlon, Caoimhe Mohan and Ciara McAnespie.

For Dublin, a match of this stature is what makes their impressive return to Division 1 all the more worthwhile, especially as the championship begins to peep into view. Dublin have never reached a Division 1 final. Beating the Farney Army would be just the ticket.