Sunday 21 January 2018

Loughran looking to do rare 'double' over Tyrone

Monaghan U-21 defender Kevin Loughran. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Monaghan U-21 defender Kevin Loughran. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Monaghan U-21 defender Kevin Loughran admits the prospect of doing the 'double' over Tyrone is a driving force for his side heading into tonight's EirGrid Ulster U-21 final.

The Farney men take on the Red Hand in Armagh's Athletic Grounds tonight (throw-in 8.0) and having seen off them off in the provincial minor final of three years ago, Loughran is keen to repeat the trick.

"People might not give us the respect and think we fluked the minors," he said. "But that's not the case, we don't feel that at all. We're going to use the U-21s as a stage to prove people wrong, to prove we can do the double."

Monaghan were impressive winners over Armagh in the semi-final and are now just 60 minutes away from their first title at this grade since 1999. Three years ago they bridged a gap of 68 years to secure the Ulster minor title for the county.

Bridge

"Sixty-eight years was a long time to bridge in the minors, and we have that belief that we can do it on Wednesday night. Hopefully things go right.

"You don't get much better than Tyrone, they are the games you hope to be playing at the start of the year.

"You're always looking forward to this game, we knew it was going to happen, and you just hope you can grab the chance with both hands when it comes."

Loughran is in his last year at U-21 level and wants to progress to the senior ranks to help continue the development of Monaghan football.

"Everything is flying for Monaghan football at the minute. Over the past few years everything has come up and there is more emphasis on giving younger players a chance to break through.

"Just knowing that makes you want to play better."

Irish Independent

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