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McManus supportive of permanent advanced mark in football

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Conor McManus on the attack for Monaghan against Dublin in Clones at the weekend. Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

Conor McManus on the attack for Monaghan against Dublin in Clones at the weekend. Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

Conor McManus on the attack for Monaghan against Dublin in Clones at the weekend. Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

Conor McManus has given backing to the long-term viability of the advanced mark in Gaelic football, pointing out that it's in a defender's interests to make the most of it too.

McManus scored two of his four points on his introduction from marks as Monaghan helped themselves to three and took them at almost double the rate of Dublin in their Division 1 league match.

With extensive international rules experience taking marks, McManus was clearly at ease with the concept.

"I think it probably would help the game," he suggested.

"You have to bear in mind, it's also a defensive mark so it's in a defender's interest to attack it and try and win it as well. I think it would be a good rule if it stayed, but the powers-that-be make those decisions."

McManus came into the game in the 43rd minute along with debutant Stephen O'Hanlon who made an instant impact with a goal that took Dublin by surprise.

O'Hanlon's club form has made him an obvious target for Malachy O'Rourke but because of basketball commitments he has resisted.

Finish

McManus expected the finish in that situation that Monaghan got.

"It was a great way for Stevie to introduce himself to the stage. There's been plenty of expectations and talk about him, he's been flying it in the senior league this last number of years and it's great to see him in.

No better man in that position to slide it away and put us back into the game," he said.

For Monaghan's second goal O'Hanlon guided a McManus pass into the path of Shane Carey who did the rest.

"For a young lad in with his second touch in the game, it would have been very easy for him to try and take it on. But he took the right decision and we got what we needed out of it."

McManus' colleague Ryan Wylie concurred, admitting they weren't surprised by his impact.

"It probably took a few others by surprise but we knew what Stephen had," Wylie noted.

McManus didn't start the game as he continues rehabilitating an ongoing hip issue and he played down the value of a second successive win over Dublin in the league.

"We can take a bit of confidence out of it, but we'll not get carried away. It was a weakened Dublin team, they probably haven't much work done either.

"Last year, they were qualified (when Monaghan won) so we probably had it a wee bit handier there. Maybe it's a good time to get them at this stage."

Irish Independent