Farney captain Maeve Monaghan relishing underdog status for Tyrone Ulster semi-final

Last-four clash at Monaghan’s home club Smithborough

Two ladies' gaelic footballers
Maeve Monaghan (right) is looking forward to leading Monaghan out on her home pitch in Smithborough in Sunday's Ulster Ladies' IFC semi-final against Tyrone (Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)

Monaghan captain Maeve Monaghan says the underdogs’ tag suits them as they embark on the championship trail with an Ulster intermediate semi-final clash with Tyrone on Sunday.

It might be a home game for the Farney in their captain’s club of Smithborough, but their opponents are favourites, not just for this game, but the Ulster title.

“We are the underdogs on Sunday, and I do think that will suit us just fine,” said Monaghan.

“I am very excited for the championship to start. It is being played on my home football pitch so there is a great buzz, great atmosphere in the camp at the minute.

Part of that buzz can be attributed to hard-fought performances and winning results that saw Darren Greenan’s side retain their Division Two status for next season.

With two teams going down, Monaghan were fighting to stay out of the relegation zone. A draw against Donegal and wins over Cavan and Laois meant they achieved just that and with a young side and the county in a rebuilding phase that was a massive achievement and gives the team a real boost coming into the championship.

“We were over the moon to retain Division Two status as we had a rocky start to the league and had a battle to win to stay up,” said Monaghan.

“We knew that the league was only the start of the season but were lucky to be in the position considering the two teams going down.”

Last year Monaghan bowed out to eventual Ulster champions Antrim in the semi-finals. While there were no arguments about the result having lost to the better team on the day, that defeat hurt and Monaghan does not want a repeat on Sunday.

“We were very disappointed last summer losing against a very strong Antrim side,” said Monaghan.

“We have told ourselves to completely forget about it and try to focus on the positives from last year. We didn’t want to look back on the year with a negative perspective.”