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Dublin: 8°C Tuesday 11 May 2021

Monaghan to blood debutants as stalwart retires from game

Malachy O’Rourke’s side do battle with Armagh in Clones on Sunday.

Owen Lennon.
Owen Lennon.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

MONAGHAN HAVE NAMED an experimental side for their McKenna Cup clash with Armagh on a day when one of their stars hung up his inter-county boots.

Owen Lennon today revealed that he won’t be returning to Gaelic football in 2016 after 15 seasons with the Farney men.

The towering midfielder made 129 appearances for Monaghan since making his debut in 2000 but has had to opt out of the panel this year due to a long-standing ankle injury.

The Latton clubman captained Monaghan to their first Ulster title in 25 years in 2013 and won a second provincial medal last year.

“Today I announce my retirement from Gaelic football,” Lennon said.

“Due to an ongoing ankle problem I’ve been medically advised to hang up the boots. I’m certainly going to miss it but it’s been an honour to wear the number 8 jersey for so many years with club and county but unfortunately all good things must come to an end.

“Of course there have been good and bad days but thankfully the good outweighed the bad ones and I have made some friends for life.

“I’ve been so lucky to have played along with such talented and highly motivated groups of players with the county, and also with my club Latton O Rahilly’s. Thankfully we had some great days in Clones that I’ll never forget.”

On the field, manager Malachy O’Rourke has named four debutants in his side to take on Armagh in Clones on Sunday (2pm throw-in).

Jamie Smith, Niall Mc Keown and Fergal Mc Geough from the Rockcorry club will make their inter-county debuts alongside their club-mate Mark Thornton who will make his first start after coming on as a late sub last Sunday.

Also making his debut will be Donal Courtney from Blackhill while Daryl Treanor from Killanny will also be hoping to make a first appearance from the bench.

O’Rourke will be desperate to get back to winning ways this weekend after an opening-round drubbing (2-16 to 1-9) at the hands of UUJ  last weekend.

1. Jamie Smith

2. Kieran Duffy

3. Drew Wylie

4. Niall McKeown

5. Dessie Mone

6. Colin Walshe

7. Donal Courtney

8. Neil McAdam

9. Mark Thornton

10. Dermot Malone

11. Stepgen Gollogly

12. Owen Duffy

13. Fergal McGeough

14. Barry McGinn

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15. Daniel McKenna


16. Mark Keogh

17. Karl McQuaid

18. Owen Coyle

19. Karl O’Connell

20. Anthony Courtney

21. Padraic Keenan

22. Christoper McKenna

23. Daryl Treanor

24. Jack McCarron

25. Fintan Kelly

26. John McCarron

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Alan Waldron

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