OFFALY and Monaghan will meet for the first time in the Championship after they were draw together in the first round of the All Ireland qualifiers with the game to be played in O’Connor Park on June 25.
Offaly find themselves in the qualifiers after suffering an ignominious defeat at the hands of Wexford in the Leinster Championship. In contrast Monaghan were only narrowly defeated by Tyrone in Omagh in the Ulster Championship and that was after having captain Dick Clerkin controversially sent off before half-time when he picked up a second yellow card.
Monaghan will be hot favourites going into the game despite the fact that they are without the services of Tommy Freeman who has departed for the USA. They will also be without Dessie Mone who will serve a one match ban for a straight red card against Tyrone.
Offaly for their part took a break from training after the defeat to Wexford but were back to the grindstone last week with a number of sessions.
The last time the sides met was in 2007 in the now defunct Division 2A where a one point Monaghan win in Clones thanks to an injury-time point from Paul Meegan secured them a place in Division 2 in 2008 while Offaly dropped to Division 4.