Cavan clash “huge” for promotion hopes says McGeeney

By Shaun Casey

IT’S essentially winner takes all in the BOX-IT Athletic Grounds this weekend as Armagh host Cavan with both teams needing victory to put themselves in the driving seat for promotion to Division One.

Donegal look to already have got one foot there, having beaten Cavan and drawn with Armagh in the previous rounds, so the victor of Saturday’s clash will be favoured to join them in the final.

“As we’ve known, this game with Cavan is going to be a big one,” said Armagh boss Kieran McGeeney, who knows a win will guarantee his side promotion.

“The way the played against Meath in their last game, they’re very physically aggressive around the middle and they hit hard.

“They go in for everything and they work extremely hard, so we know what is ahead of us and we know it’s going to be a tough one. There’s no doubt about it, the biggest thing is trying to make sure that we’re ready for that one because Cavan always give us a good game.

“Like Fermanagh the last day out, Cavan are very physically aggressive around the middle, they hit hard, and they hit often. It’s going to be one of those tough battles.

“It’s just one game at a time to try and get back to where we want to be but this next game is a massive one, it’s a huge one for us.”

Armagh overcame Fermanagh in their most recent outing and despite the win, there’s still improvements to be made.

“The performance was okay but our shooting was shocking,” added McGeeney.

“I felt that we left a lot behind us, and Fermanagh were tight at the back and they look for mistakes and break.

“We probably missed about 2-5 or 2-6 in the first half and no less than the same again in the second half, but Fermanagh will always stay in games because they’re tenacious and they work extremely hard.”

Rian O’Neill missed out the last day having featured against Donegal but is working hard behind the scenes.

“He’s looking to get a wee bit more in his legs and push on,” explained McGeeney.

“You want Rian fit and when you see the pace of all the games whether it’s Derry or Dublin, Tyrone, it’s just non-stop running.

“Rian knows himself that he wants to be at that level so he’s putting in a good shift and hopefully we’ll see him more towards the summer.

“He just has to keep working and getting fit. There’s a lot of boys pushing, Oisin (O’Neill) came on against Fermanagh and did very well, Jason Duffy came on, Ben (Crealey) was back in the squad.

“Connaire Mackin was taken out, but Connaire will want to get back in so there’s a lot of competition for places and with Andrew (Murnin) and ‘Turbo’ (Conor Turbitt) up front, ‘TK’ (Tiernan Kelly) as well is pushing hard at training.

“’Soupy’ (Stefan Campbell) didn’t start against Donegal but started against Fermanagh and gave us a lot of energy so it’s like everything else, we all have to work for it.”

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


Gaelic Life is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW