By Michael McMullan
CAVAN may have secured promotion ahead of Sunday’s visit of Fermanagh but Mickey Graham insists his side must right the wrongs of their defeat to Antrim on Saturday.
The Breffni County were 10 points adrift before goals from Paddy Lynch and Conor Madden brought them back into contention.
It was too late and despite defeat, news of Fermanagh’s win would’ve filtering into the Cavan bus on their way home from Belfast to cement a return to Division Two for the first time since their 2020 Ulster winning season.
“We have to correct an awful lot of mistakes from this week,” Graham told Gaelic Life. “Time is ticking along; the Ulster Championship is only four weeks away.
“We are not happy with that today and a lot of players won’t be happy. We have to go and find out what was wrong and iron it out for next week.”
Wins for either Fermanagh and Down – who travel to an Offaly team still in contention for promotion – would see Cavan and Fermanagh promoted a week ahead of a rematch in a Croke Park league final.
“We are not even looking at that,” Graham said purpose in his voice. “We are only looking at the game in hand; that’s next week and we’ll see after that.”
The Cavan boss said they expected a tough game with Antrim having everything to play for and knowing a win would go a long way in avoiding relegation.
The disappointment of players and management alike at half time stemmed from not having “turned up” in the opening half against an impressive home team.
“We knew they would have great hunger and were fighting for their lives,” he said.
“In fairness, they showed the greater hunger, especially in that first half and the beginning of the second half.”
A Conor Madden goal continued a fight back started with two Gearoid McKiernan frees. Before that, it was all Antrim and they deserved their 10-point lead.
“You can talk about tactics; skill and everything else. First of all, you have to the stomach for the fight and have the attitude to work hard. Antrim had that today and we didn’t.
“When you have the right work ethic and the hunger is there, then everything else will fall into place.
“That wasn’t there for us. It was only in the last 15 minutes that we got a bit of a bite between the teeth when there was an opportunity to play a bit of ball, but it was too late.”