Rosie ready for latest provincial bash

By Niall Gartland

CAVAN camogie stalwart Rosie Crowe McKeever is hopeful that they can turn their season around – starting with Sunday’s Ulster Intermediate semi-final clash against Armagh.

The Breffni ladies fielded in Division Two this year, a steep step up to say the least, and they were brought back down to earth with relegation straight back to the third tier.

There has also been a bit of turbulence on the managerial front with their new management packing their bags ahead of their final league encounter.

The county board installed Anthony O’Neill and Brendan Skeehan as their new joint-management, two men with a big reputation having helped steer their native Meath to last year’s All-Ireland Intermediate final.

The vastly experienced dual player Crowe McKeever says they’ve been a breath of fresh air so hopes remain high that they can have a fruitful and successful 2024 in spite of their recent relegation. Indeed, she hopes that playing in Division Two will stand to the team when they play in the upcoming All-Ireland Junior Championship.

She said: “Cavan camogie was disbanded for so many years so to move up to Division Two in such a short period of time was brilliant.

“But was a big step up and we struggled with numbers from the start of the season. Things didn’t go too well with our new management team either but I think we improved with every game even if the scoreboard didn’t necessarily do us justice at times. It was a steep learning curve and hopefully it’ll make us stronger come championship.”

Their new management team have gone down a treat with the Cavan camogs, bringing an element of professionalism to the set-up that just wasn’t there previously.

“A lot of us play ladies football as well and we know what good management is and what we should be getting. It just wasn’t working out and the county board was brilliant, I don’t know how they managed to get Anthony (O’Neill) and Brendan (Skeehan) on board.

“The two guys came in a few weeks back and took a session to see how it panned out and they were unbelievable. I’ve been playing for so long and it was an hour of complete camogie. They’re connecting with us a lot better but they’re only there a few weeks so we’ll see how it goes.”

Cavan, who lost last year’s Ulster Intermediate decider against Antrim, will take on Armagh this weekend for a possible repeat meeting against the Saffrons in the decider.

They know each other inside out at this stage and Crowe McKeever is mindful that a few experienced heads have recently returned to the Armagh fold.

“Armagh won the league last week and will be on a high. It’s always been neck and neck between us and two of their girls are back, Jennifer (Curry) and Ciara (Hill). Jennifer had supposedly retired but she came back last week. They’ll be flying but we’ll give it a good shot. We played Dublin in a challenge game last Thursday and it went really well so hopefully that bodes well for us and we can get over the line.”

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