By Niall Gartland
BALLYHAISE boss Damien Keaney doesn’t want his players to slacken off even though they have already booked their spot in the quarter-finals of the Cavan Intermediate Championship.
The beaten finalists of the last two years will progress to the knock-outs no matter what happens in their fourth and final group stage match against Ballymachugh this weekend, but there’s a seeded system which means the higher they finish up in the pecking order the better.
Keaney says: “We’ve got through three difficult games and we’re lucky enough to be on six points, we got nothing easy in any of those games. Our lads dug deep in a few of them and got over the line in those games which is great.
“The last game will determine who we end up playing in the quarters. We’re fortunate we’re through already but it’s still another game and to keep momentum going is important.”
Ballyhaise are the only team in the Intermediate Championship to have played their league football in Division One this year. That has its pros and cons, according to Keaney.
“The advantage is that we played the best teams in the county, it’s a very high level. The disadvantage may be that you don’t get to see the other intermediate teams. But overall it’s better to be playing at the highest level we can. Ballyhaise are more than capable of competing and doing well in Division One and have done.”
But nor are they resting their laurels having fallen short in the 2021 and 2022 finals. Whether they can get over the line this time around is the question of the hour but intermediate level is strong in Cavan.
“It’s a very competitive championship. There’s a lot of teams in contention and not a lot of difference between the teams. Eight teams will qualify and there’s good teams all the way through. It’s definitely competitive and it’s straight into the quarter-finals a week later so we have to be on our game every day we go out.”