By Niall Gartland
UNBEATEN Cavan will be red-hot favourites to bring home the points when they travel to Corrigan Park to face Antrim this Saturday.
The Breffni County have won all five of their league matches to date, and are virtually guaranteed to achieve promotion even if they fall flat in their final two fixtures.
Antrim, by contrast, are smarting after shipping a humbling 4-27 to 0-8 defeat to Westmeath in their most recent league encounter nearly a fortnight ago. It was a sore one and they’ll be hoping to restore at least a degree of pride against the Division’s top-placed team.
Promotion is almost a mathematical certainty for a Cavan side that claimed their fifth straight win of the league with a hard-fought win over Down. While the final scoreline read 2-14 to 1-10 there were only three points between the teams heading up the straight, but the Breffni County finished strongly to take the points.
They’re in tip-top shape at the minute and their physicality was evident against Down with big midfielder James Smith entering the fray for the start of the second half and their tailisman Gearóid McKieran making an immediate impact in his first appearance of the year having been introduced with 20-odd minutes remaining.
The player who grabbed the headlines, however, was Paddy Lynch, another powerful man, who weighed in with a hugely impressive tally of 2-5 across the hour. He has the power and ability to pose any team problems.
Cavan and Antrim happened to meet in last year’s Ulster Championship opener and it proved a straightforward enough outing for Mickey Graham’s side. They won that match – also at Corrigan Park – by 1-20 to 0-10, so it was a bit of a non-contest. They’re just as strong this season, if not stronger, so it’d be a major surprise indeed if Antrim somehow managed to pull this one out of the bag.