By Shaun Casey
CAVAN face a crunch top of the table clash on Saturday at Kingspan Breffni against Leitrim, with the winner likely to secure a spot in the Division 3B league final.
The Breffni Blues are looking forward to the challenge and manager Ollie Bellew says his side are “buzzing” ahead of the clash.
“It probably would have been a bit more mouth-watering if we hadn’t slipped up the last day, but it looks like it’s the two form teams coming together,” said Bellew.
“It’s a great prospect for us because there’s a lot at stake. I think whoever wins will pretty much go through to a league final, guaranteed a league semi-final at least. It’s all to play for and that’s big time for Cavan hurling so it’s one to look forward to.
“We’re buzzing for it. We’ve been working hard with the guys since November and we always go on about how much talent there is in Cavan and you find yourself in this situation and you begin to realise it’s not all hype.
“These guys are capable of doing something so when this golden opportunity comes along, certainly there’ll be a wee bit of nerves and that but that’s what drives you on and hopefully that’ll on stand by us then on Saturday.”
Cavan suffered their first defeat of the campaign in round three, losing to Lancashire by six points. “The big thing we took from it was that we were flat as a management team, as players, as a squad,” added the Cavan boss.
“Just everything on the day was very flat compared to how other preparations had gone, maybe we just got a bit far ahead of ourselves. The one thing that we will take from it was that our first training back after the defeat, you could see the hurt in everyone’s faces.
“They knew they’d let themselves down, so it was an easy situation to manage.
“We didn’t have to row in and start roaring and shouting, the players knew it wasn’t right and they had to rectify it. It’s been a good week’s work and hopefully that’ll set us up well for Saturday.”
Leitrim currently sit at the top of the table due to their superior score difference, although both sides have accumulated four points and the Connacht side have been scoring freely so far in the league.
“They’re the hotshots in the league and favourites to win it outright and rightly so. They are the top dogs in the league.
“We generally are pretty defensively solid and resolute at the back and it creates a basis for us going forward. We’ll try to keep in the game for as long as we can with them and stifle them as much as we can up front.
“But they’re a super high-scoring outfit and they’re racking up big scores so we just need to slow that down and try and stop it and then see what we can produce on our own front foot when we get going forward.”