Three-week break “not ideal” for Cavan hurlers

By Shaun Casey

FOLLOWING their recent win over Leitrim, Cavan are planning for a league final against either Leitrim or Longford in three weeks’ time. It’s been a brilliant season so far for Ollie Bellew’s side, who are top of Division 3B with three wins from four outings.

The next three weeks will be something of a balancing act, according to star forward Canice Maher, as the break leading into the decider is “not ideal.” Their bye falls this weekend while they’ll have to wait in the wings while the semi-finals are played out the following week.

But there are no complaints from the former Kilkenny minor. Cavan have the chance to claim some silverware, a shot at promotion and to continue their winning momentum ahead of their upcoming Lory Meagher Cup campaign.

“That’s the advantage of having a semi-final to look forward to, it just so happens that our bye is this weekend so that’ll be three weeks until the final for us,” said Maher, Cavan’s top scorer this season with 1-34.

“It’s not ideally obviously but I’m sure Ollie and Tomás (Mannion, coach) will have a plan there to keep us fresh and getting us ready.

“Longford and Leitrim will have two games in the next two weekends and then going into the final so I suppose there’s positives and negatives to that, to have games leading up to the final or to have the bit of a break and then train, but I’m sure the boys will have a plan.

“It was never really mentioned that the league (and promotion) was something we were targeting, it was more the game that was coming up. The league has been taken very seriously, we’re going out to win every game we’re playing but no specific target.

“It wasn’t mentioned that we’d go and win the league or anything like that, but certainly the expectation is that you go out and you give your best every day and you’re going out for the win,” added Maher.

There were some pressure on the Breffni Blues heading into last week’s top of the table tussle with Leitrim.

“They were just coming off the back of their first defeat to Lancashire and were keen to put in a big performance.

“You don’t want to follow up a bad performance with another bad performance. After the first two games we knew the talent that was there and where we could be and we let ourselves down a little bit against Lancashire.

“To be able to bounce back was hugely important and it says a lot about the character in the team and the management team as well, to get us focused on the game and to get a big result.

“Leitrim last year I think beat us by seven points, so we were coming in as underdogs. We knew we were good enough to win that game and happy enough that the result went our way.”

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