By Kieran Lynch
DRUMLANE will be hoping to build upon their Cavan Junior Football Championship title win when they venture into Ulster, starting this weekend against Derry champions Craigbane.
Drumlane claimed the Cavan Championship with the winning point scored five minutes into additional time, in a 1-12 to 2-8 victory over Arva, and although manager Martin Dunne is delighted with what his team have produced so far, he feels as though there is always room for improvement, as they head into the provincial championship.
“We were absolutely over the moon to get across the line in the Cavan Championship,” he said.
“There weren’t many people giving us much hope in the final against Arva, but there is always room for improvements.
“I suppose, the more games we have played, the better we have got, and we’ll be hoping to bring that into Sunday, and improve on the win over Arva, with an even better performance.”
The last-gasp winning point was kicked by Ryan Connolly, who is a key man for Dunne’s side, but the manager believes that they have quality all over the field, and different players raise their performances on different days.
“Our captain Ryan Connolly has been immense for us in fairness,” said Dunne.
“But we have leaders all over the pitch, and it’s hard to single out certain lads, because different lads have stood up in the different in the different games that we have played, which is great from a management perspective, because we’re not relying on one or two – we have seven, eight, nine lads that can stand up and be counted.”
As is often the case when a side claims their county title, Drumlane hadn’t looked too far into the future, and because they have already achieved what they set out to do, Dunne believes that there is no pressure on his men this weekend.
“We hadn’t been looking at Ulster, to be honest. We had just been fully concentrating on Cavan,” he explained.
“We know that we’re probably going to be up against it, but it’s a free shot for us – nobody was really expecting us to make it this far, so we have nothing to lose.”
Drumlane will face Craigbane in the preliminary round, but with the two teams having never met before, it will be impossible to know what to expect. However, Dunne feels as though his side can’t get too hung up on that fact, and they just need to nail their own game-plan, to have any hopes of success.
“We have focused on ourselves all year and we haven’t really worried about the opposition,” he said.
“We don’t know too much about Craigbane, so it’s just about seeing who adapts best on the day, and we’ll just have to worry about ourselves and make sure our own ship is in order.”