Ulster Football Championship quarter-final
Cavan v Antrim
Breffni Park (Saturday1.15pm)
Be careful what you wish for in football, you might just get it. A week ago I was looking at the various options facing Antrim in the Ulster Senior Football championship. We knew we were going to face the winners of Cavan and Monaghan in Saturday’s preliminary round game in Clones but who would have been my preferred choice.
To my way of thinking Cavan would have been the side that Antrim looked more capable of defeating. Over the years we have performed well against the Breffni men and our win over them in the 2009 semi-final in Clones still holds fond memories for this pundit.
As we know Cavan duely obliged against Monaghan at the weekend but my joy from that result is somewhat tempered by the fact that Antrim now have to travel to Breffni Park this Saturday. A Monaghan win would have given us home advantage and a meeting with Banty’s men at Corrigan.
Our record against Monaghan hasn’t been good however and I feel we would have struggled against a side that has been playing its football in division 1 for quite a number of years now and retained their division 1 status with a draw against Meath in the final game of this years league campaign.
Cavan on the other hand, suffered rerlegation from division 2 to division 3 on the last day of the league when they lost to Roscommon but will never the less represent a step up in class from the sides that Antrim have faced in division 4 this year.
Cavan were disappointed to go down to division 3 last week. Results and a crazy division 2 went against them. The story of their league was creating chances but not being able to take them and they lost narrowly to both Kildare and Roscommon since the restart of the league.
They put that all behind them however to beat a fancied Monaghan at Clones, the second season in succession that they have defeated the Farney county at this stage of the championship and will certainly represent a tough challenge for Lenny Harbinson’s side.
It took extra time and a late long range conversion from Cavan keeper, Raymond Galligan to decide the contest and send the Breffni Blues through to a meeting against Antrim at Breffni Park this Saturday and it is a game that they will start as odds-on favourites to win.
Antrim will go into this game with nothing to lose however and, if they produce their best form then another upset in this years championship can not be ruled out and later in the week we will take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of both sides and speak to some of the Antrim players involved in Saturday’s game.