Sport Gaelic Football

Monday 20 November 2017

Cavanagh hungry to end Royal hoodoo

Sean Cavanagh - Tyrone's dependence on him could be their weakness
Sean Cavanagh - Tyrone's dependence on him could be their weakness
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Sean Cavanagh is desperate for Tyrone to bury his county's poor record against Meath in championship football in their qualifier showdown.

Cavanagh is well aware of the fact that Tyrone have lost their two previous championship matches with Meath, the 1996 All-Ireland semi-final and the 2007 All-Ireland quarter-final which he played in himself.

"They're very direct. They've got some fantastic forwards that just go straight to goal every time and massive ball winners around midfield," he said.

"As I say, we haven't a great record against them and they could easily catch us next week, but we're delighted to be there.

"We knew against Roscommon and Offaly that we'd have harder ties and that coming down to a place like this it was always going to be difficult, but we have to remember that Dublin destroyed Kildare up in Croke Park and Meath looked a better side than Dublin for long periods of the Leinster final.

"So it's probably going to be another step up.

"We're on the right track again and it just gives us that wee bit of belief and momentum that we need at this time of year."

Cavanagh believes Tyrone outlasted Kildare against most expectations.

"An awful lot was said about Kildare's endurance and conditioning and we sort of targeted the last 10 minutes to drive out the game.

"That was pleasing as well. Fergal (McCann) and 'Horse' (Gavin) Devlin have done some fantastic conditioning work with us and we knew in those last 10 minutes we had a wee bit extra in the tank. It was good to come through an energy-sapping tie like that.

"Aidan Cassidy was brilliant for us at midfield and really stood up for us. For our new guys to experience that sort of melting-pot atmosphere, I think that probably pleased us most."

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