Friday 18 January 2019

McVeety believes 'tide starting to turn again' for Cavan

Cavan captain Dara McVeety. Photo: Sportsfile
Cavan captain Dara McVeety. Photo: Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Cavan captain Dara McVeety believes the experience of last year's brief stay in Division 1 stood to his side as they returned to the top flight at the first time of asking.

Cavan were promoted to Division 1 for 2017 but were relegated straight back down last season despite a number of creditable results that saw them beat Mayo and earn draws against Kerry and Monaghan.

And on Sunday, they secured their return by timing their run perfectly to chin fellow promotion hopefuls Tipperary in Kingspan Breffni. Mattie McGleenan's side led after eight minutes but wouldn't hit the front again until sub Conor Madden kicked the winner in the 75th minute. And McVeety, who kicked two points on the day, reckons the experience of Division 1 stood to them.

"I suppose Division 1 was a baptism of fire for us last year because no one really had played at that level before," he said.

"Lads were very eager to get back up there. That being said, Division 2 is a strange division, everyone can beat everyone. In Division 1, you always have the favourites in terms of who's going to win, Dublin, Kerry, whoever. But in Division 2, anybody could beat anybody and you see that every week. Look, we're delighted to be back up against Division 1 teams again."

And McVeety admits they didn't do enough to stay in the top flight last year.

"We were disappointed coming down last year, probably deserved to in fairness. We were looking for results from other teams. We're delighted to be back up again this year. We missed chances last week against Roscommon, they ran out just slightly the better team on the day. We made hard work of it at times but it's all about the result and we got it so we're happy enough."

Cavan were helped by the 41st-minute dismissal of Tipp midfielder Liam Casey and their win marked the end of some rapid progress for the county. They started this campaign with ten debutants when they left Clare with a draw in round one but can now look forward to a league final against Roscommon in Croke Park on Sunday, who themselves secured a quick return to the top flight.

"I think we've blooded a lot of new young lads," the Castlerahan clubman continued. "There was a lot of people saying about lads not coming back into the panel, we've younger players coming on that have showed great desire for that team like Caoimhín O'Reilly and Conor Madden coming on. These boys are stepping up and it's brilliant for us. It's great to see them. The likes of Cian Mackey, the likes of Caoimhín O'Reilly are keeping Conor Madden on the bench and he's pushing them boys on at training so that's what we need. We need lads pushing on and I think the tide is starting to turn for us again."

Thoughts turn to Sunday's clash with Roscommon before the trip to face Donegal in the Ulster championship.

"Roscommon, in fairness to them, it's not just that we've a bad record (against them), they're an excellent team so that's why we find it so hard to beat them but we're back in Croke Park. They beat us there a few years ago in Croke Park so we're going to give it a rattle and we'll see how it goes."

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Irish Independent

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