Fermanagh manager Peter Canavan and his management team can now focus their attentions on neighbours Cavan after the Breffnimen overcame Armagh to set up an?UlsterChampionship quarter-final meeting with Fermanagh at Brewster Park on June 16.
With Fermanagh awaiting the outcome of the preliminary round – they were the last team inUlster?to find out their opponents – Canavan can now start to plan for the Breffni challenge with the sides set to clash for a third time in just under a year.
“It does help to know the opposition we are playing and we have something to hone in on now as such,” said Canavan, who was very impressed with Cavan in their comfortable four point win over a disappointing Armagh in Breffni Park last Sunday.
“If anything they should have won the game by more as they created ample scoring opportunities. They (Cavan) were underdogs going into the game, most people had Armagh as hot favourites, but it was a very comprehensive victory from a Cavan point of view,” stated Canavan.
The sides recent encounters have resulted in one win apiece, Cavan winning in last year’s Qualifiers at Brewster Park while Fermanagh won at Kingspan Breffni Park in their Division Three clash earlier this year. And Canavan thinks there is no reason to believe that this third instalment won’t be tightly contested.
“We’ve played them twice over two years. They finished the game very strong to be comprehensive winners in the Qualifiers at Brewster Park (last year) and in the league at Breffni Park this year it was a real dogfight. It was a close, hard hitting game and we emerged victors on that occasion. The two teams will know each other really well, and in general there is not much between the two sets of players in the previous games that we have had, so I would expect the championship to be nothing different.”
He added: “They proved (against Armagh) the quality of players that they possess in Cavan and that under Terry Hyland’s reign they have got stronger but it is championship and we’re very much looking forward to it.”
Cavan have the advantage of now having a game under their belts, and more significantly for Canavan, is the confidence they will have taken from beating Armagh.
“They are up to the speed of the championship plus the confidence that a win generates cannot be measured. So, from that point of view, it is good preparation for them coming to play Fermanagh. It’s a massive help to them, there is no doubt about that.”
The Fermanagh manager was also pleased that the game has been fixed for Brewster Park after there was some concern surrounding playing the game in Enniskillen on the eve of the G8.
“It was important that if Cavan were to win it, we were to get home advantage. No more than any other county, if your name is called out first you are entitled to play at home. I’m pleased they have made the right decision and the game goes ahead in Brewster,” he commented.
However, injuries continue to plague Fermanagh’s build up to the June 16 clash although Canavan is hopeful that he can get the bulk of them cleared up before the Cavan game.
“Our own preparations have been hampered by injury. We have been playing a lot of league games in Fermanagh in recent weeks and that has hampered our preparation. We played Mayo in a challenge game recently and we had 14 of the panel injured so in the weeks ahead I will be looking for a lot of them to clear up and that’s my only hope that we get a good spell injury free over the coming weeks.”
This article appeared in Impartial Reporter?23 May 13