Cavan are in danger of ambush at Brewster Park
Ulster SFC Quarter-final: Fermanagh v Cavan, Sunday, Brewster Park, 2pm
Cavan’s Martin Dunne is unlikely to enjoy the freedom afforded him against Armagh that saw him score eight points from play last month. Photograph: Inpho
Of all the Ulster Championship games to be plonking down near G8 ground zero, you’d have been hard pushed to come up with a less appetising one than this. It says something for the low wattage of expectations that the Ulster Council have spent the week sounding like the unpopular kid trying to drum up a crowd for his birthday party.
They’ve been killing off traffic scare stories, assuring supporters all anyone needs to do is add an hour to their journey time to be safe. Considering 90 per cent of those interested will live no more than 50 minutes from the ground, it’s hardly the most enticing claim.
Cavan will be hard pushed to get close to the 1-15 they scored against Armagh in the opener. There is more chance of Angela Merkel kite-surfing the length of Lough Erne than there is of Martin Dunne enjoying the freedom that saw him score eight points from play that day. Peter Canavan has had a month to scheme a fix, one that will surely include a clamp on Cian Mackey and a sweeper in front of Eugene Keating.
Although they’ve had a rough time with injuries, Fermanagh are far from a beaten docket. There aren’t many teams in Ulster that can field a side with as much experience as that carried by Barry Owens, Marty McGrath, James Sherry, Ryan McCluskey and Shane McCabe. The first four played in the 2004 All-Ireland semi-final and they all appeared in the Ulster final in 2008. By contrast, Alan Clarke is the oldest Cavan player at just 27.
A lot will depend on whether Cavan have improved since the win over Armagh. They will have needed to. They won it even though they had far less possession and were cleaned out 32-17 on kick-outs. A repeat of that and they will struggle. Cavan are young and they have their tails up on the back of a pretty false result. This has the look of an ambush.
Last meeting: July 1 2012, All Ireland Qualifier, Brewster Park – Cavan 3-13 Fermanagh 0-15.
Match odds: Cavan 10/11; Fermanagh 6/4; Draw 15/2.
Injuries: Fermanagh are missing Eoin Donnelly and Barry Mulrone to long-term injuries, while Daryl Keenan and Tommy McElroy are not fully fit yet and are on the bench. Cavan’s Gearóid McKiernan is out for the rest of the year and Mossy Corr hasn’t recovered in time.
Just the ticket: Stand – Adult: £20/€25, Student & OAP: £12/€15, U16: £5/€5; Terrace - Adult: £12/€15, Student & OAP: £9/€10, U16: Free.
Fermanagh: C Snow; J Woods, B Owens, D Kelly; D McCusker, R McCluskey, M O’Brien; J Sherry, M McGrath; C Quigley, S McCabe, R Jones; P Ward, S Quigley, T Corrigan.
Cavan: C Gilsenan; J McLoughlin, R Dunne, K Clarke; J McEnroe, A Clarke, R Flanagan; D O’Reilly, D Givney; C Mackey, J Brady, F Flanagan; N McDermott, M Dunne, E Keating.
Referee: Cormac Reilly (Meath)