'We're backing ourselves to do it' - camogie captain


Kevin Óg Carney

“Everything we said we wanted to happen since we first came together last year has come to pass. It would be just terrific if we could go that one step further this Saturday.”

Cavan senior camogie captain Erinn Galligan says the buzz in the camp is almost tangible ahead of this weekend’s Nancy Murray Cup final.

Galligan and co. are strong favourites to annex the silverware at the expense of a Tyrone team that has already lost out twice this year to the Breffni ladies.

And if team spirit, a real sense of camaraderie, unity of purpose and will-to-win are the ingredients of success, then, according to Captain Galligan, Cavan have a cocktail in their armoury much too potent for Tyrone to imbibe.

“It’s incredible the bond there is in the panel and the extent to which everyone has gelled in just the ten months or so that we have been training,” says the Crosserlough camóg and Lacken Celtic footballer.

“There’s a great buzz in the camp this week and every single player is just mad to get onto the field in Inniskeen this Saturday and wear that jersey and bring home the silverware.”

The dual star reckons Cavan’s strength in depth is one of the key features of the current squad that has been flying the county colours on the senior intercounty front for the first time in nearly a decade.

In that respect, the former Loreto College provincial football medallist believes that virtually every player on the starting XV has an able and talented understudy ready to do the business if called upon.

“The competition for places is something else,” Galligan explains” and I suppose that’s one of the characteristics of all successful clubs and counties.

“Every player that starts for us knows that they mightn’t be playing at the end of the game if they don’t perform. Jimmy (Greville) can only pick fifteen to start the game on Saturday and I don’t envy him his job.”

Cavan travelled up to Tyrone for their Nancy Murray first round tie last October and hockeyed (3-11 to 0-5) their hosts. That victory followed on from a similarly comprehensive win for Cavan over the O’Neill county in the national league but, for her part, Galligan refuses to accept that this Saturday can’t be a case of third time lucky for Tyrone.

“We’ll not be taking anything for granted,” the qualified, Arva-based pharmacist declares.

“Tyrone had a few players missing the last day and the chances are that they’ll have a handful of different players starting for them this Saturday so, in that respect, we’re going into the unknown a bit.

“Anything can happen on the day, especially if its windy and raining and overall miserable weather. Look at what happened last weekend in the Cork and Kerry Munster (football) championship match.

“Saturday’s game might look on paper as if its going to be easy for us but, like most finals, it’ll come down to which team wins the dirty ball, wants it more and works the hardest.”

According to the team captain, the Cavan squad for Saturday’s final is one replete with self-assurance, belief and confidence in their own ability.

“All the hard work has been done, the runs and the gym work; all the boxes have been ticked,” the ace defender tells us.

“It’ll be a massive achievement for us if we can pull it off on Saturday. We know it won’t be easy but we’re backing ourselves to do it if we do ourselves justice on the day and play to our potential.”