Camógs battling hard in Division 2


Cavan camógs’ round four match due to be played in Crosskeys last Saturday was put back a week due to weather conditions which, said manager Philip Brady, told the Anglo-Celt “wasn’t ideal”.

“Yeah, obviously it’s disappointing to not get the game at the weekend. I thought we might even get it played on Sunday but the powers that be have fixed it for next Saturday so we’ll just have to wait and see and go again,” he said.

With the side having secured back to back promotions to get to Division 2, they have stepped up in grade.

“I don’t think it’s as big of a step up as we anticipated. I know we lost two of the games by nine points but we were in those games for a long time. It came down to small mistakes we’re making. The opposition is good and the quality is far quicker and far better but we’re not too far away.

“I think the year’s experience if we can stay in Division 2 will be a huge help to the girls next year or any girl coming in. We’re not that far away. I think coming from Cavan and going back to the mindset which I always talk about, do we really belong up in this division? I think the girls are starting to figure that they really are good enough for this division.”

In their last outing on Saturday March 4 in Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney, they lost out to table toppers Kerry. “As I say I don’t hink the nine-point defeats really do us justice,” Brady reflected.

“Maybe the last day because we were terrible in all aspects of the game but suppose when you’re so bad and lose only by nine points, you realise the gap isn’t as big as first anticipated.”

Despite a lot of success over the last three for the team, the squad is low on numbers this year and when asked were some of the girls put off by the jump in standard the Mullahoran native was clear with his answer.

“Most definitely. Some girls have said that they didn’t feel they were up to the standard and they didn’t think that they’d get much game time. It’s disappointing to hear girls say that because any girl you ask in, you think there’s something there for her, that you can improve her in some way, maybe not this year but next year or the year after they would fit into a nice Cavan set-up. You can only work with the players you have and if players have that attitude it’s very hard to change it in the space of a phone call.

O“I think we’ve turned it around even since last year with the girls that’s there. When I came in, they probably didn’t think they were good enough for Division 3 and then you go and win it. It’s just about getting that experience, we’ve a great bunch there at the minute and although the numbers are small the quality is unbelievable. As a management team we’re quite relaxed because we have a great squad even with the one or two injuries which don’t help going into games.

“Whether we go with 15 or 16 or 17 to the game, I would say we’re more than capable of winning them. We just need to cut out the mistakes we’re making because if we keep doing them, we can’t have any complaints about the score line at the end of the day.”

So what is the main difference between Divisions 2 and 3?

“I think just the speed, in Division 3 you might have been able to tap it on the stick twice to control it but now if you don’t get it on the first control it’s gone. The players can take it with the hand, it’s not even the stick sometimes.”

The meteoric rise of Cavan camogie is unique as it hasn’t come off the back of huge underage success.

“I suppose you have to look at where Cavan camogie is coming from. They only came back three or four years ago and then you’ve the likes of Kerry and Derry who have good pedigree in camogie for years gone past and they’re bring young girls in after winning Munster and Ulster championships at A level. We’re coming from maybe a B or C level sometimes and maybe not even winning so you have to look at the underage aspect.

“We’ve done huge work the last two or three years and there are huge numbers at underage level and I think you have to go back and look at where we’re coming from as a county and where we want to get to. We’re probably going in the right direction in every aspect from our underage structure to our senior structure.”

“It will only improve Cavan camogie and as I say, any girl that’s in there seems to be enjoying it and enjoying the challenge. Even though we’ve only one win, we’re just going to embrace the last two games and see where it takes us.”

With the top two teams in the division qualifying for the final and the bottom team relegated Cavan still have their destiny in their own hands and Brady is positive.

“We have one win but ideally you’d want a second win out of the last two matches but depending on how other results go, one win could be enough to stay in the division.

“Mainly we’re always wanting to improve, when we went down in Kerry we felt we had a fighting chance but we didn’t perform. Against Meath and Westmeath we feel we have a great chance of winning the games so it’s about going out and performing the best we can. I think if we do that we will be there or thereabouts in both matches and with a bit of luck we’ll come out on the right side of the result.”