Gowna's focus turns to Ulster

GAA news

Ryan McGahern climbed the steps of the stand for the third year in succession and the second as the winning captain and, he said, it is an amazing feeling.

“I didn’t think I’d be as excited until I went up the steps but I don’t think you’d ever get sick of stepping up there and lifting the cup. I suppose maybe it was because we had such a cagey start,” he explained.

“At the start of the year people would have said ‘ah, you aren’t playing well’… we were playing maybe some of the weaker teams, scraping by but not really playing well but you kind of get the grit between the teeth and go for it then when people are writing you off or whatever they might be saying about you.”

McGahern agreed that his team’s performance was outstanding.

“It was unreal, some of the scores and some of the fielding was exceptional. I see Ryan Brady got Man of the Match and rightly so, when we needed fellas to win kick-outs, he stepped up and when we needed fellas to drive at them, he was the man that started that off.

“We’d a bit of a cagey start but other than that I think we controlled the game.

“Kingscourt have the forwards to kick good scores. They kind of sat back a wee bit and we got it hard to break them down at the start but once we opened them up, I think they had to come out so it was a more open game then and then our runners in twos and threes, they were trying to get in on goal for fun near the end.

“We were unlucky not to get two goals at the start, I think then they probably realised they had to come out and face them a bit and go man on man and then our lads with the legs went on another bit then. Look, it was a great performance even though the last one, Crosserlough, I thought was a brilliant performance by the likes of Ryan Brady, Ryan Donohoe and these lads stepped up again.”

Losing Conor Brady, a starter on the county team, was a blow but Fionán Brady slotted in seamlessly.

“That’s true but sure every lad is chomping at the bit to get on and when you do get the chance to get on, you have to prove yourself. Fionán proved himself today, Fionán is a top quality player and no more than Conor unfortunately with injury, that was the only reason he was out today but he’s back to himself now and going as good as ever.”

Gowna are determined to really give a good account of themselves in Ulster now, he said.

“I’d be a bit disappointed the way people in Ulster don’t really think much of Cavan football and we don’t represent ourselves well when we go into Ulster. I suppose we were very disappointed last year, we thought we were the best team on the day against Enniskillen. I didn’t agree with penalty shoot-outs before that but I definitely didn’t agree with it afterwards.

“Anyway, we have another chance at it now. I see Naomh Conaill won, we’ll see what that brings. Oh no, we’ll be taking it seriously.”

“He’s (Dermot McCabe, manager) very passionate about his football and he has always said that to us, there is more in this team, to drive on, that we are playing within ourselves, to drive on and see where it brings us sure. We’ll prepare for Naomh Conaill and see what happens.”