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Strategic Cavan clash with underachieving Antrim

Steven Poacher and Shane Stapleton reflect on Cavan’s incredible extra-time win over Monaghan, and tee up their Ulster SFC clash with Antrim

Steven Poacher and Shane Stapleton reflect on Cavan’s incredible extra-time win over Monaghan, and tee up their Ulster SFC clash with Antrim.

BY JACK NEVILLE
Thomas Galligan was the hero as Cavan overcame Monaghan last weekend to book a place against Antrim in Sunday’s Ulster quarter-final at Breffni Park.

It was Cavan’s second successive win over the Farney men as they look to reach consecutive provincial deciders after falling to Donegal in the decider last summer.

They are heavily favoured to advance past Antrim, with Steven Poacher commending the side on their response to a league defeat to Roscommon which saw them relegated to Division Three.

“What impressed me about Cavan was that they learned from the Roscommon game,” says Poacher.

“They had their homework done on Monaghan but I do think Monaghan were their own worst enemies. I thought they rested on their laurels too much in the second half.”

While Cavan come into the game off the back of that victory, it is the first game of the championship for Antrim who Poacher believes have underachieved and will pose problems to the Breffni men.

“This weekend they are playing an Antrim team that I have always admired for the standard of football and quality of footballer they have.

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“I think Antrim footballers are underachieving. You’re looking at footballers that have Sigerson Cup medals, footballers that have all played in the Sigerson Cup.

“They are very reliant on Paddy Cunningham who is at the stage of his career now where he maybe cannot sustain the energy levels and pace of the game for 70 minutes.

“Going into the game, do Antrim have their 15 best players in the county playing on Sunday? They probably don’t but what they do have is some very dangerous forwards.“

However, Poacher does think that Cavan will have enough to move into the semi-finals where they winner will face either Fermanagh or Down.

“If things fall their way, they (Antrim) could pose a threat to Cavan, but I think after last week, there’s not a chance that Cavan will go into this game with any complacency whatsoever.”

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