Premier Junior All-Ireland Championship Round Round 3
Mayo v Cavan
Saturday, Westport, 4pm
By Shaun Casey
CAVAN defender Erinn Galligan wants her teammates to be ready for battle this weekend. The Breffni ladies are currently unbeaten while Mayo have failed to win a single game, but Galligan’s recent history with the Westerners means she won’t read too much into form.
“We played Mayo a few years ago and they were so physical, we got a rude awakening in the first half,” recalled Galligan. “They have a very strong spine and the power running they have coming through the middle; we got a shock in the first half. We got on top of them in the second half, but they definitely took us by surprise, so I think all of us going down there know that we’re in for it. A home game for them as well, we need to be ready for the battle they’re going to bring.”
Winning is a habit and Cavan have been in fine form of late, they captured the Division Three league title and have carried that momentum into the All-Ireland series with wins over Tipperary and Waterford.
“We just set our sights on going down to Tipperary and getting out of there alive. It’s very hard with these seconds teams to really know what kind of championship team they’re going to be producing.
“We were losing at half time, but we had opportunities in the first half. Then they came back very strong in the second half, we held tight in the backline and in around midfield to hold them out and then they couldn’t get the scores up.
“Travelling away from home isn’t easy. We grinded it out and came away with a win there so we were delighted with that.
“Waterford had some lovely players but again the girls tried to work hard around the middle and grinded it out. We pulled away in the last 10 or 15 minutes, home advantage I’d say pushed us on.
“We’re getting the wins and we’re delighted and we’re grinding them out which probably means we’re being well tested. So far so good but we’re not taking our eyes off the prize at all, we’ll keep going and looking at the Mayo game and no further than this weekend.”
Cavan face a long journey west this weekend, but with good timing and “brutal hard work” they should have enough to continue their winning streak.
“It is a long way to travel but we’ve been tested with that with the Tipperary game so I hope we can bring the same preparation as we brought to that game. We actually didn’t find that journey too bad, it was a good day that day which adds to it.
“There was good morale on the stop off and when you get your timing right and you’re landing down there with plenty of time, girls can have a wander round in their own little headspace and then come together for the warmup.
“It’s all about timing when you’re away from home and when it comes down to it, it’s just the brutal hard work that’s going to get you over the line.”