By Michael McMullan
DRUMLANE manager Martin Dunne insists his side are in bonus territory after winning the Cavan title and is happy to have had two weeks to prepare for this weekend’s clash with Newtownbutler.
Sunday takes his side back to Clones, the scene of their quarter-final win and the club are buzzing with the extended run to the season.
“It was a big scalp to go down there and get the win,” said the former Breffni star, pointing to how Monaghan teams tend to last the pace at junior level in Ulster.
Of the 20 titles, eight were won by Monaghan with a further six appearances in finals.
Drumlane needed all their resolve to emerge from their preliminary round against two-time Ulster intermediate winners Craigbane in Kingspan Breffni Park.
The Oakleafers were 0-3 to 0-0 ahead before going down to 14 men with the 12th minute dismissal of Cahir O’Kane.
“We played for about 10 minutes and scored 1-3 or 1-4 giving us the chance to see it out with that bit of a lead.
“I didn’t think we clicked. It was three weeks from when we played in the county final and it took us that game to get back into it. We were happy to get out with a one-point win.”
After a week off to celebrate their dramatic late win over Arva, Drumlane had just under two weeks of actual preparation time for Craigbane with just a couple of sessions to get primed for Clones in the quarter-final.
“We didn’t do a pile (in the week) before the Clones game and I’m
glad we have two weeks before
the Newtownbutler game,” Dunne said.
Two wins in Ulster, both by a one-point margin, would suggest relief as the dominant emotion in the Drumlane camp. Dunne agrees, also expressing his contentment that he has played who know what a battle looks like from their last three outings with their county final also won with the last kick.
“There is no pressure on us,” he said. “Nobody expected us to come out of Cavan. Arva were expected to win it and we are just taking it one game at a time to see where it takes us.
“We haven’t looked past Craigbane or Clones so we are not going to look past Newtownbutler.
“We will give them the utmost respect and they have a big win the last day,” Dunne adding, indicating that he expects another tight battle on Sunday.