Cavan champions Ramor United turn attention to Maghery test in Ulster SFC
CELEBRATIONS in Virginia started last Sunday and lasted well into Monday morning as new Cavan champions Ramor United embraced their first senior title in 24 years.
The players won’t have long to rest on the laurels they deservedly won after seeing off Castlerehan in last Sunday’s final replay - Ramor face Armagh champions Maghery in an Ulster quarter-final.
As his players celebrated in the background, manager Micheal McDermott said they would savour their success before turning their minds to their Orchard county opponents.
“We’ll enjoy tonight and most likely we’ll be back training on Wednesday,” he said.
“They’re an ambitious bunch, we want to represent our county in Ulster and that’s what we’ll be doing. We never even thought of them [Maghery] or considered them until now and we’ll sit down focus on them now.
“They are going to be celebrating a fantastic win in the Armagh championship as well so we’ll be on a level playing field. It will be tough to recover from today, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
McDermott made four changes to his side’s starting line-up for the final replay, including swapping Liam Brady for Aaron Farrelly in goal. The Mayo management was criticised when doing the same backfired in the All-Ireland final replay with Dublin, but Ramor manager McDermott said that had no bearing on his decision.
“To win championships you have to be brave and you have to be courageous,” he said.
“Mayo made no difference to us, they made a change that’ their choice, we trusted in every change we made today.”
McDermott’s faith in his panel proved to be justified and he expects his young side to challenge for more trophies in the years to come: “You’re talking maybe nine of that team will be playing U21 champions in a few weeks time. Mattie Magee came into corner-back and he is only minor,” he said.
“And there is a conveyor belt of young lads coming through year on year in Ramor and that is why it was so important to win the championship to give them confidence and ambition.”
As chants ‘champ-eee-own-ees’ echoed off the walls beneath the Breffni Park stands, there was a ripple of applause from the subdued Castlerahan dressingroom as manager Michael Reilly addressed his players.
“There’s a lot of teams competing who fancy their chances to push on and win a championship,” he said afterwards.
“The quality of football was very good in the senior championship - especially from the quarter-finals on. Football is strong in Cavan at the minute.”
He expects Ramor to challenge Maghery at the Athletic Grounds on Sunday: “There’s no reason why they can’t beat Maghery and push on,” he said.
“The Ulster scene is opening up with some of the big guns going out of it, so there’s no reason why Ramor can’t push on and bring success back to Cavan.”