Cootehill fancied to defend Cavan title
Cavan SHC final
In 2014 Cootehill Celtic scooped their first Cavan SHC title since 1965 with victory over Ballymachugh.
Last year they defended their crown with a final win over county powerhouse St Joseph’s, Mullahoran, who won 21 consecutive titles between 1990 and 2010.
Kingspan Breffni Park stages a re-match of the 2015 decider tomorrow (5.30pm), with Mullahoran aiming to put the brakes on Cootehill’s hat-trick bid.
The defending champions will go into this year’s decider as slight favourites, but Mullahoran beat their rivals earlier in this year’s championship so will fancy their chances.
Last year’s final was a thrilling encounter and ended in a draw with a fourth goal for Mullahoran in the last minute making it 4-8 to 3-11 at the final whistle only for Cootehill to triumph 0-7 to 0-4 in a rain and wind-battered replay.
The championship began in July with a round-robin series featuring Cootehill, Mullahoran, and newcomers St Felim’s.
The format of the competition saw all teams play each other on a home and away basis with the top two teams on points taking their place in the final.
Celtic beat St Felim’s to win the senior league title in July so victory tomorrow evening will give the Hoops a rare senior double.
While they romped to victory, 2-21 to 0-3, on home ground against Mullahoran in the year’s championship, Cootehill lost out 0-7 to 0-10 on their return trip to Our Lady’s of Lourdes Park, which suggests that today’s final will be a close affair just like last year.
Cootehill have a young and mobile side with the Carney brothers Caoimhin and John, as well as Joshua Crowe, Fiachra Hughes and Limerick native Mark Hayes providing an experienced and talented backbone.
The Longford-border side will look to the likes of Ronan O’Hagan, Bart Nannery, Sean Og Brady and key attacker Derek Dalton to get them over the line.
Mullahoran’s greater experience and physicality will be major planks of their game but Cootehill’s superior legs and lungs ought to make the difference and ensure that they carry the Cavan flag into the Ulster JHC arena for the third year running.