Cavan seek senior safety in clash with Tipperary at Kingspan Breffni
TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship Group A round: Cavan v Tipperary (tomorrow, Kingspan Breffni Park, 2pm)
THE prize on offer for the winner of this crucial game between Cavan and Tipperary is senior status safety. Neither side can reach the last eight of this year’s TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship but tomorrow’s game has its own significance with the winner ensuring their place in the senior competition next season while the loser will face a relegation play-off. Who that is yet remains to be seen but if Kerry beat Westmeath, and they will be favourites to do so, Westmeath will be the opponents.
Both sides have lost their two group games against last year’s championship finalists, Dublin, and Mayo. This is a game for the taking for either side and they will both be confident that they can come out on top tomorrow.
Just two points separate them on scoring difference, Tipperary having the better return but only because they have conceded less. On the scoring front, Cavan have scored 4-13 in their two games compared to Tipp’s 1-12.
Gerry Moane’s Cavan were very unfortunate not have taken a point against Mayo on last Sunday. They found themselves eight points down early in the second half but they battled back hard and drew level with the Connacht with three minutes to go. Mayo edged back in front but against Cavan responded with the equaliser before Tara Needham scored a late winning point. Cavan will be disappointed, after having battled so hard to get back into the game, to lose but at the same time, they can take a lot of confidence from their second half performance especially and if they show the same character and fight as they displayed last weekend there is no reason why they cannot get the job done - save their senior championship status - and finish the season on a high.
Players like Sinead Greene, captain Laura Fitzpatrick, Mona Sheridan, Nessa Byrd, Lauren McVeety, Ally Cahill, Aisling Gilsenan are all key personnel for Cavan with Moane looking to them to take the challenge to Tipperary.
The four quarter-final pairings will become known after the conclusion of tomorrow’s final round games. Of the eight places available, All-Ireland champions Meath are through along with last year’s runners-up Dublin, while Mayo are also safely into the next round. That leaves five places as yet undecided with Ulster champions Armagh, provincial finalists Donegal and Monaghan all still in the running.
If Cork beat Waterford - as is expected - then Cork and Donegal will progress to the knockout stages as group winners and runners-up respectively. Kerry are expected to beat Westmeath and if they do, the Kingdom and Galway will go through while the winner of Armagh and Monaghan will progress, although a draw would be enough for the Orchard County.
Fixtures (2pm unless stated)
All-Ireland Senior Championship Group A round 3: Cavan v Tipperary (Kingspan Breffini Park), Dublin v Mayo (O’Moore Park, Portlaoise, 7.15pm)
All-Ireland Senior Championship Group B round 3: Armagh v Monaghan (Athletic Grounds)
All-Ireland Senior Championship Group C round 3: Kerry v Westmeath (Fitzgerald Stadium, 1pm)
All-Ireland Senior Championship Group D round 3: Cork v Waterford (O’Moore Park, Portlaoise, 5pm)
All-Ireland Intermediate Championship quarter-finals: Louth v Roscommon (Kinnegad), Clare v Longford (Birr), Tyrone v Wexford (Ashbourne, 2.30pm), Laois v Wicklow (Kinnegad, 4pm)
All-Ireland Junior Championship Group A round 3: Carlow v London (Cullen Park, 12.30pm)