GAA Football

Championship is Championship and there's always a chance says former Cavan full-forward Fintan Cahill

Up and at 'em... Cavan's Conor Madden out-jumps Donegal's Neil McGee in the Ulster final. Picture: Seamus Loughran.
Andy Watters

IF Cavan don’t truly believe in themselves tomorrow’s All-Ireland semi-final against Dublin could be over before half-time, but former Breffni full-forward Fintan Cahill expects Mickey Graham’s underdogs to come out blazing against the five in-a-row champions.

Cahill, scorer of a superb goal against Kerry when Cavan last reached the nation’s final four in 1997, knows well that his county face a massive challenge and he doesn’t expect that to detract from the Ulster champions’ up-and-at-'em attitude when the ball is thrown-in at Croke Park.

“I’m not going to say the usual thing: ‘My head says Dublin and my heart says Cavan’,” he said.

“You’d nearly have to be insane if you’re outside the panel or Mickey’s group of people to think anything else is going to happen except Dublin are going to win.

“I don’t know what’s going on in that group of Cavan fellas but they’re not thinking like that. If they were, sure they wouldn’t have beaten Donegal. It’s 15 on 15 and Championship is Championship and there’s always a chance.”

After Dublin’s humbling of Meath in the Leinster final, there are Cavan folk who might settle for anything less than a humiliation tomorrow. Cahill insists that manager Graham will not be planning for a damage-limitation exercise.

“This is a Championship game and the atmosphere with the Hill is not going to be there so that has to be a benefit to Cavan,” he said.

“If they approach the game with the same ferociousness, don’t give Dublin too much respect and just go for it then there’s a chance. I don’t believe for one minute that Mickey Graham is going to line a team up to curtail a defeat, he’s not going to be thinking like that at all.

“He’ll not be going to Dublin thinking: ‘If we come out of here only six points beaten, or under 10 points, sure wouldn’t it be great?’ And he’s right not to be thinking like that – it’s a hiding to nothing.

“Cavan won’t be deciding that the game is over before they go out.”

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GAA Football