Crosserlough and Killygarry look best place to book semi-final spots in Cavan

Brandon Boylan should give Crosserlough some strength in attack for their Cavan SFC quarter-final clash against Lacken
Brandon Boylan should give Crosserlough some strength in attack for their Cavan SFC quarter-final clash against Lacken

Kiernan's Service Stations Cavan SFC quarter-finals

After a pedestrian series of qualifying group games, the Cavan SFC promises to ignite this evening and tomorrow with the completion of the quarter-final games.

A much improved Lacken Celtic take on a Crosserlough crew this evening (5.30pm) at Kingspan Breffni but it could be the Celts’ last hurrah.

Crosserlough are coming off the back of a massive (3-24 to 1-6) victory last time out against an, albeit, relegation-haunted, Laragh Utd troupe and they are strong favourites to advance to the semis.

Lacken – inspired for the most part by Killian Galligan - finished in 6th place in the table look to be a level below where the 2020 champions are right now.

Crosserlough have been slowly coming to the boil, having laboured somewhat in the early rounds. Indeed, their 1-15 to 1-10 win over Lacken in round two was a tad flattering.

The ‘lough have had their share of injury problems of late and question marks surround the fitness of countymen Stephen and James Smith but the presence of Dara McVeety at midfield and the red hot form of Cavan full-forward Paddy Lynch and the underrated Brandon Boylan gives the Kilnaleck-based side more ammunition and firepower than a Lacken squad looking to claim their club’s first SFC quarter-final victory since 2001.

Crosserlough have already won this year’s senior league. They are taken as a sure bet to take another step this evening in their bid to achieve a noteworthy double.

Meanwhile, the meeting (4pm) of Killygarry and Kingscourt Stars at Kingspan Breffni tomorrow is an altogether different proposition with a crystal ball in hand with Killygarry an even money bet to conquer Kingscourt. The latter are rated at 11/10 outsiders to make the semis.

Ironically, much of the pre-match speculation has revolved around who is encamped in the sick bay with major doubts remaining over Killygarry and Cavan pair Cian Reilly and Conor Smith. For Kingscourt, their ‘import’ from Meath, Jody Morris, is considered a major doubt for tomorrow’s duel.

Killygarry have been the surprise packets of this year’s SFC championship; finishing in second place in the table with an unbeaten record from their four group games. Kingscourt finished in seventh place with three points to their name but their championship record over the years puts Killygarry in the halfpenny place.

Whatever about the deliberations of the local turf accountants, of the two teams, Killygarry are the form team and their 2-5 to 0-11 draw with last year’s champions (Ramor Utd) in round four speaks volumes for their potential but, their doubters, will point to the fact that they have been given fortunate draws in being paired earlier with struggling Ballinagh and Butlersbridge teams.

Kingscourt looked in trouble after their round three trouncing (1-9 to 2-17) by Lacken Celtic but they have recovered well and their dramatic victory (2-12 to 1-14) win last time out against 2021 beaten finalists Gowna suggests they have got that Lacken defeat out of their system.

Much will depend on how the walking wounded get on in their respective pre-match fitness tests. With all on board, Killygarry should just edge it.