Football

Sprightly Cavan announce promotion ambitions against bipolar Kildare

Raymond Galligan got his side’s league campaign off to the perfect start yesterday

Full-forward Paddy Lynch has led the Cavan attack this season. Pic Philip Walsh.
Target man: Full-forward Paddy Lynch has led the Cavan attack in recent seasons. Pic Philip Walsh.

Cavan’s demotion to the Tailteann Cup last year left one of two possible options:

  • Win the Tailteann Cup.
  • Fail.

Unfortunately for the Breffni County, a quarter-final draw against Down meant that one of the big three were doomed. The other two went to Croker. C’est la vie.

The Tailteann Cup quarter-final defeat to Down rounded off a disappointing year for Cavan despite winning promotion from Division Three
Down and out: The Tailteann Cup quarter-final defeat to Down rounded off a disappointing year for Cavan despite winning promotion from Division Three

Crosserlough’s James Smith and Paddy Lynch were two of their county’s main men. The former’s decision to opt out of the Tailteann campaign was perhaps telling in the end, while the latter struggled with injury.

Cavan had had their fill of the secondary competition. Mickey Graham’s tenure came to an end, and a seemingly unstoppable Crosserlough headed into the club championship with their talismen as sharp as ever.

As is the way in sport, Lynch and Smith missed out on a medal there too.

On his day, the former is among the best inside forwards in the country. Against Kildare on Saturday, he was all that. Amidst nine scorers, Lynch grabbed half of them, and with those white flags comes the deserved headlines.

If a county could be diagnosed as bipolar, Kildare would surely be top of the queue.

FLYNN'S IN: Kildare's Daniel Flynn is due to start against Wicklow having been a late withdrawal against Longford. Picture: Seamus Loughran
No spring chicken: Daniel Flynn has long been touted as a top talent, but his inconsistency is typical in an underachieving Kildare side

Their championship exit at the hands of Monaghan saw them butcher a host of chances, while last year’s league saw them closer to relegation than promotion, eking past relegated Clare and losing to Louth.

The likes of the weekend’s defeat could see them end up at the wrong end of a fiercely competitive Division Two very easily. Next week is a trip to Fermanagh, the perceived whipping boys who snagged a draw down in Navan.

You wouldn’t exactly bank on Kildare to win that one either, so stick the house on them, because all logic is astray.

The one common denominator has been the form of Darragh Kirwan, who kicked a further 0-3 after starring for Maynooth University in midweek.

For Cavan, Liam Brady of Ramor will be delighted with a clean sheet on debut, whilst All-Ireland Junior winning captain Ciaran Brady looked right at home in his new role as joint-skipper of his county.

Their attention now turns to a Kingspan Breffni Park meeting with a dangerous looking Donegal, and that will be a true marker of Raymond Galligan’s promotion ambitions.