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'They were brave and showed no fear' | Mickey Graham on Cavan players as they bow out of championship

Cavan's magical year came to a close on Saturday night with a 15 point loss to Dublin in the All-...

Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

21:15 5 Dec 2020



'They were brave and showed no...
Football

'They were brave and showed no fear' | Mickey Graham on Cavan players as they bow out of championship

Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

21:15 5 Dec 2020

Cavan's magical year came to a close on Saturday night with a 15 point loss to Dublin in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship semi-final. 

1-24 to 0-12 was the final score at Croke Park, in a game which was never in any doubt.

Cavan manager Mickey Graham praised his side at full-time when speaking to OTB Sports and also highlighted the sheer greatness of this Dublin side.

"It's not just their skillset and the talented footballers they have, it's their work ethic and everything that goes with it. How they fight to get that ball back when they don't have it, that's from one to 15.

"They were very impressive - the conditioning, the understanding and the confidence they have in their own ability - we can take a lot from that.

"It was a big ask, we knew that but we came up here to give it a go.

"I felt at half-time we were a wee bit disappointed with the five points, to be honest. We gave the ball away cheaply and we felt that if we had held onto it and got a score it could have been a two, three-point game.

"In the second half, we were looking to get off to a good start which never happened. Dublin snuffed us out and caught us on the counter-attack and that's what they do."

For many Cavan were the surprise package of 2020.

After being relegated from Division Two in the Allianz National League many wrote them off and Monaghan were the much more fancied side in their first day out in the Ulster Championship.

Graham said this showed the strength of character in his side and hopes their resilience this year will stand to them going forward.

"To be the best, you have to play against the best. We'll take some learnings from this.

"If you said to us after getting relegated against Roscommon that we were going to be in an All-Ireland semi-final I think you'd start laughing at us.

"It just shows you the character that these lads have.

"It's been well documented about the players Cavan didn't have.

"You have to give these boys some credit, they probably lifted the whole spirits of the GAA during the course of this championship with their hearty displays and never say die attitude, they'll get great confidence from this and hopefully, we can build on that confidence moving forward."

Dublin will now face either Tipperary or Mayo in the decider in two weeks' time while Cavan's year is over.

Graham is positive though about the journey they've been on, how they represented themselves and where they're at going forward.

"We had no mental baggage coming into this game because we don't play Dublin too often.

"I knew by the way we trained since the Ulster final that the boys were looking forward to this.

"Yes, they were nervous but they wanted to pit themselves against Dublin.

"The first half showed that, they showed no fear and I thought they were brave and went man to man - what a lot of teams don't do against Dublin."

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All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Semi-final Cavan GAA

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