Sligo head for Croker hoping to upset Cavan in Tailteann Cup semi-final


Sligo manager Tony McEntee and his charges are putting their final preparations together ahead of this week’s trip to Croke Park for the Tailteann Cup semi-final encounter against Cavan.

ligo will be underdogs heading into the tie, particularly given Cavan’s comfortable wins on the road to the semi-final, but Sligo won’t be fazed or daunted by that prospect.

Reaching the final in the matter they did – a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Leitrim – gives Sligo a bit of drive going into this semi-final.

The drama, the ecstasy, the follow up attention that comes with such a win leaves those involved just looking for more.

It’s unclear whether or not Niall Murphy will be involved on Sunday, but Sligo have won games against London and Leitrim without their talisman, allowing others to step up to the plate.

Keelan Cawley, Pat Hughes, Aidan Devaney, the aforementioned Murphy and Brian Egan have all lined out for their county at Croke Park before, and Hughes believes his team-mates are relishing the chance to play on the hallowed turf of GAA HQ.

At a press conference held on Monday evening, captain Cawley said he doesn’t believe any of his team-mates will have any fear about playing in a venue such as Croke Park.

He said: “I would not have any worries about anyone who has not played there before.

“It is a big field, and it will take the best out of the lads who have not played there, and it could suit a few of our lads. I think the lads are just relishing the opportunity of playing in Croke Park”.

On their penalty shoot-out victory over Leitrim, Pat Hughes said: “Yes, even chatting to a few Leitrim lads the last day, it is a tough way to lose, but it’s a great way to win.

“It’s hard to strike a balance.

“The atmosphere after the game the last day felt like a real championship atmosphere.

“There were crowds on the pitch and huge excitement.

“There possibly might not have been so much hype and excitement had the game been won in normal time, so penalties do add that extra bit of spark to it.

“It may be new to the GAA, but it has been going on in soccer for years

“But there is an argument that you can’t have seasons dragging on with replays and feeding into the club season as well.”

More on page 64-65.

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