Cavan vs Roscommon can effect both ends of the Division 2 table. Before the lockdown, the division was chaotic and condensed. Last weekend, little changed. Roscommon need just a point to be crowned champions. But, a loss could see them drop out of the top two altogether. Meanwhile, Cavan need a win to guarantee safety from relegation.
Roscommon returned to action against Armagh in a top-of-the-table clash on Saturday. However, they were the slower to start and were wasteful in front of the posts. Whereas, Armagh were accurate and took their chances. It took an Enda Smith penalty in the 34th penalty to give the Connacht side a lifeline.
Then on 43 minutes, Smith scored another penalty. Two minutes later, Conor Daly netted after a super Conor Cox run.
Then, Roscommon finished strongly. But, Anthony Cunningham will be keen to improve across the pitch before the Championship commences.
Roscommon need just a point to guarantee their return to Division 1 as table-toppers. If they have to continue to rely on goals though, Cavan could spoil their party. They have had a player contract covid-19 and some of the squad will not travel so team news will be vital.
The Ulster side will be left wondering how they could score 0-20 and lose a game by four points. In truth, they were unlucky to not a goal of their own when Martin Reilly’s effort was saved. Mickey Graham will be encouraged by the strength with which his team finished.
By injury time, they were within three points of Kildare. If they can show the same fight for 70 minutes against Roscommon they could take the points.
If Cavan win, Armagh lose, and Westmeath draw with Kildare, Graham’s team could squeeze into the top 2. In what has already been an unpredictable Division, anything is possible.
What adds to the excitement for this one is that neither management team has any apparent absentees for it.
However, Cavan play just a week later in the Ulster Championship. They play Monaghan and defeat would immediately end their season. Therefore, Graham has to decide whether to risk injuring his first fifteen or saving them and giving others some game time.
Meanwhile, Roscommon aren’t out in the Championship until November 8th. As a result, Anthony Cunningham may not be afraid to use his big guns to secure the title.
Prediction: Roscommon. After winning Connacht in 2019, the Rossies will be ambitious and want to get back to Division 1. Their eye for goal has won them games and could do so again. But, Cavan will push them for the 70 minutes and Anthony Cunningham will need to plan accordingly.
Cavan vs Roscommon: Division 2, Saturday, October 24th, 2pm (Kingspan Breffni Park).
GAANOW have the highlights from last weekend's #AllianzLeagues Football action. Watch the round-up here! pic.twitter.com/HlRQePTUVZ
— The GAA (@officialgaa) October 20, 2020