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Dunne injury a blow to Cavan's hopes of victory

By John Campbell

Published 04/07/2015

Missing out: Rory Dunne will be a big loss for Cavan
Missing out: Rory Dunne will be a big loss for Cavan

The loss of full-back Rory Dunne could prove a handicap in terms of Cavan's bid to make headway in the All-Ireland Football Qualifiers when they host Roscommon today (5.00pm).

It was in the 2-22 to 0-11 win over London in the previous round of the competition that Dunne suffered a dislocated ankle which will keep him out of action for the rest of their season.

The Redhills clubman had been a key cog in the Cavan defence during the Allianz League and his loss could be particularly felt today as Roscommon full-forward, the towering Senan Kilbride, is currently in a rich vein of form.

Dunne's likely replacement will be James McEnroe who has filled more than one defensive slot for Terry Hyland's side of late.

He played at wing-back in the loss to Monaghan in the Ulster Championship before fulfilling the same role against London.

But while Hyland will rue the absence of Dunne, he can take comfort from the fact that there is now a stronger spread of scorers within his side.

Last year, Cavan depended to a large extent on Martin Dunne to land their scores but now players like Gearoid McKiernan, Dara McVeety, Niall McDermott, Martin O'Reilly are stepping up.

Midfield powerhouse McKiernan has pocked 1-8 in his last two matches, an outstanding contribution from the middle of the field while McDermott's accuracy in particular is also underpinning Cavan's efforts to repeat their feat of 2013 when they reached the All-Ireland quarter-finals.

"But we're only taking one match at a time," cautions manager Hyland.

"It was good to get over London but now Roscommon will be a different proposition altogether.

"They will still be feeling the embarrassment following that Connacht semi-final defeat to Sligo and will be armed with the knowledge that they beat us in the qualifiers last year and drew with us in the league earlier this year."

Roscommon boss John Evans is challenging his players to show "more ambition" and urging the county not to adopt "a poor mouth" in terms of pursuing success.

"The mind-set has to change in Roscommon. There has to be more ambition because we can't be constantly going around playing the poor mouth all the time.

"We have to be able to handle being favourites," he said.

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