Colm Cavanagh accepts that he was forced to live in the shadow of big brother Sean for some time but he has now very much emerged as a star in his own right as Tyrone intensify their push for a fourth All Ireland football title.
Still only 20 but stretching to 6’4” and with stamina to burn, the younger Cavanagh was afforded his big chance when a dislocated ankle precluded Aidan Cassidy’s involvement in the Ulster championship.
The Augher clubman had made a major impact in the engine-room during the National League even though Tyrone suffered relegation to Division Two and at the outset of the championship his loss from the central area was being viewed as a potential handicap.
But Colm has since stepped smartly up to the plate and has now formed a dynamic partnership with long-serving Kevin Hughes — a partnership, indeed, that flourished fully against Monaghan in Sunday’s provincial decider.
Not only did Colm garner a generous ration of first phase possession but he also scored the only goal of the game in the 65th minute to set the seal on an emphatic Tyrone performance.
Yet while the plaudits are being lavished on him Colm is acutely aware that Hughes has wielded a big influence in helping him to settle in the side.
“Kevin is a big game player with a massive engine,” said university student Colm.
“He has seen and done it all and although it maybe took me time to bed in alongside him, we have now developed a fine understanding. But we know that there are some very high-profile midfield partnerships still in the All Ireland Championship and we look certain to be facing one of these in the quarter-finals.”