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Cavan's Keating back with progress as his goal

Fired up: Eugene Keating is on a mission against Roscommon
Fired up: Eugene Keating is on a mission against Roscommon
John Campbell

By John Campbell

Eugene Keating is a man on a mission today. When the burly Cavan full-forward lines out against Roscommon in the second round of the All Ireland football qualifiers, he hopes to convince manager Terry Hyland that he can provide the fire-power that will help the team extend its involvement in the competition.

Keating was not included in the starting line-up for the first round qualifier win over Westmeath (1-15 to 1-14) but is chomping at the bit to sample action again.

"Roscommon will be a big test for us because they beat us in the Division Two final earlier in the year and we would like to avenge that," insists the 24-year-old sharpshooter.

With Martin Dunne, a scoring sensation in last year's championship, currently out of action, Hyland will look to Keating to impose himself physically and finishing-wise on Roscommon.

The Connacht side will be without the injured Donie Shine who has been consistently outstanding in recent seasons but manager John Evans believes his team can still replicate their league final victory over their hosts.

But his opposite number Hyland holds firm to the belief that Cavan are "strong in mind."

This will certainly be put to the test tonight particularly as Roscommon turned in a courageous performance against Mayo in the Connacht championship before surrendering by a narrow margin.

Cavan's divisional final loss to Roscommon was initially viewed as a temporary setback but when Armagh turfed them out of the Ulster Championship in the quarter-final, the back-to-back defeats prompted manager Hyland to scrutinise his team's psyche rather more closely.

Cavan: C Gilsenan; J McLoughlin, R Dunne, F Flanagan; J Hayes, J McEnroe, R Maloney-Derham; D O'Reilly, G McKiernan; M Argue, M Lyng, N McDermott; J Brady, E Keating, M Reilly.

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