“We were written off” Mickey Graham revels in Cavan win

Cavan manager Mickey Graham spoke of his immense pride for his players after they stunned Donegal to win the Ulster Football Championship.

Donegal were strong favourites going into the match with Cavan, and were tipped by many as the team most capable of defeating Dublin since Kerry’s premature exit from the championship.

However, Cavan outplayed their opponents at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh and claimed their first Ulster Football Championship since 1997.

Despite their underdog status, Graham told RTE Sport that his players never doubted that were capable of defeating Donegal.

“I don’t think anybody believed it was going to be bridged today, apart from the players.

“We were written off coming into it, let’s be honest about it. In all quarters not one person believed that we could do it – bar the players themselves.

“Our own supporters got behind us like they always do, but did they believe that we could go and do it? I don’t know. They’ll believe now, let me tell you!” Graham said.

Cavan have had a packed schedule in recent times, having played five games in as many weeks before their encounter with Donegal.

However, the Breifne men looked full of energy in the dying minutes of the game, and certainly finished stronger than their opponents.

“Every time we go out and take the field all we ask is for them to give it their best and that’s what they’ve done.

“To play six weeks in a row and to win an Ulster title – that’s an achievement in itself. To get this far after all the turbulence we’ve had along the way, and then to top it off with your best performance of the year…

“What can you say about those lads? I’m just so proud of them,” Graham commented.

Semi-final showdown with Dublin

Cavan will now go on to face Dublin in a repeat of the 1920 All-Ireland semi-final but Graham insisted that he would allow his side to savour their Ulster triumph.

“We’re not evening thinking of them at this moment in time. This is a long time in the waiting for Cavan people.

“We’ve suffered for so long and I’m just delighted for the kids at home – my own children, all the lads’ children – that they get to see Cavan winning an Ulster Championship. A lot of people have never seen that.

“I’m just delighted for all the people at home who can’t be here today that we’ve brightened up their winter this year with everything that’s going on,”Graham said.

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