The county of Cavan boasts an unquenchable thirst for football. Each year Cavan supporters dare to dream that the glory days of yesteryear will once again return. “The Future is Blue,” they say, but we are yet to see it come to fruition. But enough about the Cavan men. The Cavan Ladies have flown the flag with pride over the last 20 years and brought an All-Ireland back across Breffni lines in 2013. Three of the heroes that day joined us to pick the best Cavan Ladies team of the past 20 years. They were Ciara O’Reilly, Aisling Doonan and Rosie Crowe. It wasn’t an easy task but eventually, they narrowed it down!
Our trio were all in agreeance with who the number one shirt should go to. Caron Fay of Belturbet was selected as the goalkeeper, her accuracy with kickouts and ability as a shot stopper separated her from the rest.
Honourable Mention: Christine McCutcheon (Drumgoon).
Full Back Line:
Lacken defender Joanne Moore was chosen at corner back, “You’d always put her on the oppositions best forward” explained Rosie. At full back was Arva’s Grainne McGlade, with very few ever getting the better of the Cavan star. Joining them is Shauna Lynch of Crosserlough, “She has just been exceptional” explained Aisling Doonan.
Honourable Mentions: Rachel Jordan (Lavey), Ciara Gray (Arva), The Hanratty Sisters (Lurgan).
Half Back Line:
Trying to whittle it down to three players proved difficult for our selectors with such an abundance of talent to choose from. They opted for Sinead Greene at number 5, the Templeport flyer was a “definite” inclusion. Anchoring the defence was St. Finbar’s Pamela Crowe and they were partnered by former Lavey star Renee Murphy who excelled for club and county.
Honourable Mentions: Neasa Byrd (Crosserlough), Michelle Cole (Lurgan), Ailish Cornyn (Ballinagleera).
Cavan ladies have been blessed with midfielders over the past two decades, but two have stood out throughout the era. First was Carmel Rogers, the Knockbride midfielder was as industrious as she was skilful. She was accompanied by Arva’s Donna English, who would leave those watching her feeling tired, her fitness and ability to get up and down a field giving her the nod ahead of the rest.
Honourable Mentions: Rosie Crowe (Lacken), Michelle Keating R.I.P (Lurgan), Claire Murtagh (Kingscourt).
Half Forward Line:
Lacken’s Roisin O Keefe was the first selection at half forward. Despite her protests, on the 40 was one of our selectors Aisling Doonan. Ciara and Rosie were very insistent that the Templeport and Cavan legend make the cut. Completing the half forward line was Killygarry’s Grainne Smith at number 12.
Honourable Mentions: Brid Boylan (Killygarry), Claragh O’Reilly (Lurgan), Aisling Traynor (Knockbride).
Full Forward Line:
Mullahoran star Aisling Sheridan, fresh from a stint in the AFLW, was chosen at corner forward. Lacken were represented again with Erin Galligan being selected on the square, “She has everything” pointed out her Cavan teammate Aisling Doonan. The final position was given to Bronagh Sheridan, who “could have featured anywhere in the forwards” according to Rosie, such is the extent of the Drumlane players skill set.
Honourable Mentions: Elaine Costin (Knockbride), Tara Clarke (Cuchullains), Catriona ‘Twiggy’ Smith (Lavey).
The Team In Full:
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