Crosserlough dare to dream again. It's 1972 since they were last crowned Cavan senior football champions. That was the culmination of seven titles on the trot. On Sunday, Darragh McCarthy's side will look to end that 46-year wait.

Opposing them at Kingspan Breffni Park will be Castlerahan, who have yet to taste success at the highest level in Cavan. It's a derby encounter which will add further spice to the occasion. Upwards of 10,000 are expected to attend.

In the Diocese of Kilmore, Crosserlough is one of the bigger parishes and at its heart is the village of Kilnaleck. It is there where you will find Dr Plunkett Memorial Park, the home ground of Crosserlough GAA Club.

It is safe to say none of the current Crosserlough senior panel were alive to see that last triumph 46 year ago, given their average age is just 21. Built on underage success and featuring McRory Cup winners, a youthful team is looking to build a bridge to a glorious past.

A player synonymous with the local area was the legendary Mick Higgins, regarded as one of the finest footballers ever to play the game.

Mick Higgins (Image courtesy of Ulster GAA)

Higgins spent the first ten years of his life in New York and when his family decided to return to Cavan in the early 1930s, the county was starting to make its mark on the national scene. In the key centre-half-forward position, Higgins would ultimately excel and as fate would have it he returned to the city of his birth to pick up his first All-Ireland medal in 1947, when Cavan defeated Kerry in the Polo Grounds.

Another success came in '48, while he was captain of Cavan side that landed Sam in 1952. League and Railway Cup success would also come his way.

Higgins' nephew John is the Crosserlough PRO and speaks of a man "who certainly blazed a trail as a footballer and a coach".

Indeed John Higgins' account of his uncle's managerial career reveals much.

"He won Ulster titles with Cavan, the last of which was in 1969. The backbone of that team included players from our own club,  the likes of John Joe O'Reilly, Andy McCabe and Gene Cusack. He also trained Longford and Cavan at the same time.

"As luck would have it, both counties met in the league quarter-final of 1966. Mick had to sit in the Cavan dugout that day and watched on as Longford triumphed. Have we ever had a situation like that?

"He was back in the Longford dugout for the semi-final. They won that game and in the final they beat a very powerful Galway side which would complete the All-Ireland three-in-a-row later that year.

"In 1968 he was in charge of Longford when they won their only Leinster title. He was a special talent and is fondly remembered, with many often seeking his advice on footballing matters."

And now the Crosserlough seniors will look to create their own history. "I wouldn't describe things since '72 as a complete wasteland," was Higgins' reflection on the club's history since then. 

"We had our golden period from '66 to '72. It was also era where we got to an Ulster club final, but were subsequently thrown out following an objection that one of our players played in London during the summer months.

"In the 1980s, we won two U21 and three minor titles despite emigration hitting the club hard. We then lost many league finals during the 1990s and in the same decade we lost two senior finals ('91 and '97).

Crosserlough pictured prior to the 1997 Ulster final - the young child is Daithi Shalvey with his father Pat - Shalvey will be starting on Sunday

"We were always competitive. And then two years ago, we were minor champions again, a first title since 1995."

The seeds of that success are very much central to the side which will aim to win a tenth title for the South Cavan club,

Higgins continued: "The average age of the team is 21 and contains 11 of that minor team. Dara McVeety, the Cavan captain, is the elder statesman at 25. Pierce Smith and Patrick O’Reilly – McRory Cup winners with St Patrick’s College - are involved and five of the squad were with the Cavan U20s this year.

Current senior full-back Patrick OReilly lifts the minor trophy in 2016 

"At times through the year we have been inconsistent. We can also be a bit streaky. Against Ramor in the quarter-final, we scored 1-04 in the space of four minutes and really kicked on from there. We are more than capable of producing such spurts."

Crosserlough accounted for another emerging outfit Gowna in the semi-final and were top of the pile at the end of the group stage.

Anglo Celt journalist Paul Fitzpatrick feels the "exuberance of youth" can stand to Crosserlough against a Castlerahan side who have lost the last three finals.

Castlerahan are now regarded as the "Mayo' of Cavan football", said Higgins with a chuckle.

"That said, when you have two clubs right next to each other in the final it only adds to the sense of occasion. The novelty of the pairing will bring a lot of neutrals to Breffni. Hopefully our lads can deliver."

In what will be a hectic weekend for Crosserlough, their senior camogie side will defend the Ulster junior title against Loughgiel in The Moy on Saturday evening.   

Follow all Sunday's club final action via our live blog on RTÉ.ie/sport and the News Now app, or listen to live updates on RTÉ Radio 1's Sunday Sport.