Bradley keeps cool to kill off Cavan revival
Wexford 4-9 Cavan 1-13
WEXFORD fired three first- half goals as they turned on the style at Wexford Park.
The home team led at one stage by seven points during the first period but Cavan battled right back with some fine points to trail by just two at the interval.
But in the second half, despite winning their share of possession, they saw Raymond Galligan's 51st-minute penalty pushed over the bar by Anthony Masterson, leaving them three points adrift, 3-6 to 0-11, with Wexford midfielder Daithi Waters sent off during the penalty incident.
Five minutes later, a superb goal from Gearoid McKiernan left just a single point separating the sides.
But Cavan failed to build on that score, as 14-man Wexford responded with some of their best football of the game. Ben Brosnan pointed a free before Eric Bradley found himself unmarked inside the defence to beat James Reilly from close range for the game's decisive score.
Wexford then repelled the visitors' late surge with a packed defence inspired by Graeme Molloy.
The hosts had dominated the opening stages, leading 1-2 to 0-1 after PJ Banville's 13th-minute goal. Points from Raymond Galligan and Eugene Keating kept Cavan in touch but when Brian Malone was fouled, Ciaran Lyng tucked away a penalty on 20 minutes.
Further disaster struck Cavan, when Reilly allowed a Ben Brosnan lob to slip from his grasp, leaving Bradley to tap the breaking ball to the net as the Model led 3-2 to 0-9 at the break.
Man of the Match: Graeme Molloy (Wexford)
SCORERS -- Wexford: E Bradley 2-0, C Lyng (1-0 pen), PJ Banville 1-1 each, B Brosnan 0-5 (3f, 1 '45), A Flynn, P Byrne 0-1 each. Cavan: R Galligan 0-5 (3f, 1 pen), G McKiernan 1-0, N McDermott 0-3 (1f), N Smith 0-2, B Fitzpatrick, E Keating, D McKiernan 0-1 each.
Wexford -- A Masterson 7; N Murphy 6, G Molloy 9, B Malone 8; L Chin 6, A Flynn 7, A Doyle 6; D Waters 5, A Shore 6; E Bradley 8, R Barry 6, B Brosnan 8; PJ Banville 8, C Lyng 7, P Byrne 7. Subs: C Morris 6 for Banville; D Murphy 6 for Chin; R Quinlivan 6 for Shore; J Holmes 5 for Barry.
Cavan -- J Reilly 6; D Barkey 6, S McCormack 5, R Flanagan 5; D O'Dowd 7, P O'Reilly 7, B Waters 6; D Givney 8, G McKiernan 8; N Smith 7, N McDermott 7, S Jordan 6; B Fitzpatrick 7, E Keating 6, R Galligan 6. Subs: K Fannin 6 for Jordan; J McCutcheon 6 for Waters; M Dunne 6 for Galligan; D McKiernan 5 for Keating.
Ref -- M Collins (Cork).