Imperious McKiernan leads Cavan's cruise past Exiles
Cavan 2-22 London 0-11
Cavan summoned a dynamic display to cruise to an emphatic football qualifiers success at Ruislip. London had been quietly confident of causing a surprise, but Terry Hyland's visitors were primed for battle, dictating this contest from the first whistle.
Inspired by Tomas Corr and Gearoid McKiernan, Cavan dominated the spirited but outclassed Exiles. Having come so close to nudging Monaghan out of the Ulster Championship a month ago, Cavan responded to that defeat in splendid fashion.
With Corr imperious at centrefield, Cavan's lively attack was provided with sufficient possession to enjoy a productive opening period. From 21 first-half chances, Cavan converted 11 points and the visitors could have added goals as London were fortunate to survive a few scares.
Corr and McKiernan's excellence ensured corner-forward Niall McDermott was able to contribute five points before the interval. Inside, Michael Argue also provided a ball-winning presence on the edge of the square as London were put under severe duress from the first whistle.
By the 17th minute, Cavan had accumulated a 0-5 to 0-2 advantage as London were struggling to create scoring opportunities. The Exiles' cause was scarcely aided by a black card for Caoimhin Carty on the quarter-hour mark.
Paul Coggins' side were honest and an Alan O'Hara point narrowed the gap to two before Cavan reeled off six points without reply. McKiernan crafted space for McDermott to kick a beauty.
Dara McVeety, McKiernan, Martin Reilly (free), McDermott and Corr all rifled over scores for a dominant Cavan side. O'Hara sent over a free for London but Cavan went in armed with a commanding 0-11 to 0-4 advantage at the break.
In the third quarter, London enjoyed some small moments of encouragement as forward Lorcan Mulvey - a Cavan native - offered a genuine threat.
With substitute Liam Gavigan also impressing, London trailed 0-14 to 0-7 before the match was held up for 10 minutes due to a leg injury suffered by Cavan full-back Rory Dunne. After that stoppage, Cavan replacement Cian Mackey nailed a gorgeous point before McKiernan returned to centre stage.
In three action-packed minutes, McKiernan contributed 1-3 on the spin, including an opportunistic 57th-minute goal. Argue's initial shot drew a fine save from Declan Traynor, but McKiernan slammed the rebound home.
London were reduced to trying to keep the scoreline respectable as Cavan continued to inflicted further damage - Argue was involved in a second goal, which McVeety palmed to the back of the net in the 64th minute.
At the opposite end, Mulvey continued to drill over frees, but Cavan were not too bothered as they easily closed out the deal.
In the 11 minutes of additional time, London had Cathal Og Greene sent off for a second bookable offence as Cavan advanced with the minimum of fuss.
Scorers - Cavan: G McKiernan 1-6, D McVeety 1-2, N McDermott 0-5 (2fs), T Corr 0-3, N Murray, E Reilly, C Mackey, M McKeever, M Reilly (f), R Galligan (45) 0-1 each. London: L Mulvey 0-6 (4fs), A O'Hara 0-3 (1f), D McGreevy, L Gavigan 0-1 each.
Cavan: R Galligan; J McLoughlin, R Dunne, K Clarke; C Brady, F Flanagan, D O'Reilly; T Corr, G McKiernan; D McVeety, N Murray, M Reilly; R Flanagan, M Argue, N McDermott. Subs: C Mackey for Clarke (11 mins), J McEnroe for Dunne (53 mins), E Reilly for Flanagan (60 mins), M McKeever for Brady (66 mins), P Smith for M Reilly (66 mins), K Brady for Murray (70 mins).
London: D Traynor; B Collins, P Butler, S Curran; M McCoy, C Carty, D McGreevy; M Carroll, A Bradley; S Conroy, M Gottsche, C Og Greene; A O'Hara, L Mulvey, A Moyles. Subs: N Boyle for Carty (16 mins, bc), L Gavigan for Moyles (33 mins), A Carr for O'Hara (46 mins), C Sheridan for Conroy (60 mins), A O'Regan for Bradley (65 mins), S Devine for McCoy (66 mins).
Referee: P Neilan (Roscommon).
Sunday Indo Sport