Sunday 11 December 2016

Seanie Johnston inspires as Cavan run riot against Armagh

CAVAN 3-18 ARMAGH 0-10

Orla Bannon

Published 05/03/2016 | 21:22

Seanie Johnston, Cavan, celebrates after scoring his sides first goal
Seanie Johnston, Cavan, celebrates after scoring his sides first goal

Seanie Johnston continued his Cavan comeback with a brilliant 1-5 to stun Armagh at Kingspan Breffni Park.

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This disappointing division two league clash lacked the intensity that can be expected when the sides clash in the Ulster championship on May 29, and it was the home side who romped to an easy win to boost their league hopes.

After hitting 0-6 against Meath last week Johnston, back in blue for the first season since 2011, hit 1-4 in the opening half and the contest was pretty much over when Cavan led by 1-11 to 0-5 at half time.

Armagh settled quickly and made a bright start scoring the opening three points, all from play, in the first five minutes through Ciaran O'Hanlon, Stephen Sheridan and Micheal McKenna.

The game turned on a scruffy goal by Johnston in the sixth minute with Cavan's first purposeful attack, Michael Argue's ball in collected by David Givney and he passed to Johnston who bundled it home from close range.

The strike woke Cavan up and they hit the next eight unanswered points, while Armagh failed to score for 25 minutes.

A dejected Charlie Vernon, Armagh, after the game
A dejected Charlie Vernon, Armagh, after the game

Johnston hit four points, two from play, with Gearoid McKiernan converting two frees.

With Cavan first to most breaking ball, the home side continued to capitalise with Jason McLoughlin also scoring a memorable point from an acute angle.

Trailing 1-8 to 0-3, Armagh finally ended their scorign drought with Stefan Campbell nailing the first of his two first-half frees in the 30th minute.

But Cavan finished with a flourish with the last three points of the half to hold a 1-11 to 0-5 interval lead.

Ethan Rafferty, who came on 10 minutes before the break, was Armagh's one ray of hope landing a long-range free followed by a point early in the second half.

However he picked up a very harsh black card for a supposed body check on Johnston and with his dismissal, Armagh's mini fightback was over.

Cavan rattled up 1-3 without reply in a seven minute spell after Rafferty went off, the points coming fron David Givney, Gearoid McKiernan and a superb point hooked by Johnston over his left shoulder.

Worse was to follow for Armagh with Givney palming home a second goal following a great run and unselfish pass from Martin Reilly after 52 minutes.

McKiernan drilled home a third, his low left-footed finish in the 59th minute inflicting further punishment on the visitors.

CAVAN: R Galligan; P Faulkner (0-1), K Clarke, J McLoughlin (0-2); C Brady, C Moynagh, K Brady; T Corr, L Buchanan; D McVeety (0-1), G McKiernan (1-5, 3f), M Reilly; D Givney (1-1), M Argue (0-2), S Johnston (1-5, 2f)

Subs: N Murray for McVeety (BC, 13), R Dunne for Buchanan (48), P O'Connor for Johnston 53), C Mackey for Dunne (BC, 55), J Hayes for McLoughlin (62), B Sankey for Faulkner (65)

ARMAGH: M McNeice; A Mallon, C Vernon, S Connell; M Shields, S Heffron, S Sheridan (0-1); A Findon, S Campbell (0-3, 3f); N Grimley, A Forker, T Kernan; C Watters, C O'Hanlon (0-1), M McKenna (0-1)

Subs: E Rafferty (0-2, 1f) for Watters (25), A Murnin for Grimley (HT), J McElroy for Rafferty (BC, 46), N McConville for Forker (49), G McParland (0-2, 1f) for Kernan (58), J Hall for O'Hanlon (63)

REFEREE: Maurice Deegan (Laois)

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