Seanie soars as Breffni men roar back and topple Royals
Cavan 1-20 Meath 1-13
Seanie Johnston returned to the Cavan colours with a bang as the Breffni men kick-started their Division 2 campaign at Páirc Tailteann.
Johnston was making his first start of the season and turned in a five-star performance as his side produced an overwhelming second-half display to see off their neighbours. Johnston hit six points, including three from frees, before being withdrawn five minutes from the finish.
Without a point from their previous two outings, the visitors laboured in the opening half and produced some woeful finishing and trailed 1-9 to 0-5 at the break.
What a turnaround the second half brought as Cavan recovered from an eight-point deficit to outscore their opponents 1-15 to 0-4, shooting points from all distances and angles with nine of those scores in the final 15 minutes.
Meath started well and were off the mark within 10 seconds when Graham Reilly won possession and raced through for the opening point.
Sean Tobin (free) and Mickey Newman from play added points before Johnston eventually got Cavan off the mark from a free.
The hosts took a decisive grip on proceedings when Eamon Wallace produced a lighting run before been placed by Donnacha Tobin for a well-worked goal.
That left it 1-4 to 0-2 and Newman converted three further frees while Reilly and Wallace were also on the mark as Meath led 1-9 to 0-5 at the break.
Tobin and Johnston swapped points on the restart before Cavan missed a glorious chance when the ball fell kindly to David Givney but keeper Paddy O'Rourke smothered the effort.
However, Givney made amends on 44 minutes when he outfielded Conor McGill and finished neatly to the net, to make it 1-10 to 1-8.
Substitute Niall Murphy levelled proceedings at 1-11 each on 52 minutes and while Meath regained the lead momentarily, Cavan never looked back after Johnson pointed them ahead on 58 minutes. They added another seven points to Meath's one.
Meath's day of woe ended with keeper Paddy O'Rourke receiving a straight red card in added time.
SCORERS - Cavan: S Johnston 0-6 (3fs); D Givney 1-0; D McVeety 0-3; C Moynagh, N Murray, G McKiernan 0-2 each; J McLoughlin, R Galligan (f), T Corr, M Argue, P O'Connor 0-1 each. Meath: E Wallace 1-3; M Newman 0-4 (3fs); S Tobin 0-3 (2f); G Reilly 0-2; D Tobin 0-1.
CAVAN - R Galligan 7; P Faulkner 6, K Clarke 7, J McLoughlin 7; G McKiernan 7, C Moynagh 8, C Brady 7; T Corr 7, F Flanagan 6; D McVeety 8, D Givney 7, M Reilly 6; C Mackey 6, M Argue 6, S Johnson 9. Subs: N Murray 7 for Flanagan (42), K Brady 6 for Reilly (45), P O'Connor 6 for Mackey (56), J Brady for Johnston (68), L Murphy for McLoughlin (70), B Shankey for McKiernan (70).
MEATH - P O'Rourke 5; B Power 6, C McGill 6, D Keogan 6; D Smyth 5, P Harnan 6, M Burke 6; H Rooney 6, G Reilly 7; E Wallace 7, C O'Sullivan 6, D Tobin 6; S Tobin 7, M Newman 7, D Lenihan 5. Subs: C Finn 5 for Smyth (8), J O'Reilly for Finn (27), A Tormey 5 for Power (51), M Battersby for O'Sullivan (63).
REF - R Hickey (Clare).