Wednesday 22 February 2017

Mackey goal sinks Carlow upset hopes

Cavan 2-13 Carlow 0-12

Independent.ie sportsdesk

Published 10/07/2016 | 02:30

Cavan's Cian Mackey runs with the ball hotly pursued by Carlow's Darragh Foley. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Cavan's Cian Mackey runs with the ball hotly pursued by Carlow's Darragh Foley. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Determined Cavan bucked the qualifier trend by making light of their six-day turnaround to get their championship challenge back on track.

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Goals from Eugene Keating and Cian Mackey did the trick at Kingspan Breffni Park, sending Terry Hyland's side through to Round 3A of the All-Ireland qualifiers next weekend.

Carlow's Brendan Kavanagh attempts to evade Cavan's Tomas Corr. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Carlow's Brendan Kavanagh attempts to evade Cavan's Tomas Corr. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Carlow fought gamely and there was just four points in it with 20 minutes to go, though progress was all that mattered to Cavan in the wake of their Ulster semi-final replay defeat to Tyrone.

Mackey's 51st-minute goal made that task considerably easier while Gearoid McKiernan weighed in with five points.

In truth, it wasn't a classic affair, with both sides funneling huge numbers back when defending until the game got stretched in the second half.

Cavan hinted at great gains initially when they went four points clear thanks largely to Keating's third-minute flicked goal. But they found it difficult after that to punch holes in Carlow's defensive screen and added just five points in the half, only two between the third and 33rd minutes.

Cavan's Martin Reilly and Killian Clarke compete with Carlow's Hughie Gahan and Sean Gannon for a high ball. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Cavan's Martin Reilly and Killian Clarke compete with Carlow's Hughie Gahan and Sean Gannon for a high ball. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Mackey got one of those points and also played in the ball from the right wing for Keating's early goal.

But Cavan were mightily relieved that a 15th-minute Carlow goal was ruled out. Darragh Foley was adjudged to have fouled his man before fisting in from close range while colleague Chris Blake had a palmed effort saved soon afterwards.

Blake was Carlow's principal attacker and covered the hard yards well, winning an 18th-minute free which Foley converted.

Free-takers Foley and Daniel St Ledger converted two points each for Carlow in the first half. But they rued those missed goal chances and winced as Cavan finished the half strongly with three points, including two beauties from McKiernan, to take a 1-6 to 0-5 lead.

Cian Mackey takes a kick despite the attentions of Brendan Kavanagh. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Cian Mackey takes a kick despite the attentions of Brendan Kavanagh. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Carlow picked off enough points in the third quarter to remain just four back and firmly in the contest. But three Seanie Johnston points, all frees, and Mackey's goal eventually put Cavan well in the clear.

Mackey finished from close range for the goal after a fine, flowing move,.

Cavan lost two players to black cards soon after, Keating and Dara McVeety but McKiernan kicked two points from distance late on as Cavan progressed at their ease.

Scorers - Cavan: G McKiernan 0-5 (1f), E Keating, C Mackey 1-1 each, S Johnston 0-3 (3f), D McVeety, K Clarke, T Hayes 0-1 each; Carlow: D St Ledger 0-5 (5f), D Foley 0-2 (2f), C Blake (1f), E Ruth, D O'Brien, J Murphy, A Kelly 0-1 each.
Cavan: R Galligan; K Brady, R Dunne, P Faulkner; F Flanagan, C Moynagh, C Brady; T Corr, L Buchanan; K Clarke, G McKiernan, D McVeety; C Mackey, E Keating, S Johnston. Subs: M Reilly for Buchanan (23), J Brady for K Brady (h-t), T Hayes for Keating (53, BC), McVeety (BC 53, previously booked), N Murray for C Brady (60).
Carlow: R Molloy; D St Ledger, K Nolan, BJ Molloy; G Kelly, J Murphy, B Kavanagh; E Ruth, S Gannon; A Kelly, D O'Brien, H Gahan; D Smithers, D Foley, C Blake. Subs: D Walshe for Smithers (44), D Lunney for Foley (47, BC), D Moran for O'Brien (61), P O'Halloran for Blake (67), B Cawley for Nolan (70), C Bailey for Ruth (74).
Referee: F Kelly (Longford).

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