Wednesday 24 January 2018

Hyland refuses to get carried away after Breffni give Meath the blues

Cavan 0-15 Meath 1-6

MANAGER Terry Hyland was adopting a cautious approach and played down talk of promotion after his Cavan charges added to Meath's woes at Pairc Tailteann on Saturday evening.

The Breffni men have now recorded back-to-back wins following an equally impressive victory over another of the promotion hopefuls, Monaghan, in their previous outing.

"You are only three games into the campaign, there are still four more to go," Hyland pointed out afterwards.

"I seen this a couple of years ago; in the last round, teams could have been relegated or promoted and I don't think this will be any different. Teams will take points off each other yet.

"We'd love to go and build on this against Sligo next week. That's our intention, I'm not trying to underplay it. It's nice to get two wins but you have to keep working at it."

For Meath manager Mick O'Dowd this was a second humiliating defeat and further dented prospects of a quick return to Division 2.

"We are very disappointed, it's hard to take really," the shell- shocked boss said after watching his side being over-run throughout the opening half, which ended with Cavan leading 0-10 to 0-1 and out of sight. The visitors tallied five wides in the opening six minutes before finding their scoring touch and they led by five points after 15 minutes.

Michael Newman accounted for Meath's only score of the half from a 35-metre free on 18 minutes.

Cavan's dominance stemmed from a swashbuckling display from superb midfielder Gearoid McKiernan, who scored three points in that opening half.

Wing-forward Cian Mackey tormented the Meath rearguard with penetrating runs, which yielded two points and led to a number of other scores as the lacklustre Royals struggled to get to grips with their opponents all over the pitch.

Newman gave Meath a glimmer of hope when he scrambled the ball to the Cavan net within 30 seconds of the restart.

The hosts eventually closed the gap to five points after Graham Reilly split the posts for his side's opening point from play on 45 minutes.

However, that was as good as it got for the Royals who made three changes in personnel at the break, with captain Kevin Reilly making his long-awaited return for his first competitive appearance since last year's Leinster final.

His presence at midfield improved matters marginally, but Cavan were never seriously tested and both McKiernan and Niall McDermott squandered second-half goal chances which could have made things embarrassing for Meath.

Cavan finished with 14 players following the dismissal of McDermott in the dying seconds for a second yellow card offence.

Man of the match: Cian Mackey (Cavan)

SCORERS – Cavan: G McKiernan, J Brady (2f) 0-3 each, N McDermott, C Mackey 0-2 each, T Corr, M Reilly, M McKeever, D Givney, B Reilly 0-1 each. Meath: M Newman 1-3 (3f), G Reilly 0-2, D Larkin 0-1

CAVAN – A O'Mara 7; O Minagh 7, K Brady 7 J McEnroe 7; D O'Reilly 7, A Clarke 7, J Hayes 6; T Corr 7, G McKiernan 8; C Mackey 8, M Reilly 7, M McKeever 7; J Brady 7, D Givney 7, N McDermott 7. Subs: F Flanagan 6 for Hayes (25), B Reilly 6 for M Reilly (61)

MEATH – P O'Rourke 7; D Keogan 6, B Menton 7, S Curran 6; C Lenehan 6, E Harrington 6, D Dalton 6; C Gillespie 7, B Meade 5; S Crosby 5, P Gilsenan 5, P Byrne 7; B Farrell 5, G Reilly 7, M Newman 7. Subs: K Reilly 7 for Meade, D Larkin 6 for Crosby, C Ward 6 for Gilsenan (all h-t), J Sheridan 6 for Farrell (56)

REF – M Higgins (Fermanagh)

Irish Independent

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