Keating shines as Cavan turn on power to dismiss Down challenge
Cavan 1-9 Down 0-5
Cavan chalked up their second successive win in the Dr McKenna Cup as they led from pillar to post at Kingscourt.
Down played with the aid of the breeze in the first half but could only manage two points with top scorer Niall Madine (13th minute) and Darragh O'Hanlon (27) on target.
Cavan target man Eugene Keating scored two of his side's three first-half points and it was his clever flick two minutes into the second half that put substitute Kevin Tierney through for a goal.
On a soft pitch and with a greasy ball to contend with, the Breffni men continued to enjoy the lion's share of possession but Madine and Ryan Boyle pointed for Down to cut Cavan's lead to 1-3 to 0-4 after 43 minutes.
Against the breeze though, Down's efforts to gain parity invariably fell short of the target, wide of Conor Gilsenan's goal or were intercepted by man of the match Rory Dunne at full-back.
At the other end of the field, Cavan had far better luck with Kingscourt clubman Philip Tinnelly arrowing over the best point of the day in the 49th minute.
Although Tierney shot just wide of the goal on 52 minutes, a brace of points from the impressive Turloch Mooney was all the hosts needed to coast their way over the finishing line with Down showing little sign of mounting a fightback.
Scorers -- Cavan: E Keating 0-3 (2fs); K Tierney 1-0; T Mooney, D Givney 0-2 each, P Tinnelly, N Murray 0-1 each. Down: N Madine 0-2, D O'Hanlon (1f), B Coulter (1f), R Boyle 0-1 each
Cavan -- C Gilsenan; J Hayes, R Dunne, K Brady; P Tinnelly, A Clarke, N Smith; D McKiernan, P Leddy; M Reilly, N McDermott, T Mooney ; C Mackey, D Givney, E Keating. Subs: K Tierney for P Leddy (h-t); M Lyng for D McKiernan (40); N Murray for M Reilly (47, BC); M Dunne for N McDermott (54); Damien Reilly for P Tinnelly (59); D Barkey for K Brady (66).
Down -- S Harrison; D McCartan, P Turley, D O'Hagan; D O'Hanlon , A Carr, M Lively; K King, G McArdle; R Boyle, C O'Hare, B McArdle; P Fitzpatrick, N Madine, E McCartan. Subs: C Garvey for D O'Hanlon (46, BC); B Coulter for P Fitzpatrick (48); L Doyle for N Madine (52); D Turley for G McArdle (58); Sean Bell for E McCartan (60); S McNamee for D O'Hagan (69).
REF -- S Hurson (Tyrone)