Thursday 22 March 2018

Cavan overcome six day turnaround fatigue to comfortably see off Carlow

Cavan 2-13 Carlow 0-12

Paul Keane

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

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

Carlow fought gamely and there was just four 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 Geroid McKiernan also weighed in with five important points.

In truth, it wasn't a classic affair with both sides funneling 13 and 14 players back when defending until the game got stretched in the second-half.

Cavan hinted at great gains initially when they strode 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 more points in the half, and just two between the third and 33rd minutes.

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

Cavan were mightily relieved that a 15th minute Carlow goal at the other end 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 after.

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

Carlow picked off enough points in the third quarter of the game to remain just four back and firmly in the contest.

But three Seanie Johnston points, all from frees, and that Mackey goal eventually put Cavan well in the clear.

Mackey finished from close range for the goal after a fine flowing move though Cavan lost two players to black cards soon after, Keating and Dara McVeety.

McKiernan kicked two fine 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 (HT), 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: Fergal Kelly (Longford).

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