Cavan stroll to facile win over disappointing Louth
Cavan 2-17 Louth 0-13
Midfielder Bryan Magee stood up to the plate to inspire Cavan to a gritty victory on home soil tonight.
The rookie county senior was the hosts leader-in-chief as Mattie McGleenan’s men collected their third NFL point of the season.
Louth were a huge disappointment overall and the face that they scored just a single point from play after the interval was a damning statistic on a perfect night for football.
A helter skelter first half set the tone for an exciting, entertaining and high-tempo duel.
The hosts did most of the running early on with their shoot-on-sight policy reaping the required dividend.
Declan Byrne’s gem in the 10th minute cut Cavan’s lead to 0-4 to 0-2 but the Ulstermen hit four unanswered points to enter clear water 17 minutes into the game.
Louth refused to panic and, sensing that Cavan lacked a killer punch, pushed forward with intent at every opportunity.
The Wee County were actually the better team in the second quarter but poor kick passing proved their ball and chain.
For all that, an opportunist point (27) by the impressive Jim McEneaney helped leave Pete McGrath’s side just two points, 0-8 to 0-10, adrift at the interval.
Louth remained on the front foot as the second half got underway and a Burns free added to the feel-good factor in the visitors’ camp.
However, the hosts proceeded to grab the game by the scruff of the neck with midfielder Bryan Magee’s 45th minute goal propelling the blues into a 1-14 to 0-9 lead.
Louth disappointed in their game of catch-up with their ball-watching at the back and their lack of grit in the close exchanges seeing them lose further ground.
Cavan, in contrast, grew in confidence as the game wore on with seasoned campaigner Cian Mackey coming off the bench to turn the screw on the red brigade.
In truth, Cavan had it all so surprisingly easy in the final quarter with Conor Moynagh’s goal from close-range in the 54th minute all but sealing the deal.
Moynagh’s magic made it 2-16 to 0-10 but there was to be no grandstand finish from the Leinster side.
Instead, Cavan maintained their vice-like grip on the match and despite Burns’ best efforts, the hosts proceeded to win pulling up.
Mattie McGleenan’s charges continued to thrum up through the gears and Niall Clerkin’s scrambled goal (64) helped secure them an unflattering 10 point winning margin.
Cavan scorers: C O’Reilly (0-4, 3f) B Magee (1-3, 0-2f); C Moynagh (1-0) M Reilly (0-2); O Kiernan (0-3); E Flanagan (0-1); C Mackey (0-4, 1f)
Louth scorers: R Burns (0-7, 6f ‘45); D Byrne (0-2); J McEneaney (0-2, 1f); A McDonnell (0-1); C Downey (0-1)
Cavan: J Farrelly; N Murray, P Faulkner, David Phillips; M Reilly, C Brady, E Flanagan; K Clarke, B Magee; D McVeety, C Moynagh, O Kiernan; C O’Reilly, A Cole, N Clerkin.
Subs; C Mackey for D Phillips (33); D Brady for A Cole (half-time); C Bradley for E Flanagan (54); G McKiernan for C O’Reilly (59); S Murray for D McVeey (B.C 60); S McCormack for B Magee (63).
Louth: C Lynch; J Bingham, E Carolan, J Craven; S Stewart, B Duffy, A Williams; T Durnin, D Byrne; D Maguire, A McDonnell, J McEneaney; R Burns, C Grimes, W Woods.
Subs; G McSorley for D Byrne (50); T McEneaney for W Woods (50); D Marks for J Craven (55); C Downey for J McEneaney (56); C Earley for S Stewart (63).
Ref: J Henry (Mayo)