Tuesday 20 February 2018

Derry stun 14-man Cavan to progress to last 12 in race for Sam

CAVAN 0-18 DERRY 1-17

Mark Lynch of Derry celebrates victory at the final whistle
Mark Lynch of Derry celebrates victory at the final whistle

Orla Bannon

Derry shocked 14-man Cavan with a brilliant second half at Breffni Park to progress to the last 12 of the All-Ireland SFC series.

Cavan were well on top at the break yesterday leading by 0-11 to 1-4, but a controversial straight red card for Fergal Flanagan just before the interval for an off the ball strike on Mark Lynch, turned the game on its head.

There was only one team in it after the break - Derry outscored the home side by 13 points to seven to book a place in Round 4A.

Derry's bench inspired their second half revival with a match-winning five-point haul.

Super sub Niall Toner had a huge impact, ripping holes in Cavan's rearguard with 0-3 from play while the Breffni bench offered little as the game began to slip away.

Derry's disciplined tackling forced lots of turnovers and Cavan couldn't contain their runners on the counter-attack, their momentum totally halted by Flanagan's dismissal.

Cian Mackey of Cavan in action against Ciarán Mullan of Derry
Cian Mackey of Cavan in action against Ciarán Mullan of Derry

Caution was the order of the day and as expected, suffocating defensive game-plans dominated the early exchanges.

While both teams were cagey and probed their way into the game, there were more scores than expected in a fairly lively first half, which Cavan won by 0-11 to 1-4.

James Kielt, who was black carded for a late tackle after just 25 minutes, opened the scoring in the sixth minute before Cavan reeled off three points in as many minutes from Cian Mackey, the excellent Dara McVeety and Gearoid McKiernan (free).

Derry clearly felt they could profit from a Cavan defence that leaked five goals to Tyrone 13 days earlier and sniffed out severalfirst-half chances, but only took one.

Ciaran McFaul's high diagonal ball floated into the square looked inviting, and Emmett McGuckin beat Rory Dunne in the air at the far post and slapped it into the net in the 10th minute.

The goal had come slightly against the run of play Cavan quickly set about re-establishing their credentials, outscoring Derry by six points to one in the next 15 minutes.

Jack Brady of Cavan in action against Enda Lynn, left, and Karl McKaigue of Derry
Jack Brady of Cavan in action against Enda Lynn, left, and Karl McKaigue of Derry

Martin Reilly, a late inclusion in the starting team, scored twice from play with Cavan moving the ball at pace and working the openings.

Michael Argue and McVeety also scored from play, with a booming Mark Lynch point in the 15th minute Derry's sole score during a rocky patch.

They trailed 0-9 to 1-2 after 25 minutes before Christopher Bradley stopped the rot with a fisted point.

Lynch also tagged on a free as Derry managed to hang on in the game. Some tenacious Oak Leaf tackling and Cavan's poor shooting (they hit seven first-half wides to Derry's three) kept them in touch only four points adrift at the break.

The impact of Fergal Flanagan's dismissal for an off the ball strike on Mark Lynch was massive for Cavan.

Derry began the second half with real purpose with Mark Lynch influential as ever and Danny Heavron also scoring to reduce the deficit.

Cavan kept their noses in front through Raymond Galligan's frees but Derry were coming and coming and it seemed inevitable they would draw level, which they finally did through Niall Loughlin's '45' after 63 minutes.

Lynch pointed to put Derry ahead in the 65th minute, the first time they'd led since the sixth minute, and they had all the momentum with Toner leading their charge for a place in the fourth round of All-Ireland SFC qualifiers.

CAVAN: R Galligan (0-3, 3f); K Brady, R Dunne, P Faulkner; F Flanagan, C Moynagh (0-1), K Clarke; T Corr, G McKiernan (0-4, 3f); D McVeety (0-3), C Mackey (0-1), M Reilly (0-2); M Argue (0-1), J Brady (0-1, f), S Johnston (0-1, f)

Subs: N Murray for Argue (HT), C Brady for Faulkner (46), J McLoughlin for K Brady (53), T Hayes for Johnston (57), G Smith (0-1) for Corr (68), L Buchanan for Mackey (70)

DERRY: T Mallon; G McKinless, C McKaigue, K McKaigue; C McFaul, B Rogers, C Mullan; C McAtamney (0-1), N Holly; D Heavron (0-1), C Bradley (0-1), E Brown; J Kielt (0-1), E McGuckin (1-1), M Lynch (0-7, 4f)

Subs: E Lynn (0-1) for Kielt (BC, 25), N Loughlin (0-1, a '45')for Brown (31), N Toner (0-3) for C Bradley (48), E Bradley for McAtamney (51), L McGoldrick for Rogers (61), N Forrester for McFaul (70)

REFEREE: Eddie Kinsella (Laois)

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