Dunne points way in rare win over Galway
Cavan 0-12 Galway 0-10
The history books tell us that this was Cavan's first league win over Galway since 1936 but of more concern to the two managers is what is likely to happen over the next few months after this keenly-contested encounter at Pearse Stadium.
Galway, having started their campaign with two good wins, slipped to a second successive defeat and now face a crunch encounter next Sunday in the rescheduled match against Laois which will decide whether it is promotion or relegation which should concern them most.
Kevin Walsh will also be hoping to steady the ship for a big assault on the Connacht championship in his maiden year in charge but there was little to encourage the home support yesterday that they are poised to end Mayo's reign, events in Castlebar on Saturday night notwithstanding.
Cavan, still without a goal after five league games, may have lost both their home matches but they have now picked up two wins and a draw on the road.
Their goal drought should have ended when they were awarded a penalty seven minutes from the break after wing-back James McEnroe was adjudged to have been fouled.
Martin Dunne, on the field just a few minutes, stepped forward and struck the ball well low to the left but Galway goalkeeper Manus Breathnach made an excellent save.
"The goals will come. They always say, 'take your points, and the goals will come.' We could have had a goal in the last play of the game but unfortunately it didn't come. But as long as we win, we don't mind," said Hyland, after steering his men to what was only Cavan's second league win over Galway.
Dunne refused to be rattled by the miss and became the most decisive figure in the game, finishing with 0-5, three of them excellent efforts from play.
"Martin's a confidence player," added Hyland. "He kicked a good score after he came on. I think 50 or 60 per cent of penalties are missed anyway so they're nice goals when you get them but they're not a major factor."
The penalty miss looked like it would be very costly. At the time Cavan were trailing by 0-4 to 0-2 playing against the wind and Galway pushed on to score three unanswered points before the break from Michael Martin, Damien Comer and Danny Cummins to lead by 0-7 to 0-4 at the interval.
Galway just never got going in the second half. Niall McDermott pointed less than 20 seconds after the restart for Cavan but Martin responded for the Tribesmen.
But Cavan started winning a lot of the 50-50 collisions, especially around the middle of the field, and they picked off four points in succession from Dunne (two) and Dara McVeety and McEnroe to lead to cut the margin to 0-8 to 0-7 after 47 minutes.
Comer lifted the siege with a point after 48 minutes but they managed just one more score after that and ended losing the second half by 0-10 to 0-3.
Dunne levelled 14 minutes from the end and five minutes later put them ahead for the first time in the game with an excellent point from the left and Cavan surged forward after that with Tomas Corr pointing, and while Martin reduced the deficit, Cavan wrapped up the victory with a long-range free from Martin Reilly.
"We weren't as dominant as we have been in the last number of games. But you'll have those days. Some fellas will have off days. Unfortunately, it was one of those days for us," said Galway manager Kevin Walsh.
His side managed just four points from play over the 70 minutes, with seven wides to Cavan's three not helping their cause.
"We probably didn't play well enough to win. We're on four points, we have to deal with it and I'm sure there's going to be a battle for up and down in this league. It's disappointing to lose a home game," added Walsh.
Man of the Match: Martin Dunne
Scorers - Galway: M Martin 0-4 (0-4f), D Comer 0-3 (1f, 1 '45), P Conroy 0-2 (1f), D Cummins 0-1. Cavan: M Dunne 0-5 (2f); M Reilly (f), J McEnroe, T Corr, G McKiernan, N McDermott, D McVeety, J Brady 0-1 each.
Galway - M Breathnach 7; J Duane 6, F Hanley 7, C Sweeney 6; P Varley 7, G Bradshaw 6, G O'Donnell 6; F Ó Curraoin 6, E Tierney 6; D Comer 7, P Conroy 6, S Denvir 6; M Martin 7, A Varley 5, D Cummins 6. Subs: E Hoare 5 for A Varley (54), S Walsh 6 for Denvir (61).
Cavan - C Gilsenan 7; J McLoughlin 6, R Flanagan 6, R Dunne 7; J McEnroe 7, F Flanagan 6, K Brady 5; T Corr 7, G McKiernan 7; N McDermott 7, D McVeety 6, M Reilly 7; C Mackey 7, C Moynagh 6, J Brady 6. Subs: M Dunne 8 for K Brady (23), B Fitzpatrick 6 for J Brady (51), N Murray 6 for R Flanagan (66, BC), C Conroy 5 for Moynagh (70), P Smith 5 for Reilly (70).
ref - M Deegan (Laois)