Hyland urges classy Cavan to 'realise potential' soon
Cavan 2-22 London 0-11
In recent years Cavan football talk has frequently been about a glorious past and promising future, but what concerns Terry Hyland now is the present.
A balmy Saturday afternoon following an emphatic success over London isn't the most accurate gauge or appropriate time for reflection, but Cavan seem to be in a decent place.
Having come within a whisker of nudging a fancied Monaghan out of the Ulster Championship, Cavan went about their business in a calm unfussy manner against London. The Exiles were as spirited as anybody would expect a Paul Coggins team to be, but they just didn't possess Cavan's craft or depth.
Four provincial U-21 titles on the spin between 2011 and 2014 means Cavan are hopeful, and Hyland wants his squad to "realise their potential" soon.
"We have a group of players who are ambitious. There is no doubt about that. Us as a management have to provide the best tools to bring them forward. We do have to be a little bit patient with some of them.
"The average age of most winning teams are probably around the 28 bracket. We are still maturing as a team.
"We have a lot of 21-year-olds involved. We have good footballers with a lot of potential. It is up to us to make sure they realise that potential."
Five Niall McDermott first-half points ensured Cavan departed at the break armed with a commanding 0-11 to 0-4 advantage.
Lorcan Mulvey spearheaded a mini London revival after the restart as the gap was trimmed to 0-12 to 0-7 before a severe leg injury to Cavan full-back Rory Dunne meant play was held up for 10 minutes.
When the action recommenced Cavan pounced for two goals courtesy of the splendid Gearoid McKiernan and Dara McVeety. From then to the finish London were simply striving to put a gloss of respectability on the final scoreline.
Both managers agreed the delay was a factor, with Coggins disappointed by how it ended for London.
"We tried to keep it going, but we just didn't perform after the injury as well as them for whatever reason.
"Again basic errors cost us. A team like Cavan, who are a top-class team, will capitalise on that."
Hyland's verdict was similar. "After Rory went off it was a bit unusual that the team losing the player upped the ante."
In the 11 minutes of additional time London's Cathal Og Greene was sent off for a second bookable offence for a foul on Damien O'Reilly.
Despite the comprehensive loss, manager Coggins spoke to his players with trademark passion and honesty following the match.
"I thanked them for their effort during the year," Coggins reflected afterwards. "I know it ended badly. None of us wanted it to end like that. Unfortunately it did."
When asked whether he would remain in charge of the Exiles, Coggins replied: "It is too early to say. It has been five years. I wouldn't make a decision at this point. It wouldn't be right to talk about me. We will see what happens.
"It has been five years, that is something I've to look at and the Board have to look at more importantly."
Cavan manager Hyland was encouraged by how his players responded to the Monaghan setback.
"The lads were very disappointed to lose to Monaghan. We felt we were good enough. Bar maybe 15 minutes we probably were, but we didn't see it out. We will have another opportunity to play through the summer."
This particular afternoon culminated in real disappointment, but Coggins is adamant London can continue to develop.
"I told them to keep the standards high. Not to allow the standards to drop. I want them to bring London forward in the future."
Cavan are firmly focused on this summer - Hyland's budding team are worth watching.
Scorers - Cavan: G McKiernan 1-6, D McVeety 1-2, N McDermott 0-5 (2fs), T Corr 0-3, N Murray 0-1, E Reilly 0-1, C Mackey 0-1, M McKeever 0-1, M Reilly 0-1 (f), R Galligan 0-1 (45). London: L Mulvey 0-6 (4fs), A O'Hara 0-3 (1f), D McGreevy 0-1, L Gavigan 0-1.
Cavan - R Galligan 7; J McLoughlin 6, R Dunne 7, K Clarke 6; C Brady 6, F Flanagan 7, D O'Reilly 7; T Corr 8, G McKiernan 9; D McVeety 8, N Murray 7, M Reilly 6; R Flanagan 6, M Argue 7, N McDermott 8. Subs: C Mackey 7 for Clarke (11), J McEnroe 7 for Dunne (53), E Reilly 6 for Flanagan (60), M McKeever for Brady (66), P Smith for M Reilly (66), K Brady for Murray (70).
London - D Traynor 8; B Collins 7, P Butler 7, S Curran 6; M McCoy 6, C Carty 6, D McGreevy 7; M Carroll 6, A Bradley 6; S Conroy 6, M Gottsche 7, C Og Greene 6; A O'Hara 7, L Mulvey 8, A Moyles 6. Subs: N Boyle 6 for Carty (16, bc), L Gavigan 7 for Moyles (33), A Carr 6 for O'Hara (46), C Sheridan 6 for Conroy (60), A O'Regan for Bradley (65), S Devine for McCoy (66).
Ref - P Neilan (Roscommon).
Game at a glance
Man of the Match: Gearoid McKiernan
The Cavan midfielder repeatedly burst through the heart of the London defence to register 1-6 and craft several other scores for the dominant visitors.
The smart way Cavan utilised McKiernan's strength and skill. The midfielder operated in an interesting role, drifting between the lines, and London certainly couldn't cope.
Cavan landed some delightful scores throughout, but McKiernan's flick for Niall McDermott's precise 20th-minute point dripped with class.
For the second game in a row, London were aggrieved to have a player black-carded early on. Other than that controversy, Paddy Neilan refereed the game sensibly.
London's summer is over, while Cavan await this morning's draw for the Round 2A qualifiers - with matches scheduled for Saturday week.