Late Cavan flourish ends Exiles' journey
CAVAN 1-17 LONDON 1-8
Terry Hyland's men left it late to move into fifth gear at Croke Park yesterday afternoon, but when they did they showed class – kicking a flurry of super points and finishing off with a well-worked goal to secure an All-Ireland quarter-final spot.
London gave an excellent account of themselves and though ultimately their magical summer journey has come to an end, what a place to end it and what an unforgettable journey it was.
Although the game was the first in yesterday's triple-header, support at HQ was strong and it didn't take long for the crowd to get excited. After just two minutes Hawk-Eye was called into action when Cian Mackey's shot was given a second look before being waved wide.
London reacted well to the stoppage and soon after opened the scoring with a point from Cathal Magee. However, Cavan quickly began to dominate and were unlucky not to score two goals when Mackey's shot was expertly stopped by goalkeeper Declan Traynor and then Jack Brady's attempt skidded narrowly past the post.
Although they wasted those opportunities Cavan still managed to get ahead and with 15 minutes on the clock they led 0-6 to 0-1 courtesy of four points from Martin Dunne's accurate boot.
Former Cavan player Lorcan Mulvey was cool and collected when his time came to take a free for his adopted 'county'. The Butlersbridge man has starred for the Exiles this season, scoring the deciding goal against Sligo and seven points in the Connacht final against Mayo.
Just when it seemed like Cavan had established a firm grasp on the game London pounced with Paul Geraghty, who was selected at midfield but had moved in to full-forward allowing Mulvey to roam around the middle, slipping the ball past Alan O'Mara and into the back of the net to leave one point between the teams.
Cavan hit back with a point but their concentration slipped and a series of errors ensued, allowing Ciaran McCallion to slot over two points and tie the game. Further scores were exchanged before the break to leave the sides level at 1-6 to 0-9 at half-time.
Cavan's experience started to show in the second half. However, London were in no mood to be run over and they hung on gamely in the third quarter – helped somewhat by Eugene Keating missing an open goal.
Although Cavan are a young side they aren't short of ability, especially when it comes to putting points on the board, but they left it late to show it, tacking on a quick succession of points in the last 10 minutes to finally pull away.
They topped off their performance with a well-taken goal by sub Niall McDermott, who worked hard to get the score following a nice one-two with playmaker Mackey.
Scorers – Cavan: M Dunne 0-6 (4f), N McDermott 1-0, D Givney 0-3, E Keating (1f), T Corr, F Flanagan 0-2 each, M Reilly, C Mackey 0-1 each. London: P Geraghty 1-1, L Mulvey 0-3 (3f), C McCallion 0-2, C Doyle, C Magee 0-1 each.
Cavan: A O'Mara; T Corr, R Dunne, K Clarke; J McEnroe, A Clarke, R Flanagan; D O'Reilly, D Givney; C Mackey, J Brady, F Flanagan; M Reilly, M Dunne, E Keating. Subs: D McVitty for J McEnroe (47), J Mc Loughlin for t Corr (58) N McDermott for J Brady (60), K Brady for F Flanagan (65).
London: D Traynor; P Butler, S Curran, D McGreevy; S Hannon, A Gaughan, C Og Greene; C Doyle, P Geraghty; S Mulligan, D Dunleavey, C McCallion; G Crowley, L Mulvey, C Magee. Subs: D O'Neill for S Hannon (42), S Kelly for P C McCallion (42), C Daly for G Crowely (46), B Collins for P Butler (49), E O'Neill for C Doyle (58).
Referee: B Cassidy (Derry)