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Magee inspires Cavan to steamroll listless Louth

Cavan 3-17 Louth 0-13

Cavan manager Mattie McGleenan Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Cavan manager Mattie McGleenan Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Kevin Carney

Rookie Bryan Magee stood up to the plate to inspire Cavan to a gritty victory last night. The midfielder was the hosts' leader-in-chief as Mattie McGleenan's men burned off Louth to collect their third NFL point of the season.

Louth were a huge disappointment, scoring scored just a single point from play after the interval on a perfect night for football.

In a helter-skelter first half, the hosts did most of the running early on with their shoot-on-sight policy reaping reward.

Declan Byrne's gem cut Cavan's lead to 0-4 to 0-2 but the Ulstermen then fired four unanswered points.

Louth refused to panic began to cut the gap, an opportunist point by the impressive Jim McEneaney helped leave Pete McGrath's side just 0-10 to 0-8 adrift at the interval. Louth remained on the front foot on the resumption 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 Magee's 45th-minute goal propelling them into a 1-14 to 0-9 lead, and they did not let up.

Louth's ball-watching at the back and their lack of grit in the close exchanges saw 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, who wilted under pressure and never threatened a comeback.

They had it 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, and 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.

McGleenan's charges continued to thrum up through the gears and Niall Clerkin's scrambled goal (64) secured them an unflattering 13-point winning margin.

Scorers - Cavan: B Magee 1-3 (0-2f), C Mackey (1f), C O'Reilly (3f) 0-4 each, C Moynagh, M Clerkin 1-0 each, O Kiernan 0-3, M Reilly 0-2, E Flanagan 0-1. Louth: R Burns 0-7 (6f, 1 '45'), D Byrne, J McEneaney (1f) 0-2 each, A McDonnell, C Downey 0-1 each.

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 Phillips (33); D Brady for Cole (h-t); C Bradley for Flanagan (54); G McKiernan for O'Reilly (59); S Murray for McVeey (BC 60); S McCormack for 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 Byrne (50); T McEneaney for Woods (50); D Marks for Craven (55); C Downey for McEneaney (56); C Earley for Stewart (63).

Ref: J Henry (Mayo)

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