Patience pays off for Cavan as they overcome Laois
Cavan 0-17 Laois 2-6
Donie Kingston scored two goals in the first half but it was the superior running power of Cavan that prevailed, giving them three out of a possible four points, while consigning Laois to a second straight defeat.
Laois received the perfect fillip with a fourth-minute goal from Kingston. The powerful full-forward touched the ball to the Cavan net, after the visiting goalkeeper Conor Kilsenan was deceived by Ross Munnelly’s floating delivery.
Kingston’s neat kick-pass set up Colm Begley for a point soon afterwards but Cavan remained composed and took the game by the scruff of the neck with seven unanswered points.
Terry Hyland’s crew remained patient and despite playing with a man less in their offensive half, found gaps at will as Laois failed utterly to handle runners from deep positions. Ronan Flanagan in particular was causing carnage with his pace from a sweeper role.
Niall McDermott settled whatever nerves there might have been by converting a free in the ninth minute and he went on to provide four first-half points, two each from play and placed balls. Half-back Damien Reilly provided two more and his 13th-minute score gave Cavan the lead for the first time.
Dara McVeety and Martin Reilly also found the target before Darren Strong stopped the rot with a brilliant kick from around 47 metres with the outside of the right boot.
Kingston bagged his second goal four minutes before half time and it was a peach. The Arles-Killeen man had a yard of space and spotting Gilsenan marginally off his line, judged his looping shot to perfection into the far corner of the net with his left boot. That put them ahead but a McDermott free made it 2-3 to 0-9 at the change of ends.
Scorers – Cavan: N McDermott 0-5(3fs); M Reilly, D O’Reilly, P Smith, J McEnroe, B Reilly (fs) 0-2 each; D McVeety, M Dunne (f) 0-1 each. Laois: D Kingston 2-2 (0-2fs); R Munnelly 0-2(1f); D Strong, C Begley 0-1 each
Cavan: C Gilsenan, K Brady, R Dunne, J MacLoughlin, P Smith, F Flanagan, D O’Reilly, K Clarke, G McKiernan, R Flanagan, M Reilly, M McKeever, D McVeety, M Dunne, N McDermott. Subs: B Reilly for McKeever (ht); J McEnroe for R Dunne (46), J Brady for M Dunne (64), P Tinnelly for McDermott (67), N Murray for McVeety (69), J Hayes for K Brady BC (70+3)
Laois: G Brody, P McMahon, M Timmons, G Hanrahan, D Strong, R Kehoe, C Boyle, J Finn, J O’Loughlin, N Donoher, C Begley, B Sheehan, R Munnelly, D Kingston, E O’Carroll. Subs: E Keane for Finn (51), E Lowry for Sheehan (61), G Dillon for Lowry inj (69)
Referee: P Neilan (Roscommon)