Wednesday 21 February 2018

Reilly holds his nerve with late strike to rescue draw for Cavan

Roscommon 1-11 Cavan 0-14

Cavan's Martin Reilly attempts to block a shot from Roscommon's Mark Healy
Cavan's Martin Reilly attempts to block a shot from Roscommon's Mark Healy
Cathal Cregg, Roscommon, battles his way past a challenge from Cavan's Fergal Flanagan
Cavan's Niall McDermott looks for a way around Neil Collins, Roscommon
Cavan's Martin Reilly and Roscommon's Enda Smith pounce on a loose ball
Dara McVeety, Cavan, and Roscommon's Sean McDermott battle for the ball Newsdesk Newsdesk

Martin Reilly's sweetly-struck '45' in the third minute of injury-time earned Cavan a deserved point at Kiltoom.

The Breffni men were behind for most of an error-ridden contest but a late rally that included three points in the last six minutes procured a precious league point for the visitors.

Cavan welcome backed Gearoid McKiernan from suspension and the midfielder kicked four superb second-half points from play to kickstart his side's revival.

Roscommon, bereft of the fluency that marked their FBD Connacht League triumph against Galway seven days earlier, looked to have sneaked a win when substitute Donie Smith finished a cracking move with a point in the 69th minute.

But justice was done when Reilly held his nerve to force a draw.

There was little between the sides in the opening half, although Roscommon found scores a little easier to come by. Martin Dunne and Diarmuid Murtagh swapped early frees before Ciarán Murtagh flashed a goal chance over the bar.


The three-pointer that the home side were threatening did arrive in the 12th minute when Senan Kilbride raced in behind the Cavan defence and unselfishly squared for Cathal Cregg to tap into an empty net.

Points from Reilly, Dunne (a free) and Dara McVeety pared the margin back to a point before the Murtagh brothers kicked three scores between them to leave Roscommon 1-5 to 0-4 to the good after 29 minutes.

Another Dunne free was followed by a point from McVeety on the stroke of half-time to leave Terry Hyland's charges two points in arrears at the break.

Roscommon stayed ahead, thanks to early points from Enda Smith and Ciarán Murtagh. But McKiernan's heroics left the game in the balance entering the final quarter.

The hosts created a couple of decent chances but Cavan goalkeeper Conor Gilsenan denied Enda Smith and Diarmuid Murtagh.

Roscommon were still two points to the good when substitute Barry Reilly and Martin Reilly brought the sides level. Smith looked to have won it for the home side but Reilly ensured the visitors left with a point.

Scorers - Roscommon: D Murtagh 0-5 (4fs), C Murtagh 0-4 (2fs), C Cregg 1-0, E Smith, D Smith 0-1 each. Cavan: G McKiernan 0-4, M Dunne (3fs), M Reilly (1 '45') 0-3 each, D McVeety, B Reilly 0-2 each.

ROSCOMMON - D O'Malley 7; S McDermott 7, N Carty 7, N Collins 8; R Stack 6, N Daly 6, C Cafferky 6; M Healy 6, C Shine 6; M Nally 6, E Smith 6, C Cregg 5; C Murtagh 6, S Kilbride 7, D Murtagh 7. Subs: U Harney 6 for Cregg (h/t), C Daly 6 for Cafferky (44), D Smith 6 for C Murtagh (61), D Murray 5 for Carty (61), I Kilbride 5 for Nally (64)

CAVAN - C Gilsenan 7; J McLoughlin 6, R Dunne 7, K Brady 5; F Flanagan 6, D O'Reilly 6, R Flanagan 7; K Clarke 7, G McKiernan 9; M Reilly 7, D McVeety 8, M McKeever 5; M Lyng 6, M Dunne 6, N McDermott 6. Subs: J Hayes 7 for K Brady (h/t), B Reilly 7 for McKeever (h/t), J Brady 5 for Lyng (64), T Corr 5 for Dunne (64).

Ref - Michael Duffy (Sligo).

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