Wicklow on way down as Dunne shines for Cavan
WICKLOW are on their way back to Division 4 football next year just one season after promotion following their defeat to Cavan at Aughrim.
Overall, Cavan were the better side and in Martin Dunne they had a match-winner of real quality.
Though wearing the No 14 jersey, Dunne operated from the corner-forward position, from where he drilled over eight smashing points, three of them coming from frees.
Against the wind, Wicklow made a bright start as Nicky Mernagh gave them the lead after just a minute and Seanie Furlong pointed a free three minutes later.
And when Dunne responded for Cavan, Furlong nailed another point from a free, but from there on, the Breffni men got a greater grip on the game.
Cavan led by 0-8 to 0-4 at half-time, but now Wicklow had the wind at their backs. Niall McDermott stretched the Cavan lead after the restart but Wicklow struck back for two points from Furlong and narrowed the gap to two, 0-11 to 0-9.
Wicklow were then reduced to 14 men as corner-back Stephen Coen was sent off on a straight red card.
Dunne lifted Cavan yet again with a point and substitutes Declan McKiernan and Barry Reilly stretched the lead to five points, 0-9 to 0-14, with just over five minutes left on the clock.
Wicklow couldn't recover and have been consigned to the drop back to Division 4.
Man of the match: M Dunne (Cavan)
SCORERS – Cavan: M Dunne 0-8 (3fs), E Keating, M Reilly, T Corr, N McDermott, D McKiernan, B Reilly 0-1 each. Wicklow: S Furlong 0-5 (5fs), N Mernagh, J McGrath (1 '45') 0-2 each, A O'Malley, D Healy 0-1 each.
CAVAN – J Reilly 6; J Hayes 7, J McEnroe 7, O Minagh 6; P Reilly 7, A Clarke 7, J McCutcheon 6; T Corr 7, G McKiernan 8; C Mackey 7, M Reilly 7, D Givney 6; N McDermott 6, E Keating 6, M Dunne 8. Subs: R Flanagan for Minagh (h-t), D McKiernan for Keating (h-t), K Meehan for Hayes (49), B Kelly for Givney (54), M McKeever for McDermott.
WICKLOW – J Flynn 7; S Coen 6, D Power 6, A Byrne 8; D Hayden 8, L Benson 7, D Healy 6; J Stafford 6, A McLoughlin 6; N Mernagh 7, P McWalter 6, JP Dalton 7; S Furlong 7, A O'Malley 6, B McCrea 5. Subs: J McGrath for O'Malley (48), P Dalton for Finn (52), D Woods for McWalter (52), K Murphy for Benson (58), J Sheerin for McLoughlin (66).
REF – K O'Brien (Tipperary).