The first game of Sunday’s card at Gaelic Park, a junior football contest, had a goal, some near misses, a number of excellent points plus a little history. When the dust cleared Celtics used a first half dominance to claim victory in a very interesting encounter.
Celtics had a 0-8 point to 1-1 halftime lead. They jumped into a three point advantage after eight minutes with Thomas Cole very active inside with a brace.
The good work was cancelled out in a fell swoop when Brendan Reilly stormed up the middle and found Liam Farrell with a pass. He laid off to Seamus Kelly, who deposited the laithroid in the back of the net with a cracking finish.
John Keaveney and Kelly swapped points, but in the final seven minutes Celtics added a further four scores while also hitting the post when Richie Morgan broke forward.
Sam Yore had a delightful chip to put a marker on the haul. Cavan were hurt when Kelly went off injured, and they also lost Paudie Kyne for a period when he was hit with an unpunished high elbow.
Cavan left themselves with a hill to climb, and they started to claw back within a minute of the restart when Sean McGivney was in for a point.
Celtics added to their lead with points from Keaveney and a free by Gary Nugent, Keaveney’s was a clear cut goal chance, but Cavan then dominated the rest of the game.
A long run by Brendan Reilly ended in a point from a narrow angle with a screaming drive. Kyne then added a free from the right when Eugene Kyne was pulled down after a long run forward.
Mike Burke and Paudie Kyne again added scores to leave the Celtic lead at three, 0-11 to 1-5.
eaveney pushed it out to four with a very good score from play, but again Cavan attacked.
Seamus Sexton had a clear cut goal chance that went over, and in the dying minutes Shane Buggy volleyed over the bar from 10 yards. It still left two between the sides and time ran out on the Blues.
For the Celtics, Kevin McArdle made two timely stops in the second half when the pressure was on, and Ger McCullough was very effective in the full back line. Sam Yore and Derek McKenna held the middle in the first half, while Cavan shaded it in the second particularly when Brendan Reilly was relocated their.
John Keaveney was excellent at center forward and he used the space he was given very well. Richie Morgan and Thomas Cole had strong first periods too.
For Cavan, Brian Murray improved as the game went on, while Eoghan Kyne had an excellent second half. He set up numerous attacks. Brendan Reilly did far better when he was released to the middle, while Sean McGivney had some surging runs.
Seamus Kelly was a huge loss while Paudie Kyne kicked two good points when relocated to wing forward.
The Kynes joined the Molloys, Dennehys and Traynors, to name a few New York families, in the history books when father Eugene joined them on the field for the second half. The old man didn’t do too bad either, getting fouled for a point and doing a few other quality things also -- if I do say so myself!!
As I am sure it was for the fathers I mentioned above and the others in GAA history, it is a memory I will treasure. Not sure if Kevin Shalvey, the Cavan manager, will call the number again!
Cavan: 1 Martin O’Connor, 2 Michael Smith, 4 Brian Murray, 5 Eoghan Kyne, 6 Brendan Reilly (0-1), 7 Chris McCarthy, 8 Shane Buggy (0-1), 9 Padraig Kyne (0-2), 10 Aiden Connolly, 11 Sean McGivney (0-1), 12 Seamus Sexton (0-1), 13 Seamus Kelly (1-1), 15 Liam Farrell. Subs: Eugene Kyne, PJ Smith, Stephen Cooke.
Celtics: 1 Kevin McArdle, 2 Ger McCullough, 4 Eoghan Cole, 5 Cathel McCrory, 6 Danny O’Sullivan, 7 Darren McDermott, 8 Derek McKenna, 9 Sam Yore, 10 Kenny Cox (0-1), 11 John Keaveney (0-4), 12 Gary Nugent (0-3), 13 Richie Morgan (0-1), 15 Thomas Cole (0-2). Subs: Mike Burke (0-1).
Referee: Tommy Fahey.
Man of the match: John Keaveney (Celtics).