Cavan Does Just Enough
Cavan 1-11 Dublin 1-9
Cavan survived the obstacle that Dublin posed in this senior football championship contest, but only just.
Dublin will rue the free taking misses that they had over the hour, with at least four from scorable positions going narrowly and painstakingly wide.
In a tit for tat second half it was the four frees from Eoghan Carew that pushed Cavan into the lead, and while they lived dangerously they certainly were value for the victory.
In a low scoring first half both sides were equally guilty of misdemeanors in front of goal. Cavan keeper Gavin Joyce made a good save from Declan Reilly when the soccer star went soccer-style on a low shot in the opening minutes before Sean Munnelly finally got his side on the board with a point in the 12th minute after Mike Kennedy did a lot of work to get him the ball.
Reilly did have the equalizer three minutes later, but Cavan had a clear goal chance when Ronan McGinley hit the side netting after Carew set him up.
Carew added a 50 over the lathe, but the game then took two huge turns with 10 minutes left in the half.
Firstly Dublin grabbed a goal when Noel Coughlin started a move up the middle releasing Peter Kenny. The big midfielder carried forward and set up Mark Connolly, who stroked the ball to the net.
The response from Cavan was instant and irrefutable. Carew started the ball rolling as he stormed forward crossing the 50 yard line of Dublin as he beat a defender. He found the advancing Paul Lambe inside on the right.
The New York defender headed for goal, and despite being fouled in the act of kicking drove the ball to the net with venom.
Dublin had two of the final three points of the half and the sides were level at 1-3.
Cavan had three of the first four points of the second half, with Sean Kelly driving over while Mike Kennedy linked with Lambe and the ball carrying Mike Higgins for his score.
They could have broke the game open at the three quarter mark when a teasing cross from James Connolly was just out of reach of the charging Barry McGinn with the goal at his mercy.
Two Carew frees sandwiched a Peter Hatzer gem to leave the game wide open at 1-8 to 1-6 to Cavan and 10 minutes on the clock.
Dublin had two scorable frees go wide in the waning moments which hurt their cause terribly.
Cavan did add to their total with a Carew free and an excellent point from McGinley, who started a move and then took a return pass from Rory O’Connor to shy the ball over.
Kris Corrigan had a Dublin point on the run while Reilly added two, the second of which was a tremendous effort in that he had a lot of work to do after he got possession.
Despite loosing a player to a red card Cavan held on, with Lambe chipping over an insurance score with seconds left.
Cavan finished the Ned Devine tourney strong and now have a good start to the championship. Gavin Joyce has a tremendous kickout from a two step start. He did well in the early minutes with the timely save from Reilly.
Alan Foley, Mike Higgins and Ronan McGinley were the strongest at the back. McGinley did some very good ball carrying in the second half.
Midfield swayed to Dublin, but Paul Lambe was a tremendous worker at wing forward with a cracking goal and important point. Eoghan Carew covered quite a bit of ground, with Sean Munnelly also doing a lot of covering in the middle of the field.
Dublin will rue the missed chances, but they will have a major saying in the destinies of a lot of teams championship aspirations despite a quiet April and May.
Alan Kennedy and Sean McGrath (not Rockland Sean who was absent) battled throughout. Mark Connolly expertly took his goal. Peter Kenny was brilliant in the middle, while Declan Reilly finished very strong in front of goal.
Cavan: 1 Gavin Joyce, 2 Alan Foley, 3 Ciaran Shields, 4 Ciaran Martin, 5 Alan Carolan, 6 Mike Higgins, 7 Ronan McGinley (0-1), 8 Sean Kelly, 9 Rory O’Connor, 10 Paul Lambe (1-1), 11 Eoghan Carew (0-6), 12 Barry McGinn, 13 Sean Munnelly (0-1), 14 Michael Kennedy (0-1), 15 James Connolly. Subs: Eoghan Kyne, Paddy McCullough.
Dublin: 1 Eoin Loughnane, 2 Colm Larkin, 3 Alan Kennedy, 4 Sean McGrath, 5 Mark Connolly (1-0), 6 Noel Coughlin, 7 Paddy Lilly, 8 Andy Gray, 9 Peter Kenny, 10 Mikey Henderson, 11 Ger Grehan (0-1), 12 Fergal Power (0-2), 13 Cathal Hatzer (0-2), 14 Declan Reilly (0-3), 15 Mickey Boyle. Subs: Kris Corrigan (0-1).
Referee: Lawrence McGrath.
Man of the match: Paul Lambe (Cavan).
All About Last Minute
Cork 1-8 Kerry 0-10
With seven minutes left on the clock, Cork were facing defeat in the face after a long drawn out affair in which neither side had grabbed the scruff of the neck of the victory dog and taken it home.
To a large extent both sides had cancelled it each other out as the game painstakingly ground forward. Cork finally got a leash on life and they fired over two points from Hatzer and Kelly before Eoin McHugh with 35 seconds left had the final winning score for the victory.
The first half was a battle at both ends to get scores. Cork led at the end of it 1-4 to 0-6, but it could have gone either way.
With Kerry leading three points to one after 12 minutes the best score of the game arrived. It came for Cork.
Alan Raftery started the move deep inside his own 21 with a one-two that released him to the 30. He flicked the ball on to Gary Lowney in the middle and the big man stroked a lovely through ball into Gerald McCarthy at full forward. He turned his man and after some work flicked to an onrushing Conor Brophy who crashed the ball to the net.
Jason Kelly added two points for the Rebels as they pushed into the lead, but Kerry did have three of the last four points of the half to get back within one at the break.
The second half started very slowly from a scoring point of view. High fielding in the middle of the park, Brophy was exceptional but for both teams the final pass to the forward line invariably was intercepted or dropped short.
Cork had five wides in the third quarter alone that left them stagnant on the scoreboard. Kerry did add scores from Alan Fitzgerald and Eoin Hogan to sneak into a one point lead, but Kelly, with a long 50 cleared the crossbar easily, and Eoin Hogan’s fisted point had the Kingdom in front 0-10 to 1-5 with twelve minutes left.
Amazingly and agonizingly for them, that was to be Kerry’s last score. Hatzer and Kelly drew Cork level, and then McHugh had his heroics at the death knell.
Cork manager Liam Hanley will surely agree that they got away with this one. The backline clamped down predominantly in the second half, with Gary Hanley continuing his strong start to the season and Sean McNamee having a very good outing particularly in the final half.
Alan Raftery is a calming influence and a strong presence in the middle. Conor Brophy was outstanding. A couple of his high catches were majestic, his goal a cracker.
Jason Kelly did a lot of good ball carrying in the second half which helped to set up the recovery for victory. Gerald McCarthy showed constantly up front but was a little far from shooting range, while Michael Reneghan was well marshaled on this occasion.
Kerry did enough for at least a draw, with James Huvane, Shane McSweeney, Mike Jim Fitzgerald, Eoin Hogan and Alan Fitzgerald all prominent at different times.
Fitzgerald had an eventful day in his maiden voyage at the Mecca and looks to have all the tools to have a marked effect on the championship this season.
Kerry: 1 Shane Clifford, 2 James Huvane, 3 Eoghan O’Mahoney, 4 Kieran Scannell, 5 Shane McSweeney (0-1), 6 Mike Nester, 7 John Curran, 8 Mike Jim Fitzgerald (0-1), 9 Padraig King (0-1), 10 Eoin Hogan (0-3), 11 Robbie Moran, 12 Ross Donovan, 12 Kevin Walsh, 14 CJ Molloy, 15 Alan Fitzgerald (0-4).
Cork: 1 Darren O’Mahoney, 2 Paddy Harrington, 3 Gary Hanley, 4 Sean McNamee, 5 Eoin Dillon, 6 Alan Raftery, 7 Eoin McHugh (0-1), 8 Conor Brophy (1-1), 9 Gary Lowney, 10 Francie Cleary, 11 Jason Kelly (0-4), 12 Aiden Walsh, 13 Mickey Reneghan, 14 Gerald McCarthy, 15 Peter Hatzer (0-2). Subs: Tadhg Foley, Tom Hardwick, Brian Argue.
Referee: Tommy Fahey
Man of the match: Conor Brophy (Cork)