Kerry 1-10 Cavan 1-8
Kerry took the points in the first Ned Devine Cup game with a second half performance where they outscored their opponents by five to one.
Down three points at the break, a deflected goal by Mike Jim Fitzgerald brought the sides level. They then had three of the last four points of the game to win.
The game started with off-setting points first Tomo Smith in his return to Cavan colors, and Darren Moore on the run at the other end.
Smith had the second Cavan score when he was set free by Sean Munnelly, but Paul Lambe was denied their third by the upright after a very good run up the wing.
Robbie Moran equalized on 12 minutes when CJ Molloy was fouled, but the game took a major change for Cavan three minutes later.
A long ball into the small box was won by Munnelly. The ball appeared to be in his possession as he went wide, but after consolation with his umpires, Frank Brady singled for a penalty that Sean Kelly dispatched to the net.
It was followed by a point from Smith when Lambe made a tremendous run from the back to assist, and Cavan had a 1-3 to 0-2 advantage with 10 minutes left in the half.
The fortunes were opposite in the closing 10 as Cavan added a point when Eoghan Kyne soloed out of the back and sent a long ball into Smith’s hands, but they had three wides including a punched effort from the gallivanting Lambe.
Eoin Hogan added to the Kerry total with a brace of scores, the first after a quick free up the middle gave Kerry the over lap, the second when Mike Jim Fitzgerald did the spade work. It left a goal between the sides at the short whistle, 1-4 to 0-4.
Kerry opened the second half with a brace of points from Molloy when Fitzgerald found him and Moran on 11 minutes.
Cavan then had their best period. Three points in succession, the first a long range free by Smith, before Lambe and McGinn scores again put four between the sides.
The Kerry recovery then started. Hogan with his third of the day preceded a Kerry goal on 19 minutes from Fitzgerald. The big midfielder soloed up the middle, and his pile driver took a deflection to end up in the net to level the scores.
Molloy pulled down a long ball and fisted over when he was turned on to his right side before James Connolly and Moran swapped points.
The Moran score was after the Cavan defense had a chance to clear the ball but was intercepted. Kerry moved the ball between four men before the former New York captain fisted over.
Kerry was one ahead, but they gifted Cavan a real chance when they were awarded a free 40 yards from the Breffni end line. With three Kerry men standing short the quick free went straight to a Cavan defender, but when they worked the ball forward the Kerry defense came to the rescue with Darren Courtney intercepting.
With a minute left the insurance point arrived when Mike Nester was fouled and Sean Purcell drove the free over for the two point victory.
Kerry had a number of players who performed very well. James Huvane battled hard in the full back line, while Darren Courtney and Mike Nester also had good moments.
Mike Jim was the best of the four midfielders; he was fouled constantly under the dropping ball, while Robbie Moran, Sean Purcell and Eoin Hogan who took his scores well also had good contributions.
Gavin Joyce has a very good kickout and the deflected goal gave him little chance. Paul Lambe did a lot of attacking football, while Ronan McGinley and Eoghan Kyne had positive moments.
Sean Kelly did a lot of running, Sean Munnelly and Michael Sloan were both coming deep which left a three man forward line battling against five, it didn’t work in the second half. Paddy Smith, if he gets fit, will be a terror for Cavan this summer and stood out in this outing as a pencil in for New York.