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Close call as Cavan get over line

By Staff Reporter

Cavan 1-15 Westmeath 1-14: Westmeath's sprint finish wasn't enough to prevent Cavan progressing in this year's All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers after a cracking clash at Kingspan/Breffni Park.

In the first ever senior championship meeting of the sides, a third-quarter pummelling from Cavan had the visitors reeling on the ropes and adrift by seven points.

But the run-in belonged to the midlanders who binned their league penchant for dying in the final quarter to finish strongly.

The sides were level five times in what was a surprisingly fluid first half pock-marked by some fine scores from Westmeath's best forward Callum McCormack and a rejuvenated Micheal Lyng (Cavan).

Wind-aided Westmeath worked off the front-foot for the most part of the first half which saw them lead by 0-7 to 0-6 by half-time.

Cavan started strongly on the resumption and the visitors' aspirations then nose-dived in the 43rd minute when Niall McDermott hit the net from close range.

Cavan went onto engineer a seemingly unassailable 1-14 to 0-10 lead just shy of the hour mark but the Leinster men showed themselves to have huge reserves of belief.

Powered forward by dominant midfielder John Heslin, the visitors slowly but surely reeled in Cavan's cushioned lead.

John Gilligan's goal was the cue for a spirited Westmeath comeback and Heslin nailed his third free to leave just the minimum between the sides but Cavan still survived.

Belfast Telegraph

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