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UUJ keep their cool to edge Cavan

Cavan 0-10 - UUJ 1-08

By Paul Fitzpatrick

A gutsy performance from a physically strong and well-drilled UUJ side saw them overcome Cavan in freezing conditions at Breffni Park.

The students were more composed in possession throughout and looked much sharper early on as points from Ronan O'Neill, Frank Burns and Cillian O'Connor helped them into an early 0-4 to 0-1 lead.

They pulled further clear when Mayo star O'Connor blasted a 16th-minute penalty to the roof of the Cavan net and when the two-time Young Player of the Year added a free, the visitors were six points up and cruising.

To their credit, Cavan knuckled down and points from debutant Enda O'Reilly and Martin Reilly dragged them back to within four at the break, 1-6 to 0-5.

Scores dried up as a heavy rain shower turned to sleet and then snow midway through the second half. Three points from the in-form Reilly and one from O'Reilly either side of another O'Connor effort saw Cavan move within two.

However, despite Terry Hyland's charges hitting the upright three times over the 70 minutes, UUJ were just about the better side and deservedly hung on, with Jack Brady coming closest for the Blues.

On the evidence of this performance, UUJ - backboned by the likes of Down's Caolán Mooney, Antrim's Niall McKeever and Tyrone's Mattie Donnelly, and with Kieran Hughes of Monaghan an unused sub and Cavan's Killian Clarke lining out for his own county on the night - look like they will take a lot of beating when the Sigerson Cup comes around.

Belfast Telegraph

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