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Barnstorming finish from Cavan finally breaks Armagh resistance and seals first Ulster final spot in 18 years

Cavan 0-23 Armagh 0-17

Cavan’s Oisin Pierson celebrates after the win over Armagh with Gearoid McKiernann and Jack Brady. Credit: INPHO/Tommy Dickson
Cavan’s Oisin Pierson celebrates after the win over Armagh with Gearoid McKiernann and Jack Brady. Credit: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

By Donnchadh Boyle

A storming finish which saw Cavan kick six of the last seven points of the game secured a first Ulster final appearance for the Breffni men since 2001.

The game hung in the balance on the hour mark after Jamie Clarke had kicked his seventh point of the afternoon to leave the minimum between the sides.

However from there Mickey Graham’s men took control with the excellent Conor Moynagh helping them put some day light between the sides.

Cavan’s efficiency in the second period was highlight by the fact that they didn’t register a wide until deep in injury time, by which time they had already booked their spot in the decider against Donegal.

Cavan’s Stephen Murray with Jarlath Og Burns of Armagh. Credit: INPHO/Tommy Dickson
Cavan’s Stephen Murray with Jarlath Og Burns of Armagh. Credit: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Armagh will wonder how they didn’t raise at least one green flag in the opening half. Rian O’Neill had opened the scoring with a free but Aidan Nugent was denied a goal on four minutes thanks to a smart Raymond Galligan save.

However just a minute later a Galligan kick out went wrong and led to Jamie Clarke bearing down on goal. However the Crossmaglen man failed to hit the target. Galligan atoned for that error later into the half when smothering a Mark Shields shot.

Meanwhile Cavan, through the promptings of Gearoid McKieran and Dara McVeety, were creating plenty of chances and they had opened up a seven point lead by the 25th minute.

Kieran McGeeney called for Stefan Campbell and he made an immediate impact and the Orchard men kicked the last four points of the half, including three from Clarke, to cut the gap to three points (0-11 to 0-8) by the interval.

Armagh would get to within a point on three separate occasions in the second half with Clarke and O’Neill doing most of their scoring but they could never quite get level and Cavan moved into the decider.

SCORERS - Cavan: N Murray 0-5 (4f), D McVeety 0-4, G McKiernan, R Galligan (3f) 0-3 each, C Moynagh, 0-2 each, O Pierson, M Reilly, K Clarke, O Kiernan, C Mackey  0-1 each. 

Cavan’s Jason McLoughlin with Rian O’Neill of Armagh. Credit: INPHO/Tommy Dickson
Cavan’s Jason McLoughlin with Rian O’Neill of Armagh. Credit: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Armagh: J Clarke 0-7 (4f), R O’Neill 0-6 (4f), S Campbell 0-2, M Shiels, R Grugan 0-1 each.

Cavan: R Galligan; J McLoughlin, P Faulkner, C Moynagh; M Reilly, K Clarke, C Rehill; C Brady, G McKiernan; O Kiernan, D McVeety, N Murray; O Pierson, T Galligan, C Madden SUBS: C Mackey for Madden (42), S Murray for Galligan (48), C O’Reilly for Pierson (65), J Brady for Kiernan (75).

Armagh: B Hughes; M Shields, P Burns, J Morgan; P Hughes, R Kennedy, A Forker; J Og Burns, N Grimley; A Nugent, C Vernon, J Hall; R O’Neill, J Clarke, A Murnin SUBS: S Campbell for Nugent (29), A McKay for Vernon (31), R Grugan for Murnin (44), B Crealey for Hall (56), J McElroy for Morgan (66), E Rafferty for Burns (68)

Referee: P Neilan (Roscommon)

Cavan’s Niall Murray with Jemar Hall of Armagh. Credit: INPHO/Tommy Dickson
Cavan’s Niall Murray with Jemar Hall of Armagh. Credit: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

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