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Cavan's hard grind paying off

Darragh O'Hanlon scored a free for Down
Darragh O'Hanlon scored a free for Down

Cavan 1-9 Down 0-5: With a year's hard grind under their belts, Cavan have hit the ground running in 2014 and, having easily seen off Antrim in round one, they picked up their second McKenna Cup win over a lacklustre Down at O Raghallaigh Park, Kingscourt.

In desperately slippery underfoot conditions, the hosts were the better side throughout and led from the fifth minute, when Eugene Keating pointed a free, until the long whistle. The Breffni men were well up for the challenge, too, as was exemplified when Keating landed his second point in the eighth minute and responded with a fist pump towards the large home crowd.

A David Givney point made it 0-3 to 0-0 but Down – who kicked a dozen wides in all – managed to claw it back to a one-point game at the break with frees from Niall Madine and Darragh O'Hanlon.

Sub Kevin Tierney set Cavan on their way at the start of the second half, though, sending a rocket to the roof of the Down net with his fist touch.

Down replied with points from Madine and Ryan Boyle but Cavan quickly took charge, with Givney – relocated to midfield at the start of the second half – and Keating to the fore, along with full-back Rory Dunne, who turned in a commanding performance.

A long-range point from newcomer Philip Tinnelly was followed by two super scores from Turloc Mooney as Cavan poured forward. Points from Givney, Keating (free) and Niall Murray saw them pull eight clear before Benny Coulter's consolation free.

Cavan: C Gilsenan; J Hayes, R Dunne, K Brady; P Tinnelly (0-1), A Clarke, N Smith; D McKiernan, P Leddy; M Reilly, N McDermott, T Mooney (0-2) ; C Mackey, D Givney (0-2), E Keating (0-3, 2f). Subs; K Tierney (1-0) for Leddy (half-time); M Lyng for McKiernan (40); N Murray (0-1) for Reilly (BC, 47); M Dunne for McDermott (54); Damien Reilly for Tinnelly (59); D Barkey for Brady (66).

Down: S Harrison; D McCartan, P Turley, D O'Hagan; D O'Hanlon (0-1, 1f) , A Carr, M Lively; K King, G McArdle; R Boyle (0-1) , C O'Hare, B McArdle; P Fitzpatrick, N Madine (0-2), E McCartan. Subs; C Garvey for O'Hanlon (BC, 46); B Coulter (0-1,1f) for Fitzpatrick (48); L Doyle for Madine (52); D Turley for G McArdle (58); Sean Bell for McCartan (60); S McNamee for O'Hagan (69).

Referee: S Hurson (Tyrone).

Belfast Telegraph


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