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Heartbreak for McGleenan as Cavan tipped into obscurity

Cavan 0-18 Tipperary 2-15

Big blow: Cavan boss Mattie McGleenan left shell-shocked
Big blow: Cavan boss Mattie McGleenan left shell-shocked
John Campbell

By John Campbell

Mattie McGleenan has tasted his share of sporting misfortune, not least when the Tyrone side of which he was an integral part lost in the 1995 All-Ireland final to Dublin, but the week-end setback which the Cavan side he currently manages incurred must rank alongside his more disappointing days at the office.

Ahead at the interval (0-12 to 0-6) and threatening to become even more productive after the break, Cavan inexplicably imploded and thus bade farewell to their championship aspirations for this year.

Yet, bitter though the blow was, McGleenan did not seek solace in excuses. Instead, his succinct analysis encapsulated the work programme he faces if Cavan are to rub shoulders with the elite again.

"We did not step up in the second-half, we lost control at midfield, we were not winning breaking balls," conceded McGleenan. "I thought Tipperary's movement was good, their handling was slick and when we most needed a goal they closed out the house."

Cavan's first-half buoyancy, best illustrated by the manner in which Gearoid McKiernan, Caoimhin O'Reilly, Thomas Corr and Martin Reilly all garnered a brace of points, was replaced by second-half lethargy that allowed Tipperary to hit four points between the 37th and 42nd minutes before Conor Sweeney steered home a 55th minute penalty to leave them in the driving seat at 1-13 to 0-13.

Nor did their foot leave the accelerator in the closing phase when Robbie Kiely thundered in a second goal, Kevin O'Halloran and Jack Kennedy led another points blitz and the team's overall stamina and commitment proved invaluable virtues.

Cavan scorers: G McKiernan 0-3; T Corr, M Reilly, S Johnston, C O'Reilly, M Reilly, N McDermott 0-2 each; C Moynagh, D McVeety, C Mackey 0-1 each.

Tipperary scorers: C Sweeney 1-5 (1-0 pen, 5f), R Kiely 1-1, J Kennedy 0-3 (2f), K O'Halloran 0-2, P Austin 0-2, I Fahy, B Fox 0-1 each.

Referee: Fergal Kelly (Longford)

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