Cavan 1-17 Tyrone 0-5
Cavan produced a superb display to secure a comprehensive win over an experimental Tyrone side in the McKenna Cup at Kingspan Breffni Park last night.
The All Ireland champions have only returned from a team holiday in Florida and it showed against a highly motivated Cavan side who no doubt have more preparation done at this early stage of the season.
The visitors started with only four players who helped them win the Sam Maguire Cup last year with Footballer of the year Kieran McGeary and team Captain Paudie Hampsey among them on a night when they had six debutants on the first fifteen.
It was the home side who completely dominated the opening period and they were full value for their 1-9 to 0-2 interval advantage. Corner forward Cormac O’Reilly opened the scoring inside sixty seconds and after a poor kick out Gerard Smith doubled Cavan’s advantage.
Tyrone opened their account in the 4th minute through Michael Conroy but with James Smith, Killian Clarke and Gearoid McKiernan already getting to grips around the middle third of the field it was Cavan who were in the ascendency.
Paddy Lynch, McKiernan, O’Reilly and Oisin Brady all weighed in with quality scores while keeper Raymond Galligan nailed a monster free from 48m out. Tyrone’s only response came from a Darren McCurry free as Cavan led 0-8 to 0-2 at the first water break.
On the restart Cavan wasted two good chances to increase their lead but the visitors were off target well with the normally reliable McCurry posting a trio of wides in a row. In the 33rd minute the hosts grabbed a goal when a long delivery in from Jason McLoughlin saw Lynch take a mark but he had the presence of mind to offload to McKiernan who fired low past keeper Lorca Quinn. Lynch then had the final say of the half from a free to leave Cavan well on top.
There was no let up from the hosts on the restart as they continued to dictate the pace of the game despite Tyrone introducing Conn Kilpatrick and Conor Meyer from the bench. Jason McLoughlin, McKiernan and Lynch tagged on scores and things got worse for Tyrone when Richard Donnelly collected a second yellow card.
At one stage they were down to 13 when Rory Brennan was black carded as Cavan won with plenty to spare to leave Tyrone staring at an exit from the competition at the group stage.
Cavan: R Galligan (0-1, 1F), E Finnegan, P Faulkner (0-1), K Brady, J McLoughlin (0-1), Chris Conroy, O Kiernan, J Smith, K Clarke, G Smith (0-2), G McKiernan (1-4, 1F, 1M), O Brady (0-1), C O’Reilly (0-2), P Lynch (0-4,1F), C Madden. Subs: C O’ Reilly for O ‘Reilly, C Moynagh for Finnegan, N Murray for Smith, S Smith(0-1) for O Brady, B Kelly for K Brady, L Brady for Galligan, R O’Neill for Madden, M Argue for Clarke, F O’Reilly for Lynch, P Smith for McKiernan
Tyrone: L Quinn, L Rafferty, C Quinn, P Hampsey, S Hamill, R Brennan, P Harte, R Donnelly, J Oguz, N Donnelly, K McGeary, T Carney, D McCurry(0-2, 2F), M Conroy(0-1), L Brennan (0-1). Subs: C Kilpatrick for Conroy, C Meyer for Carney, S Loughran (0-1) for Hamill, C Grimes for Rafferty, P Herron for Donnelly, M Murnaghan for McGeary, R Donnelly for C Quinn, M McKernan for Hampsey
Referee: K Faloon, Armagh