Comfortable Cavan will have to improve from London show for quarter-final against Kerry
Terry Hyland: ‘It is a sign that we are doing things right’
Paul Gerarghty of London gets in behind Rory Dunne of Cavan to score the first goal of the game in round four of the All-Ireland senior football championship. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
Cavan 1-17 London 1-8
Cavan did what was expected and secured a first appearance in the All-Ireland senior football quarter-finals.
Playing a championship match in Croke Park for the first time since 1997, the Breffni side struggled to handle the expectation they had landed the plum draw and should coast into the last eight.
After a poor first half, during which London outscored them by 1-4 to 0-1 during a 16 minute spell, they found a little bit of confidence and restricted London to just two points in the second period.
“We got a bit nervy,” admitted Cavan manager Terry Hyland. “It was one of those occasions where everyone expected us to win and that . . . brings its own expectations on players. Hopefully the next day we will be over that.”
Kerry will be their opponents this Sunday and that will be a huge step up in quality.
Not since their last All-Ireland success in 1952 have Cavan won five championship matches in the one year.
“It is a sign that we are doing things right, but that is all,” insisted Hyland.
Cavan and London exceeded expectations in getting this far.
The reality, however, is that their game was so far removed from the two qualifiers which followed it on Saturday’s triple bill in terms of skill level and quality, that it merely highlighted the journey both still have to travel.
London performed well in the first half.
They had chances in the first 10 minutes of the second half but didn’t take them and Cavan regained their composure with Cian Mackey’s probing runs at the heart of most attacking moves.
“Our idea was to keep putting them under pressure and create doubts if there were any there,” said London manager Paul Coggins. “In the last 20 minutes, there are no excuses. We were just beaten by a better team.”
CAVAN: A O’Mara; J McEnroe, R Dunne, K Clarke; D O’Reilly, A Clarke, R Flanagan; T Corr (0-2), D Givney (0-3); C Mackey (0-1), J Brady, F Flanagan (0-2); M Reilly (0-1), M Dunne (0-6, four frees), E Keating (0-2, one free). Subs: D McVitty for McEnroe (47 mins), J McLoughlin for Corr (58 mins), N McDermott (1-0) for J Brady (61 mins), K Brady for F Flanagan (66 mins), M McKeever for Mackey (69 mins).
LONDON: D Traynor; P Butler, S Curran, D McGreevy; S Hannon, A Gaughan C Óg Greene; C Doyle (0-1), P Geraghty (1-1); S Mulligan, D Dunleavey, C McCallion (0-2); G Crowley, L Mulvey (0-3, frees), C Magee (0-1). Subs: D O’Neill for Hannon (42 mins), S Kelly for McCallion (43 mins), C Daly for Crowley (47 mins), B Collins for Butler (50 mins), E O’Neill for Doyle (59 mins).
Referee: Barry Cassidy (Derry).