13-man Cavan see off Louth to continue promotion push

Ger Brennan’s side lose a third league game by a single point and now face relegation battle

NFL Division Two: Louth 3-9 Cavan 2-13

Thirteen-man Cavan held on to secure the two points on offer against Louth in Páirc Mhuire, with the result leaving the Ulster side in line for a promotion tilt, while Ger Brennan’s men suffered their third one-point defeat and fall into a relegation battle.

Raymond Galligan’s side dominated the third quarter, starting just two minutes into the second half when James Smith scored his first goal for Cavan. In the direct aftermath of some generous celebrating, Louth lost Ciarán Downey to a straight red card.

Galligan’s side had built up a six-point lead at that point and the game would turn into a niggly yet entertaining, error-strung affair. Paddy Lynch displayed his class and his last free for Cavan would turn out to be the winner.

Adding to the hustle and bustle of the encounter, goalscorer Smith and Oisín Brady both picked up two yellow cards apiece and that indiscipline nearly cost Cavan.


Louth talisman Sam Mulroy found the net in the opening half from a penalty and added his second in the midst of Cavan’s lack of focus. Louth led 2-3 to 1-5 at half-time against the wind, with Ryan Burns continuing his fine form this season his side’s second goal.

A concession of a soft opening goal put Louth on the back foot when Gerard Smith intercepted and blasted past Niall McDonnell.

Louth responded, and with Ciarán Keenan exceptional in the second period on his home club pitch in Ardee, the game looked to be following the same pattern as the first.

Louth looked to have sneaked it, but Cavan showed why they are on the upward trajectory by getting on the right side of the result for the second week running.

LOUTH: Niall McDonnell; Donal McKenny, Dermot Campbell, Peter Lynch; Leonard Grey, Anthony Williams, Conall McKeever; Conor Early, Tommy Durnin (0-1); Paul Mathews, Ciarán Keenan (0-2), Conor Grimes (0-2); Ryan Burns (1-0), Sam Mulroy (2-2, 1-0 pen, 0-2f), Ciarán Downey (0-1).

Subs: Tom Jackson (0-1) for Mathews (44 mins), Niall Sharkey for Grey (57), Conall McCaul for Early (62), Ciarán Murphy for Williams (62), Kyle McElroy for Burns (68).

CAVAN: Gary O’Rourke; Jason McLoughlin, Killian Brady, Oisín Kiernan; Pádraig Faulkner, Niall Carolan, Brian O’Connell; Killian Clarke, James Smith (1-0); Ciarán Brady, Cian Madden (0-2), Gerard Smith (1-0); Caoimhín O’Reilly (0-2, 0-1m), Paddy Lynch (0-8, 0-6f, 0-1 45), Oisín Brady.

Subs: Cian Reilly for Kiernan, Cormac O’Reilly 0-1 for C O’Reilly (both h-t), Conor Rehill for K Clarke (62 mins), Ryan O’Neill for Madden (64).

Referee: Niall Cullen (Fermanagh).

  • See our new project Common Ground, Evolving Islands: Ireland & Britain
  • Sign up for push alerts and have the best news, analysis and comment delivered directly to your phone
  • Find The Irish Times on WhatsApp and stay up to date
  • Our In The News podcast is now published daily – Find the latest episode here