Cavan come from behind to grab draw against Meath

Meath had a four-point lead at half-time but were overwhelmed in the second half by Cavan

National Football League Division Two: Cavan 0-11 Meath 0-11

You have to go back to the mid-1960s for the last time Meath beat Cavan in a competitive encounter in Cavan and, somehow, that record remains intact.

Leading by four points at half-time, and having restricted the hosts to just a point from open play in that opening half, Meath had this game in the palm of their hand and looked destined to rewrite history.

In the end, it took a converted free from goalkeeper Sean Brennan in the 70th minute just to rescue a draw having lost the lead for the first time two minutes earlier.


Paddy Lynch put resurgent Cavan a point ahead with this sixth point of the game in the 68th minute.

Meath were playing with 14 men at that stage following substitute Ruairi Kinsella’s 66th minute black card.

Still, when Colm O’Rourke and his management team reflect on their dominant first half, Shane Walsh’s terrific goal chance in the 40th minute and the fact that Ciarán Caulfield hit the post with a point attempt deep into stoppage time, he will be disappointed not to have won.

“Very proud of the effort, just a bit disappointed that we didn’t get the two points,” said Meath manager O’Rourke. “There’s still four points to play for and that could even put us in the hunt for promotion. So there’s a lot left to play for but very proud of the effort of the lads. But definitely, you know, a little disappointed. I thought we were the better team.”

Meath led 0-7 to 0-3 at half-time and had a strong defensive platform which was buttressed by the individual displays of Donal Keogan and Adam O’Neill, a player who is developing into a terrific full-back.

Eoghan Frayne, another young talent, also set up two scores for Mathew Costello and Shane Walsh and all was looking good for the visitors who still have Cork and Donegal to play.

Cavan struggled to penetrate Meath’s defence initially but were far better after the break and while they hit a double figures wides tally overall, and dropped several more chances short, they inevitably tied it up on the hour mark at 0-9 to 0-9.

They were level twice more before Lynch nudged them ahead. The last few minutes were thrilling, if error strewn, and Brennan’s third point of the evening from a free sealed the draw for Meath whose wait for a win over Cavan at Kingspan Breffni goes on.

Cavan: G O’Rourke; N Carolan (0-1), K Brady, J McLoughlin; C Rehill, B O’Connell, P Faulkner (0-1); R Brady, K Clarke; C Brady, C Madden (0-1), G Smith; O Brady, P Lynch (0-6, five frees), J Smith (0-2).

Subs: C O’Reilly for O Brady 21, T Madden for R Brady h/t, C Reilly for Rehill h/t, R O’Neill for O’Reilly 53, O Kiernan for K Brady 69.

Meath: S Brennan (0-3, three 45s); A O’Neill, D Keogan, B O’Halloran; C Caulfield, D Campion, S Coffey; D McGowan (0-2), C McBride; R Jones (0-1), E Frayne (0-1, one free), J O’Connor (0-1); M Costello (0-2), S Walsh (0-1), C Hickey.

Subs: R Kinsella for O’Connor 49, D Dixon for McGowan 57, M Murphy for Hickey 52, A Lynch for Frayne 52, A McDonnell for Campion 65.

Referee: J Molloy (Galway).