Antrim beat Cavan in six goal McKenna Cup encounter
Wins for Tyrone and Fermanagh as three Ulster clashes postponed due to weather
Conor Murray scored 2-3 in Antrim’s win over Cavan on Sunday. Photograph: Inpho
Antrim 4-10 Cavan 2-14
Antrim’s footballers secured their first victory of 2018 with a two-point win over Cavan in Section A of the McKenna Cup at Woodlands.
It was Cavan who settled quicker on the 4G surface, however, and by the third minute held a 1-1 to 0-0 lead, Bryan Magee converting a free and then fisting the ball to the net moments later.
The Saffrons then found their feet and had levelled matters by the 20-minute mark. Indeed they could have been ahead had goal chances from Conor Murray and Niall McKeever been converted. Murray saw his effort come back off the woodwork while former Aussie Rules player McKeever blasted to the side netting.
The goal inevitably arrived on 21 minutes when Paddy McBride bundled to the net after being set up by Conor Murray and three minutes later he returned the favour for Murray to raise a green flag for a 2-5 to 1-3 lead.
Three points without reply from the Breffni men, a brace from Niall McKiernan and an Oisin Kiernan free, narrowed the gap to two before Conor Murray completed the first half scoring with Antrim 2-6 to 1-6 ahead.
Cavan narrowed the gap to the minimum within eight minutes of the restart with Magee and sub Niall Clerkin raising white flags. Antrim then struck for their third goal, Ryan Murray joining his brother on the scoresheet and the two Lamh Dhearg men combined for Antrim’s fourth goal on 57 minutes, Ryan unselfishly setting up Conor to finish past Raymond Galligan for a 4-7 to 1-10 lead.
Cavan replied within two minutes, McKiernan adding the game’s sixth goal and there was just a point between the sides with two minutes on the clock, as impressive sub Enda Flanagan slotted over for Cavan.
Ryan Murray and Magee swapped frees before McBride lofted over an insurance score for Antrim deep in injury time.
Antrim: C Kerr; C Hamill, P Gallagher, N Delargy; K O’Boyle, M Sweeney (0-2, 1f), P McAleer; S Burke, N McKeever; P McBride (1-4, 3f), C Murray (2-3), M Fitzpatrick; M McCarry, C Duffin, O Eastwood
Subs: S Beatty for S Burke (33), S McVeigh for N McKeever (ht), R Murray (1-1) for C Duffin (ht), J Laverty for P McAleer (ht), C Lemon for C Hamill (44), P Brannigan for K O’Boyle (64)
Cavan: R Galligan; J McLoughlin, D McIntyre, D Phillips; D Kennedy, Ciaran Brady, D Wharton; S McCormack, D Brady; C Bradley, J Wharton, O Kiernan (0-2, 1f); N McKiernan (1-2), A Cole, B Magee (1-5, 5f)
Subs: P Faulkner for J McLoughlin (21), Conor Brady (0-2) for D Wharton (25), N Clerkin (0-1) for J Wharton (ht), D Monahan for S McCormack (ht), E Flanagan (0-2) for C Bradley (48), J Wharton for A Cole (53)
Referee: J Corcoran (Fermanagh)
Tyrone 1-16 St Mary’s 1-11
Fermanagh 1-10 Queen’s 1-9
Armagh P Derry P
Down P UUJ P
Monaghan P Donegal P