Cavan blow Wicklow out of the water
Cavan far too strong for Wicklow in Aughrim
Cavan’s Martin Reilly scores a penalty in Aughrim. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho
Cavan 2-16 Wicklow 1-5
Wicklow may have welcomed Cavan south to Aughrim but this was more akin to an Ulster championship match with both teams employing a blanket defence throughout the game. At one stage in the first half, Wicklow didn’t have a single player in the Cavan half while the roles were reversed after the break.
Cavan used their superior experience playing these kind of games to easily smother the Wicklow attack while finding pockets of space for a shot when they pushed forward.
Gearoid McKiernan had a fine game at centre forward and he caused Wicklow all sorts of problems. McKiernan scored Cavan’s first two points and the visitors had 1-6 on the board by the time Wicklow registered their first score through Rory Finn.
Martin Reilly scored the goal from a penalty and Cavan continued to rack up the scores, leading 2-8 to 0-1 at half time.
Wicklow did manage to start the second half well but poor shooting meant their efforts weren’t reflected on the scoreboard. And by the time McKiernan kicked a couple of points in the 43rd minute any fading hopes of a Wicklow revival was snuffed out.
There was a late consolation goal for James Stafford, in what is likely his last game for his county, as Cavan made it into the draw for the second round of the qualifying series.
Cavan: J Farrelly; K Brady, P Faulkner, E Flanagan; C Brady (1-3), C Moynagh, M Reilly (1-0, 1 pen); S McCormack, K Clarke; B Magee, G McKiernan (0-5, 0-1 free), O Kiernan (0-1); C O’Reilly (0-2, 0-2 frees), D McVeety (0-1), S Johnston (0-2, 0-1 free). Subs: C Bradley for B Magee (45 mins), C Mackey (0-2, 0-1 free) for S Johnston (51), J Wharton for C Moynagh (56), N Clerkin for C O’Reilly (59), D Monahan for E Flanagan (61), A Cole for D McVeety (63).
Wicklow: M Jackson (0-3, 0-2 frees, 1 ‘45); E Murtagh, R O’Brien, P Merrigan; J Crowe, D Healy, S Kearon; R Finn (0-1), J Stafford (1-0); T Smyth, J Snell, D Hayden (0-1, 0-1 free); S Furlong, J McGrath, M Kenny. Subs: K Murphy for J Crowe (34 mins), D Fitzgerald for J McGrath (h-t), C Magee for S Kearon (42), D Keane for S Furlong (47, BC), B Kennedy for T Smyth (56), PJ O’Keeffe for K Murphy (56).
Referee: J Henry (Mayo)