Cavan see off Down as both sides lose their cool

Cavan will be without Dara McVeety and Conor Moynagh in next round after red cards

Cavan and Down players clash after the final whistle. Photograph: John McVitty/Inpho

Cavan and Down players clash after the final whistle. Photograph: John McVitty/Inpho

 

Cavan 1-14 Down 0-15

For the first time since 2013, Cavan picked up a second successive win in the qualifiers but they will be counting the cost after this tempestuous clash at a sun-drenched Brewster Park.

Referee Cormac Reilly handed straight red cards to captain Dara McVeety and defender Conor Moynagh (along with Down’s Anthony Doherty) following a post-final whistle flare-up.

Down - who were without the injured Donal O’Hare and then lost key men Connaire Harrison and Kevin McKernan (30th minute black cards), Ryan Johnston (49th minute red card) and Caolan Mooney (injured) - led by 0-10 to 0-8 at half-time.

However, just as in the league match between the sides on March 10th, Cavan finished strongly and on this occasion, late points from Padraig Faulkner and Gearoid McKiernan sealed the win.

Cavan’s Oisin Kiernan can’t stop Ryan Johnston of Down getting a shot away. Photograph: John McVitty/Inpho
Cavan’s Oisin Kiernan can’t stop Ryan Johnston of Down getting a shot away. Photograph: John McVitty/Inpho

The Blues were the better side early on and eased into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead through Sean Johnston (free), Ciaran Brady and McVeety.

Two further Johnston frees and an excellent McKiernan score made it 0-6 to 0-2 but the underdogs dominated the remainder of the first half, with Harrison, Ronan Millar (two frees) and Doherty (free) all on the mark.

Eamonn Burns’s men made light of the losses of Harrison and McKernan to land the final two points of the half from Niall Madine and Sean Dornan as they went in holding a 0-10 to 0-8 lead.

Both sides were set up defensively - Cavan employed three sweepers at times - but Down were that bit slicker up front and three points in succession from David McKibbin, Millar (free) and Dornan made it 0-13 to 0-9 as the upset seemed on.

However, Cavan were buoyed by a lucky goal which changed the game. McKiernan’s point attempt dropped short and through the hands of goalkeeper Shane Harrison to bring them back to within one and they finished well, with Down’s Darren O’Hagan denied a goal by a good save from James Farrelly in the dying seconds with a point there for the taking.

Cavan: J Farrelly, K Brady, P Faulkner (0-1), E Flanagan, C Brady (0-2), C Moynagh, M Reilly, S McCormack (0-1), B Magee, O Kiernan (0-1), G McKiernan (1-2), N Murray (0-2), C Bradley (0-1), D McVeety (0-1), S Johnston (0-3, 3 frees) Subs: F Reilly for K Brady (ht), C Mackey for Johnston (42), C O’Reilly for Magee (42), A Cole for McCormack (54), N Clerkin for Kiernan (65), J McLoughlin for Flanagan (70)

Down: S Harrison, R McAleenan, B McArdle, A Doherty (0-4f), D O’Hagan, N McParland, C Mooney, P Turley (0-1), N Donnelly, R Millar (0-4, 3f), K McKernan (0-1), C Maginn (0-1), S Dornan (0-2), C Harrison (0-1), R Johnston Subs: D McKibbin (0-1) for McKernan (BC, 30 mins), N Madine for Harrison (BC, 30), J Flynn for Mooney (44), C Poland for Donnelly (51)

Referee: Cormac Reilly (Meath)

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