Clare let Cavan off the hook

Late Bryan Magee earns a draw for Cavan at Cusack Park

Clare 1-12 Cavan 2-9

An injury time point from a free by Bryan Magee earned Cavan a share of the spoils against Clare in the opening round of the Allianz Football league Division 2 at Cusack Park on Saturday. This was one that Clare will feel they left behind, considering they lead for most of the game and were 1-7 to 1-2 ahead at the break.

Cavan hit the ground running and scored a quickfire goal right at the start of the match. A good defensive move from the throw-in led to an attacking play involving Conor Madden, Caoimhin O'Reilly and Dara McVeety, with O'Reilly hitting the top of the Banner net.

But Clare responded well. Conor Finnucane, Eoin Cleary and Keelan Sexton's points had the sides level by the sixth minute. They had a goal of their own by the 12th minute when corner-forward Eimhin Courtney intercepted Cavan goalkeeper Raymond Gallligan's hand-pass and slotted home from close range.


The hosts kicked on from there and deservedly lead by five points at the break having being aided by a strong breeze. Cavan for their part, fielding 10 league debutants as opposed to Clare's six, never gave up though. Clare grabbed the second half's first two scores, points by team captain Gary Brennan and Gearoid O'Brien, giving them a cushion of seven. Mattie McGleenan's men replied with a brace of points from impressive substitute Cian Mackey.

Then the game was turned on its head midway through the half when the visitors hit a purple patch, scoring 1-2 in just 60 seconds to put them right back into contention. McVeety notched the goal which was immediately followed by points from Ciaran Brady and Adrain Cole, leaving just one between them, 1-10 to 2-6.

McVeety slotted over the equaliser with five minutes remaining and two minutes later Oisin Kiernan grabbed the lead for Cavan. But there was still drama to come as Cleary and Sexton restored Clare's lead with the clock ticking down. Cavan's equaliser arrived when Kieran Malone gave away a free two minutes into injury time, allowing Magee to slot over from the resultant free from close to the left sideline.

CLARE: K Roche, C O'Dea, C Brennan, G Kelly, J Malone, C Russell, P Lillis, G Brennan(0-1, 1f), C O'Connor (0-1), A Sweeney, E Cleary (0-4) 2f), G O'Brien (0-2), E Courtney (1-0), K Sexton (0-2), C Finnucane (0-2).

Subs: D Bohannon for G Brennan (BC) (59), K Malone for Sweeney (60 mins), S O'Donoghue for Courtney (65 mins),C Brady for McKiernan (69 mins).

CAVAN: R Galligan, D Monahan, P Faulkner, D Phillips, D Kennedy, C Brady (0-1), O Kiernan (0-1), K Clarke, J Wharton, E Flanagan, D McVeety (1-1), D Brady, C O'Reilly (1-1, 1f), B Magee (0-2, 1f), C Madden.

Subs: C Moyna for Wharton (23 mins), C Mackey (0-2), for Kennedy (h-t), N McKiernan for Madden (h-t), A Cole (0-1), for D Brady (41 mins), R Connolly for O'Reilly (64 mins),

Referee: A Nolan (Wicklow).