Division One: Dublin have too much for spirited Cavan
Kerry and Donegal play out high scoring contest as Tyrone ease by Roscommon
Cavan’s Ciaran Brady with the returning Jack McCaffrey. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
It was business as usual for Jim Gavin’s Dublin as they began their Division One league campaign with a seven point win over Cavan.
Ballymun Kickham’s Jason Whelan and man of the match Niall Scully were late changes to the starting team - both rewarded for their O’Byrne Cup performances - as Dean Rock, Ciarán Kilkenny and Co took off as the development squad had finished in pre-season.
Another late change to the All-Ireland champion’s team saw the return of 2015 Footballer of the Year Jack McCaffrey - to the delight of the travelling Dublin support who arrived in Breffni Park late forcing the game to be delayed by 15 minutes.
Their team started slowly too and for the first 20 minutes they went point for point with Cavan, before outscoring the hosts by four points to no score over the following 10 minutes to lead 0-9 to 0-5. Cavan managed two points before the interval but still trailed by four at the break.
The Dubs kicked on in the second half, with Dean Rock as reliable as ever from placed balls and McCaffrey, Scully and James McCarthy all coming up to add scores. Despite scoring the first point of the half, after Rock’s immediate response Mattie McGleenan’s team would not get within four points of the Dubs for the remainder.
Next up for the Dubs is a Croke Park tussle against Tyrone. The Ulster side overcame Roscommon with relative ease on Sunday.
An early goal by Niall Daly kept Roscommon in the game in the first half, and while they did start the second half in lively fashion the introduction of Sean Cavanagh made a massive difference as a lacklustre Tyrone pushed on and won by seven points.
Meanwhile Kerry and Donegal contested a high scoring contest in Letterkenny with 37 scores in all over the 70 minutes. The Kingdom looked well on their way to a relatively comfortable win after two goals from Paul Geaney - leading by 10 points on the 45 minute mark.
But the hosts battled back late on and were only beaten by three points in the end up, 2-17 to 1-17. Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s team being outscored by 10 points to three in those closing stages.