Gearoid McKiernan hits 1-6 as Cavan dismantle London

Midfielder was outstanding in one-sided contest at Ruislip

London 0-11 Cavan 2-22

For 10 minutes after Saturday’s round 1A qualifier at Ruislip London’s players stood attentively in a huddle as Paul Coggins delivered a typically passionate speech. League or Championship win, lose or draw that is simply what Coggins does. The Roscommon native has brought London to places they would never even have imagined a decade ago.

“I thanked them for their effort during the year,” Coggins reflected afterwards. “I know it ended badly. None of us wanted it to end like that. Unfortunately it did.”

In the glory summer of 2013 London contested a Connacht final and even got a spin out at Croke Park so this defeat cut Coggins to the core. Ultimately London were outclassed by a nimble Cavan outfit, who governed this game from start to finish.


Trailing 0-11 to 0-5 at the interval London rallied briefly in the third quarter before Cavan replied with goals from the splendid Gearoid McKiernan and Dara McVeety.

Coggins located some crumbs of comfort. “I thought the performance in the second half was a lot better obviously. We got right up there. We were only five behind at one stage.”

Following a severe leg injury suffered by Rory Dunne which necessitated a 10 minute delay McKiernan and McVeety's majors ensured the closing stages were devoid of any suspense. London had Cathal Og Greene sent off for a second bookable offence in stoppage time for a foul on Damien O'Reilly, and Cavan manager Terry Hyland was satisfied with how his team responded to the Ulster Championship reversal to Monaghan.

“The lads were very disappointed to lose to Monaghan,” Hyland acknowledged. “We felt we were good enough. Bar maybe 15 minutes we probably were, but we didn’t see it out.”

Having gleaned four Ulster under-21 titles on the spin between 2011 and 2014 Hyland accepts that Cavan’s panel is well stocked with decent footballers. “We have a group of players who are ambitious. There is no doubt about that. Us as a management have to provide the best tools to bring them forward. We do have to be a little bit patient with some of them.

“The average age of most winning teams are probably around 28 bracket. We are still maturing as a team. We have a lot of 21 year olds involved. We have good footballers with a lot of potential. It is up to us to make sure they realise that potential.”

Cavan: R Galligan; J McLoughlin, R Dunne, K Clarke; C Brady, F Flanagan, D O'Reilly; T Corr (0-03) G McKiernan (1-6); D McVeety (1-2), N Murray (0-1), M Reilly (0-1, f); R Flanagan, M Argue, N McDermott (0-5, 2fs). Subs: C Mackey (0-1) for Clarke (11 mins), J McEnroe for Dunne (53 mins), E Reilly (0-1) for Flanagan (60 mins), M McKeever (0-1) for Brady (66 mins), P Smith for M Reilly (66 mins), K Brady for Murray (70 Mins).

London: D Traynor; B Collins, P Butler, S Curran; M McCoy, C Carty, D McGreevy (0-1); M Carroll, A Bradley; S Conroy, M Gottsche, C Og Greene; A O'Hara (0-3, 1f), L Mulvey (0-6, 4fs), A Moyles. Subs: N Boyle for Carty (16 mins, bc), L Gavigan (0-1) for Moyles (33 mins), A Carr for O'Hara (46 mins), C Sheridan for Conroy (60 mins), A O'Regan for Bradley (65 mins), S Devine for McCoy (66 mins).

Referee: P Neilan (Roscommon).