McKenna Cup: Cavan start year on positive note with victory over Down

Jim McCorry’s side make good start but Reilly reins them in with quick-fire double

Down’s Arthur McConville goes past  Cavan’s Rory Dunne in the McKenna Cup round one game at Páirc Esler. Photograph: William Cherry/INPHO/Presseye

Down’s Arthur McConville goes past Cavan’s Rory Dunne in the McKenna Cup round one game at Páirc Esler. Photograph: William Cherry/INPHO/Presseye

 

Cavan 2-11 Down 1-9

There were no opening-day nerves from Cavan, who recovered from an early three-point deficit in Páirc Esler to run out comfortable winners.

Two goals in two minutes from Martin Reilly late in the first half changed the game, and inflicted defeat on Down manager Jim McCorry in his first game in charge.

Down started brightly, with McCorry’s new-look side taking a 0-4 to 0-1 lead after 11 minutes. However, a harsh penalty decision after 30 minutes for a dubious foul on Paul Smith swung the game Cavan’s way, with Reilly dispatching the penalty.

A minute later, Down’s Kevin McKernan coughed up a short kick-out and Barry Reilly gathered possession, then passed to Martin Reilly, who sidestepped the goalkeeper and buried the ball into the net.

Reilly’s double helped Cavan lead by 2-4 to 0-6 at the break and they hit five unanswered points at the start of the second half to effectively settle the game. Gearoid McKiernan landed a couple of fine points from long-range during their dominant spell.

Martin Reilly landed a 45 while Jack Brady and Tom Hayes were also on target as the visitors pulled well clear.

Down missed a penalty early in the second half, with Paul Devlin’s shot hit at a nice height for Cavan goalkeeper James Farrelly, who dived well to his left to block the shot.

The Mournemen failed to score in the second half until Conor Laverty’s consolation goal after 55 minutes.

Devlin’s quick-thinking free over the top of two defenders’ heads was collected by Laverty, and although his initial shot was blocked, he toe-poked home the rebound.

“You never know what is going to happen first day out so you’re always happy to get the win,” said Cavan manager Terry Hyland.

DOWN: S Kane; D O’Hagan, L Howard, G Collins (0-1); D Turley, N Madine, B McArdle; K Anderson, C McKay (0-1); P Devlin (0-4, 0-1 free, 0-1 ‘45’), C Maginn, K McKernan; C Laverty (1-1), A McConville (0-1), D O’Hare (0-1, free).

Subs: C Crilly for Anderson (34 mins), D McKay for C McKay (half-time), M Magee for McConville (46 mins), C Garvey for Maginn (51 mins), C McGovern for O’Hare (68 mins).

CAVAN: J Farrelly; J Hayes, R Dunne, J McLoughlin; D McVeety (0-1), D O’Reilly, P Smith; G McKiernan (0-3), K Clarke; C Conroy, B Reilly (0-3, 0-2 frees), M Reilly (2-1, 1-0 pen, 0-1 ‘45’); R Flanagan, B Fitzpatrick, J Brady (0-2, 0-1 free).

Subs: P Tinnelly for Conroy (15 mins), T Hayes (0-1) for Fitzpatrick (26 mins), M McKeever for Tinnelly (45 mins), R Galligan for Farrelly (57 mins), N Murray for Smith (63 mins), D Wright for B Reilly (67 mins). 

Referee: Barry Cassidy (Derry

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