Graham goals vital

 

The predatory instincts of Nickey Graham, who scored two cracking goals, and the astute management of Liam Austin laid the foundations for Cavan's impressive win over Sligo at Markievicz Park yesterday.

Cavan looked to be in trouble when they trailed by two points, 0-8 to 1-3, at the interval. Sligo, who produced some high-quality football in the first half, might well have been further ahead but for three outstanding saves by Darragh McCarthy, who kept out goal-bound efforts from Eamon O'Hara, Paul Taylor and Gerry McGowan.

However, the pattern of the game changed dramatically when Austin switched Dermot McCabe to midfield and brought Bernard Morris back to centre half at the start of the second half. From then on, Cavan were in complete control and they underlined their superiority with a string of textbook scores from play and from frees.

Two pointed frees by the ever reliable Ronan Carolan had the sides level within four minutes of the restart and then Graham struck for his second goal of the game in the 42nd minute, crashing the ball to the net after Cathal Collins flicked on a pass from Morris.

Cavan quickly established a six-point lead, though a well worked goal by Sean Davey 10 minutes from time set the scene for an exciting finish.

Cavan: D McCarthy; P Kermath, C Brady, A Curran; G Sheridan (0-1), A Ford, R Galligan; B Morris, P McKenna; R Rogers (0-2), D McCabe, R Carolan (0-4); L Reilly (0-2), C Collins, M Graham (2-1). Subs: J Reilly for Curran (25 mins), F O'Reilly and J Coffey for Collins and J Reilly (57 mins).

Sligo: P Walsh; N Maguire, N Clancy, B Kilcoyne; D Durkin (0-1), M Cosgrove, T McGuinn; P Durcan, C O'Meara; E O'Hara (0-1), D Sloyane (0-2), S Davey (1-0); G McGowan (0-1), P Taylor (0-4), E Cawley . Subs: D Kevany for P Durcan (45 mins), B Walsh for Kilcoyne (49 mins), T Brennan for McGowan (54 mins).

Referee: D Joyce (Galway).