Cavan manager Terry Hyland was happy with his side's performance in their 3-12 to 0-12 win over Antrim at a blustery Creggan today – but, he stressed, “it's only January”.
“It's nice to get a win, conditions weren't very favourable to good football but it was a workmanlike performance. The team that made the least mistakes was probably going to win today, we talked about that at half-time and it worked well for us in the second half,” said the manager.
Cavan, buoyed by a goal from Kevin Tierney in the first minute, were always leading and had the edge at midfield throughout.
“It was down to work-rate and honesty and that's what modern football is probably all about. We probably didn't win the vast majority in the air at midfield, we probably won it on the ground. I thought Alan Clarke had a very good game at centre-back and Turloc Mooney worked well on that breaking ball as well.
“I think we had three wides in the second half against six in the first half. The wind did die down in the second half, both teams scored more in the second half and that was down to the elements changing.
“The wind wasn't really on your backs. It was all about possession and not giving the ball away. If the opposition haven't got the ball, they can't beat us, so we just tried to cut out the mistakes.”
Asked what players had impressed him, Hyland said: “I thought Turloc [Mooney] had a very good game, as I said before I thought Alan Clarke played well, Eugene Keating, Kevin Tierney – we had a lot of good performances, especially in the second half. Niall Smith, I thought, also came into it as the game wore on. Look, it's about the team performance.”
A rare win over Antrim – Cavan's bogey team in recent seasons – was welcome, although Hyland played it down.
“That's probably true, but it's only January, it's only the first round of the McKenna Cup so from that point of view, Antrim won't be going home too worried about it either,” he said.