Stalemate in county final as neither side can seal the deal
Cavan SFC final
Ramor United 0-10
Paul Fitzpatrick at Kingspan Breffni
Ramor United and Gowna must do it all again after they played out a draw in this low-scoring but entertaining county final.
Both teams will have regrets – Ramor held the upper hand for long spells and defended brilliantly but Gowna registered three wides in the dying minutes and will feel they should have won it in normal time.
In the end, while it was an anti-climax, a draw was a fair result.
At half-time, Ramor held a slender 0-7 to 0-6 lead, having played the better football for much of the half, and the second stanza was cagey, with both sides squandering chances for the goal which would have decided the outcome.
Gowna started brightly and opened the scoring with a free from Robbie Fitzpatrick after Oisin Pierson was felled while bearing down on goal.
From the kick-out, Conor Brady fielded and found Cian Madden, who clipped over on the run, but Ramor got off the mark in the third minute when Ben Smith grabbed a break and curled in via the upright.
Cian Madden was proving elusive in these early stages and his run created a chance for Aaron Brady to knock over – but three points in succession before the first water break saw Ramor lead by 0-4 to 0-3.
The Virginia men were never headed afterwards but, crucially, couldn’t pull away – and they had goalkeeper Liam Brady to thank for three point blank saves.
A free from James Brady, after a foul on Ben Smith, made it 0-5 to 0-3 on the 20-minute mark; Gowna pulled one back moments later, though, when a great run from Conor Casey saw him win a free which Cian Madden converted,
A foul on Sean McEvoy at the other end was punished by James Brady and Ramor extended their lead to three when the 19-year-old picked out a clever pass to Jack Brady, who sold a dummy and pointed with the left.
Ramor then suffered a blow when Adam O’Connell picked up what looked a harsh black card and Gowna rallied well before half-time, Aaron Brady again pointing after great work from Cian Madden and veteran Mark McKeever splitting the posts with a brilliant strike from a tight angle along the end-line.
The second half only saw seven points scored but for all the tension, it lacked nothing in excitement or intrigue. Gowna, who had scored 16 goals in six matches prior to this one, almost got through for another but Oisin Pierson and Conor Madden were denied by a double save from Liam Brady.
A tricky free was nailed by James Brady but Gowna raised another white flag in the 45th minute when Pierson curled in stylishly from 35 metres to make it a one-point game again.
Back came Ramor with a well-worked move, resulting in Mark Magee driving over, but Gowna were growing into the contest. They broke through for another goal chance, with Brady bravely denying Conor Brady; a resulting free was knocked over by Robbie Fitzpatrick and, with 11 minutes to go, Cian Madden tied the game with another free after Pierson was pushed.
With five minutes remaining, Ramor hit the front again when James Brady won a long ball from Brían O’Connell and captain Ado Cole hooked over with the left.
Gowna dominated the closing stages and got five shots off but only one was on target, a magnificent strike from outside the 45 by Ryan Donohoe.
They pressed hard but misfired and after a couple of stoppages ate up the allotted three minutes of injury time, it was stalemate for the second year in a row in the Cavan SFC final.
The replay will take place next weekend, details TBC.
Ramor United: Liam Brady, Lorcan Lynch, Brían O’Connell, Matthew Magee, Adam O’Connell, Jack Brady (0-1), Mark Magee (0-1), Laurence Caffrey, Enda Maguire, Ben Smith (0-1), Sean McEvoy, Simon Cadden, James Brady (0-5, 3f), Ado Cole (0-2), Damien Barkey
Subs: Cathal Maguire for Lynch (40 mins), Gareth Mannion for Cadden (54), Killian Maguire for Caffrey (60)
Gowna: Ronan Bannon, Cormac Brady, Mark McKeever, Ryan McGahern, Fionan Brady, Ryan Brady, Tiarnan Madden, Ryan Donohoe (0-1), Conor Brady, Robbie Fitzpatrick (0-2f), Oisin Pierson (0-1), Cian Madden (0-3, 2f), Aaron Brady (0-2), Conor Madden, Conor Casey
Subs: James Madden for F Brady (20 mins, inj.), Raymond Keogh for A Brady (55)
Ref: Pat Clarke