Brilliant start for Cavan with win over Lilywhites

NFL Division 2 Round 1

Cavan 0-16

Kildare 0-12

Ray Galligan’s tenure as Cavan senior team manager got off to a flying start as his side recorded a superb win over Kildare at Dr Cullen Park, Carlow on Saturday.

This win surely ranks as Cavan’s best since the 2020 Ulster final given that the Blues have been consigned to the lower divisions in the intervening years and have struggled to pick up notable scalps in the championship.

The victory was built on desire, work-rate and no little skill as Cavan pushed forward at every opportunity, moving the ball at pace and out-working the hosts, who will be disappointed to start the year with a loss.

Paddy Lynch, the top scorer with 0-8, opened the scoring and early efforts from Padraig Faulkner and Oisin Kiernan helped Cavan into a two-point lead, 0-4 to 0-2.

Cavan never trailed in the game and with the likes of Killian Clarke and Gerry Smith chipping in, they extended their advantage to three at the break, 0-9 to 0-6.

Joint-captain Ciaran Brady and Dara McVeety raised white flags with two quality efforts as Cavan moved five ahead. The Lilywhites closed the gap to two but Cavan pushed on again, with the defence outstanding, Killian Brady and Niall Carolan particularly impressing.

Cavan will now host Donegal this Sunday at Kingspan Breffni.

Cavan: Liam Brady; Jason McLoughlin, Oisin Kiernan, Killian Brady; Padraig Faulkner (0-1), Niall Carolan, Oisin Kiernan (0-1); Killian Clarke (0-1), Ryan Donohoe; Ciaran Brady (0-1), Dara McVeety (0-1), Gerard Smith (0-1); Paddy Lynch (0-8, 6f), Tiarnan Madden, Oisin Brady (0-1)

Subs: Brian O’Connell for Kiernan (37 mins), Ryan O’Neill for Donohoe (49), Caoimhin O’Reilly for Madden (61), Cormac O’Reilly (0-1) for O Brady (64), Ryan Brady for C Brady (70+3).

Kildare: Mark Donnellan; Mick O’Grady, Shea Ryan, Ryan Burke; Kevin Flynn (0-1), Jack Sargent (0-1), Brian Byrne; Kevin Feely, Kevin O’Callaghan; Luke Killian, Ben McCormack (0-1), Paddy McDermott; Paddy Woodgate (0-1f), Darragh Kirwan (0-3), Jimmy Hyland (0-2, 1f)

Subs: Shane O’Sullivan (0-2) for Hyland (49), Ryan Houlihan for Byrne (55), Aaron O’Neill (0-1) for Feely (59), Callum Bolton for Killian (68).

Full report in this week’s print issue.