Dubs too good as they win easily in round 2 clash

All-Ireland SFC round 2

Dublin 5-17

Cavan 0-13

Paul Fitzpatrick at Kingspan Breffni

From the outset in the All-Ireland group stage, a win over Roscommon in round three looked like it would be enough to secure a place in the preliminary quarter-finals for Cavan and that remains the case following this one-sided defeat to Dublin at a sunny Kingspan Breffni.

When Oisin Brady knocked over a free to make it 0-4 apiece in the 20th minute of this game, the electronic scoreboard behind the goals briefly showed 0-5 to 0-4 before the error was quickly corrected. That, as it turned out, was as close as Cavan got to leading in a match which, while appearing tight in the first 20 minutes, was played on Dublin’s terms for the most part.

Despite the fine weather and the Galacticos from the capital making the short spin down the M3, a paltry crowd of just 9,028 turned out for this All-Ireland round two clash – and maybe those who stayed away made the right call as Dublin won as 1/33 favourites should, with the minimum of fuss.

The scores were level four times in the opening 20 minutes, with the sides recording five wides apiece. A Paul Mannion free nudged Dublin ahead and, from the kick-out, the game turned. Dublin pressed, Cavan hoofed it long and, in a flash, the visitors had carved through the centre and Cormac Costello rolled low to the bottom corner.

They almost had a second – Brian Fenton strode through the middle but his effort struck the face of the bar – but it arrived on 32 minutes, Costello squaring for Paddy Small to palm in.

When Fenton gathered a break off O’Callaghan and slotted over at his ease, it was 2-9 to 0-7 and that was how it stayed at the break.

It was a difficult situation for the home side, who were already conceding the Dublin kick-out. Stick and a slow death seemed assured; twist and it could become torturous.

As it turned out, they kept trying and it did get ugly. Having finished third in Division 2 of the league, Cavan’s championship couldn’t have started much better when they beat Monaghan by six points – the widest margin in the fixture since 1972 – and when they ran bogey team Tyrone to a point after extra time, the summer opened up before them.

But losing top scorer Paddy Lynch for the year and a dispiriting loss away to Mayo threatened to send them into a tailspin and while Ray Galligan’s men did earn some joy, particularly from direct ball to target man James Smith, for the last 10 minutes of the first half, they were gasping and by midway through the second, they were out on their feet.

Whatever faint glimmer of hope remained was extinguished 24 seconds after the restart when Killian McGinnis rattled the net and from there, the only question was how much the Dubs would win by.

Niall Scully and top scorer Costello quickly added points and Sean Bugler capitalised after good work from Fenton and Costello to add Dublin’s fourth major. Two points from Cian Madden and an Oisin Brady free stopped the bleeding but Dublin always had another gear.

When Cavan boss Galligan looked to his bench, he would have seen mainly rookies – three of the subs introduced were making their championship debuts while a fourth made his bow with a five-minute cameo last time out – and it was advantage Dublin in that regard too, with Colm Basquel particularly sharp.

Dessie Farrell’s charges kept the scoreboard ticking, Basquel registering three times, and they crowned the performance when Costello tucked away an injury-time penalty.

Cavan scorers: O Brady 0-7 (4f), Cian Madden 0-2, L Brady 0-1 (45), J Smith 0-1, D Lovett 0-1, G Smith 0-1

Dublin scorers: C Costello 2-5 (1-0 pen, 45), P Small 1-2, S Bugler 1-1, B Fenton 0-3, K McGinnis 1-0, C Basquel 0-3, P Mannion 0-2 (2f), N Scully 0-1

Cavan: L Brady, C Reilly, Killian Brady, L Fortune, P Faulkner, N Carolan, O Kiernan (Denn), Ciaran Brady, B O’Connell, O Kiernan (Castlerahan), Cian Madden, G Smith, R O’Neill, J Smith, O Brady

Subs: M Magee for C Reilly, P Meade for K Brady (both ht), T Madden for O Kiernan (Castlerahan, 46), R Brady for O Kiernan (Denn, 54), D Lovett for R O’Neill (58)

Dublin: S Cluxton, E Murchan, M Fitzsimons, D Newcombe, B Howard, J Small, S Bugler, B Fenton, K McGinnis, N Scully, C Costello, C Kilkenny, P Mannion, C O’Callaghan, P Small

Subs: C Basquel for C O’Callaghan (46), T Clancy for E Murchan (51), L O’Dell for J Small (54), P Ó Cofaigh-Byrne for B Fenton (temp, 55), G McEneaney for P Small (65)