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Cavan slay the Rebels to maintain top spot

Sunday, 25th February, 2018 2:37pm

Cavan slay the Rebels to maintain top spot

Ado Cole in action against Cork.

Cavan 0-14

Cork 0-11

Paul Fitzpatrick

at Páirc Uí Chaoímh

Cavan extended their unbeaten run to four matches with a fully-merited win over Cork at a chilly Páirc Uí Chaoímh this afternoon.

Mattie McGleenan’s side were full value for their victory, with a strong first half performance against the wind crucial to the end result.

Cavan were in front by 0-9 to 0-5 at half-time, having played much the better football in the opening 35 minutes.

Captain Dara McVeety’s fingerprints were all over most of what was good about the away team’s performance.

The Crosserlough man contributed 0-1 in the first half but was involved in almost all of the Cavan scores.

Cavan opened their account through Enda Flanagan and edged ahead with a super left-footed point from Ciaran Brady. Caoimhin O’Reilly won and converted a free to make it 0-3 to 0-1, after good work from McVeety again, but two Sean White points tied it up after 16 minutes.

Playing against a stiff breeze, Cavan’s decision-making and use of possession was exemplary. McVeety won a free which Bryan Magee slotted over to edge Cavan in front and although Mark Collins and Brian O’Driscoll kicked two smart point to make it 0-5 to 0-4 in favour of the Rebels, Cavan quickly took charge and would reel off four points in succession before the interval.

Conor Moynagh, Killian Clarke and O’Reilly (free) made it a three-point game and when O’Reilly curled over a beauty from play, Cavan were four up and humming.

With Gearoid McKiernan drafted into the Cavan side at half-time, the Blues started the second half well, Ado Cole kicking an excellent point under pressure to make it 0-10 to 0-5.

Cork pulled one back through sub John O’Rourke but Cavan again replied with a fisted point from Flanagan to restore their five-point advantage. The home side, though, were on top by now, with O’Rourke very prominent.

Cork began to press Cavan high and the away side stopped creating those overlaps which had resulted in so many scores earlier on. Mattie McGleenan’s men rode their luck a couple of times but they survived and when McVeety made another break and Cole fisted over, they were five to the good again, 0-12 to 0-7 with 15 minutes to play.

By now, the game had opened up and it suited Cavan, particularly McKiernan. After Michael Hurley pointed, the big Swanlinbar man burned his marker and booted over to again restore the five-point gap.

A brace from Cork sub Stephen Sherlock sandwiched an excellent 40-metre free from Cian Mackey as Cavan looked to run the clock down. Cork, though, kept on coming and when Cavan fluffed a great goal chance – David Brady did well to create it but couldn’t finish – the Rebels made them pay with their 11th point through Tomás Clancy.

The visitors were under pressure at this stage but they weathered the storm and closed the game out in impressive fashion, with Martin Reilly unlucky to see a shot cleared off the line with the very last play of the game.

See this week’s print issue for full coverage.

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