Cavan fall at final hurdle in Tailteann Cup

Tailteann Cup final

Westmeath 2-14
Cavan 1-13

By Michael McMullan

A GOAL from substitute Kieran Martin shot Westmeath to the first ever Tailteann Cup title on Saturday in Croke Park.

Cavan were 1-13 to 1-11 ahead when Thomas Galligan was sent off and it was the Leinster men who pegged themselves back on level terms before Martin’s decisive strike.

They needed a diving block from Kevin Maguire to deny Conor Madden a game-saving goal before Ronan Wallace fisted over an injury-time insurance point.

Cavan went two points in front early on through Gerard Smith and Paddy Lynch before Westmeath opened their account in the eighth minute with the first of four first-half points from man of the match Ronan O’Toole.

Mickey Graham’s side then went two-points ahead again, but Westmeath were level by the 14th minute with John Heslin’s first of the day.

It was point for point until Cavan went two clear with a McKiernan free followed by a Lynch score after Killian Clarke intercepted a Westmeath pass from defence.

Westmeath then hit the front with a goal from Lorcan Dolan. O’Toole was involved and when Luke Loughlin’s pass across goal trickled into the path of Dolan he thumped to the top corner, helping Westmeath to a 1-8 to 0-9 interval lead.

Cavan took James Smith to midfield at half time and he opened the scoring before a Sam McCartan ‘45’ after a half goal chance at the other end.

John Heslin missed three chances in the first quarter with Jason McLoughlin chipping over a point for Cavan.

The game changed in the 52 minute when a James Smith cross was punched down by indecisive goalkeeper Jason Daly and Padraig Faulkner punched the loose ball to net for a 1-11 to 1-10 Cavan lead before Gerard Smith popped over his third of the day. A Lynch point from the wind put Cavan three clear in the 55th minute.

Westmeath had a goal chance when O’Toole was through, but he shot over in the 62nd minute, cutting the margin to a point, 1-13 to 1-12.

When Sam McCartan scored his third point of the day with four minutes remaining, extra time was a real possibility.

But Kieran Martin had other ideas. We was well outside the danger zone before he weaved this way through the Cavan defence and blasted high to the net.

Cavan through on two forwards in in the four minutes of injury time, but Maguire’s block ensured the Tailteann Cup was heading to Westmeath.

Westmeath: J Daly; J Smith, K Maguire, J Gonoud; R Wallace (0-1); J Dolan, D Lynch, J Lynam; S Duncan, R Connellan; S McCartan (0-3, 1’45’), R O’Toole (0-5), J Heslin (0-3, 2f); L Loughlin (0-2), L Dolan (1-0)
Subs: G Egan for J Lynam (58), K Martin (1-0) for L Dolan (60), A Gardiner for L Loughlin (71)

Yellow card: J Dolan (42)

Cavan: R Galligan; N Carolan, K Brady; P Faulkner (1-0), C Moynagh, J McLoughlin (0-1), Conor Brady; T Galligan, K Clarke; G Smith (0-3), G McKiernan (0-3, 1f), O Kiernan (0-1), Cian Madden; P Lynch (0-3), J Smith (0-1)
Subs: S Smith (0-1) for Cian Madden (HT), M Reilly for Conor Brady (51), L Fortune for C Moynagh (66), Cormac O’Reilly for K Brady (71), C Madden for K Clarke (71)

Red card: T Galligan (58)

Referee: B Cassidy (Derry)

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


Gaelic Life is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW