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GLIST – Cavan’s top scorers since 2010

By Niall Gartland with stats courtesy of John Hughes @thenumbersgael

1 Gearoid McKiernan: 10-259

(289 points)

Cavan’s top scorer since 2010 by a country mile is Gearoid McKiernan. Alternating down the years as a midfielder and half-forward, he’s regularly popped up with two or three points from play. Perhaps his most famous moment has been an assist – he played in the pass that led to Conor Madden’s game-winning goal in last year’s Ulster final, but he’s way ahead of the rest of the pack in the top scorers list since 2010. That’s a testament to both his longevity and versatility, and it’ll be interesting to see if he returns for another lash at it after such a disappointing 2021 season.

2 Martin Dunne: 10-136

(166 points)

Second on our list is Martin Dunne, who scored heavily in his short stint on the senior panel (he hung around for only three years before leaving the fold). The Cavan Gaels man even won an All-Star nomination for his performances in 2015, and while it was a fairly forgettable period for the county as a whole, he drew plaudits for his performances from corner-forward. He also won a Gaelic Life Club All-Star for some fantastic showings as his club reached the Ulster SFC final in late 2017. A deadly accurate player whose intercounty career should’ve been longer.

3 Niall McDermott: 7-134

(155 points)

McDermott remains an excellent footballer who had a big championship campaign last year with his club Ballinagh. With his county, he delivered the goods on many occasions having come through the trailblazing side that won Ulster U-21 titles in the early part of the noughties. Made his senior debut in 2011 and was an important player for years. Unfortunately he missed the 2016 season through serious injury, and barring a few appearances in 2017, that was really it as far as his Cavan career was concerned.

4 Martin Reilly: 15-109

(154 points).

Perhaps we’re being harsh on Cavan here, but it says something about their lack of killer inside forwards in the last decade that another half-forward player makes it so high up the list. That’s not to discredit Reilly, who is a phenomenal talent who only recently has started to get the credit he deserves from the national media. It’s obvious from his inclusion on this list that he can take a score, but his work-rate and foot-passing is also top notch, and he deservedly won a long-awaited Ulster medal in 2020. Recently made his 100th appearance for the county as well. Gave up a burgeoning soccer career to play Gaelic, and he’s also Cavan’s highest goal-scorer on this list as well with a remarkable 15 intercounty goals.

5 Cian Mackey: 7-111 (132 points)

What a player. Cian Mackey was one of the niftiest play-makers in the game, but he scored plenty of points in a stellar intercounty career. He hung up the boots at the start of the 2020 season, so it’s a pity he missed out on an Ulster medal, but Cavan fans won’t forget his general contribution in a 15-year intercounty career (he made his debut in 2005). He was a real old-school performer who loved the big occasion, scoring a late equaliser in a drawn provincial semi-final encounter against Armagh in 2019.

6 Seanie Johnston: 4-16

(128 points)

Sean Johnston was a supremely talented footballer. He was drafted into the Cavan set-up as a 17-year-old, and soon established himself as a marquee forward, hugely capable from both open play and the dead ball. He did take a break to play for Kildare for a period, so it was nice for the Cavan fans to see him return to the fold under Terry Hyland. He’s also won a bucket-load of medals his club, Cavan Gaels. Renowned for shooting on sight, he scored eight points from play against Antrim in the Ulster Championship in 2018.

7 Eugene Keating: 5-81

(96 points)

Keating had a fairly stop-start career for Cavan, but he was hugely influential when they reached the All-Ireland quarter-final in 2013. The Dublin-based player took time out in the middle part of the decade, but returned to the fold in 2016, scoring a crucial goal in a Qualifier against Carlow that year. Faded off the scene again, but he was a solid player who represented Ulster in the Railway Cup, and also won an award for his performances with Dublin club St Sylvester’s in 2013.

8 Dara McVeety 6-67 (85)

First things first, McVeety’s contribution is particularly notable as all but one of his scores in a Cavan jersey came from play. An attack-minded wing-back, McVeety had already completed seven years of uninterrupted intercounty football by the time he decided to take a sabbatical in 2019, and his leadership qualities set him apart during a period when Cavan were struggling to make a mark in the championship. A former captain with both Cavan and his club side Crosserlough. It’s fair to say he’ll be welcomed back with open arms whenever he does return for his county.

9 Raymond Galligan: 1-75 (0-78)

It’s a sign of how the game has changed that a goalkeeper features in this list. However, it’s worth remembering that Galligan actually started life with Cavan as a full-forward (he scored 10 points in a National League match against Roscommon all the way back in 2010). These days, he’s one of the most capable net-minders in Ireland, and skippered the side to last year’s Ulster title. He’s tremendous free-taker, and memorably struck a late winner from way out the field in last year’s preliminary round encounter against Monaghan. Won an All-Star for his troubles as well.

10 David Givney: 7-56 (87 points)

A towering full-forward, Givney is best remembered for scoring a late goal against Tyrone in an Ulster Championship semi-final in 2016, bringing the game to a replay. He wreaked havoc that day, scoring two goals and assisting in another, even though he only touched the ball seven times in the entire game. He left the panel for work reasons and spent a few seasons lining out for Fulham Irish, but he returned to home soil and in an interview last year, didn’t rule out a return to the Cavan intercounty team.

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