Cavan net Ulster win in dramatic finale

Ulster SFC

Cavan 3-12 Monaghan 1-12

By Michael McMullan

A RAMPANT Cavan advanced to the last eight in Ulster with a dramatic victory over Monaghan thanks to three goals on Sunday in Clones.

It was Gerard Smith’s 76th minute goal that shot an energetic Cavan side into a 2-11 to 1-12 lead they never lost.

With the wind at their backs, Monaghan were off the mark in the fourth minute from a Conor McManus frees.

It was tit for tat with Paddy Lynch – who kicked all of Cavan’s first half scores – on target at the other end. The sides were level four times in the first half with goal opportunities at either end.

The first fell to the home side when Kevin Loughran was denied by Gary O’Rourke who also got a leg to Jack McCarron’s rebound.

Within seconds – and from a short kick-out – Cavan had a chance at the other end only for Paddy Lynch to be denied by a full-length Beggan save.

With half time approaching and trailing by just a point and being against the wind, Cavan would’ve been content enough at first glance. Dig deeper and they were turned over by Darren Hughes (twice) and Gary Mohan.

There were wayward Cavan shots and Monaghan made them pay with points from McManus and McCarron.

Cavan did manage a score before the break, a difficult Lynch free from close to the sideline but Monaghan were 0-7 to 0-5 ahead.

The sides were level within five minutes with scores from Oisin Brady and Gerard Smith as Cavan punched on Monaghan turnovers.

There was a lengthy stoppage after a wholehearted clash of bodies forced Darren Hughes off the field of play.

The game took a turn with 10 minutes to go when Cian Reilly popped a ball to Padraig Faulkner who blasted to the net for a 1-9 to 0-10.

Cavan had another chance minutes later when Monaghan turned over the ball. After a swift breakaway, Brian O’Connell slotted over after the sniff of goal was gone.

They had a further chance when the Monaghan defence was at sea but Oisin Brady’s lob was wide.

Then came the rest of the drama. When Conor McCarthy had his shot saved by Gary O’Rourke, Michael Hamill blasted to the net to level the score at 1-10 each after 67 minutes.

Joel Wilson and Beggan notched Monaghan ahead before the final turning point.

It was all about Gerard Smith after playing to Cormac O’Reilly he took the return before shooting to the net.

Monaghan had chances to save the game but it was Ciarán Brady’s pass that played in Paddy Lynch with the clinching goal.

Scorers for Cavan: P Lynch 1-9 (7f, 1 45), G Smith 1-1, P Faulkner 1-0, B O’Connell and O Brady 0-1 each

Scorers for Monaghan: R Beggan 0-3 (1f, 1 45), C McManus 0-3 (2f), M Hamill 1-0, J McCarron 0-2 (1f), J Wilson (m), S Jones (m), D Garland and K O’Connell 0-1 each

Cavan: G O’Rourke; C Reilly, K Brady, B O’Connell; P Faulkner, N Carolan, Conor Brady; J Smith, O Kiernan (Castlerahan); Ciarán Brady, G Smith, O Kiernan (Denn); Cian Madden, P Lynch, O Brady
Subs: L Fortune for J Smith (INJ 51), T Madden for O Kiernan (Denn) (55), Cormac O’Reilly for C Madden (65), R Donohoe for O Brady (77), C Rehill for O Kiernan (Castlerahan) (70)

Monaghan: R Beggan; R Wylie, K Duffy, R O’Toole; K O’Connell, K Lavelle, K Loughran; G Mohan, D Hughes; D Garland; C McNulty, C McCarthy, J Irwin, J McCarron, C McManus
Subs: M Hamill for J Irwin (HT), J Wilson for D Hughes (INJ 50), S Jones for D Garland (52), M Bannigan for J McCarron (65), S Mooney for C McNulty (77)

Attendance: 8, 342

Referee: B Cawley (Kildare)


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