SFC: Gaels safely through to quarters

August 22, 2015

Levi Murphy (Cavan Gaels) makes a goalmouth clearance against Lacken in the Cavan SFC game at Breffni Park

Cavan Gaels 1-13
Lacken 0-9

Cavan Gaels recovered from a sluggish start to dispatch Lacken and make their way into the last eight of the senior football championship this evening.

Dominic Corrigan's team had been second best to their plucky opponents for large portions of the first-half, with Lacken headed towards a three-point half-time lead before an opportunistic goal from Gaels' ace attacker Martin Dunne.

After that the holders demonstrated their credentials for all to see at Kingspan Breffni Park, holding the would-be losers to just 0-3 during the second 30 minutes as Dunne (1-4), Paul Graham (0-3) and the excellent Darragh Sexton helped see them safely over the line.

As for Lacken, they'd only have three scorers from play over the hour as their overreliance on marksmen Ray Galligan and Finbar O'Reilly let them down once more, having started star midfielder Niall McKiernan on the bench.

Lacken were up and running within 13 seconds of the throw-in with Thomas Galligan slipping Craig Lanouze through for the white flag before Dunne tied things up at the other end with a trademark score from an acute angle.

Dunne was somehow denied the net a minute later thanks to a fine save from Jimmy Smith in the Lacken goal, after Paul O'Connor's pinpoint pass sent the Cavan senior through one on one.

It was an early wake-up call for Colin Hannify's men and they made sure to seize their early opportunities with the inform Galligan sailing over a free from 45 metres and grabbing his first from play in the 10th minute in fine style.

O'Connor and Galligan (free) kept the difference at two ahead of Dunne having another three-point chance somehow kept out of the Lacken net by the legs of Smith, who was in imperious form.

A Finbar O'Reilly free ushered the Crowe Park men into a three-point advantage by the 17th minute. Dunne cancelled that out with a placed ball of his own but Galligan would send over the score of the game along the right flank in response to maintain the difference for his side.

Conor Finnegan saw a goal chance kept out by Martin Cassidy in the next attack as the Gaels struck their hammer blow right before the interval.

With Lacken's backs having worked like Trojans throughout the first 30 minutes to keep Corrigan's men at bay, it was a cruel blow to see Dunne finally hit their net after poaching a rebound from Andrew Graham's point effort, which left it all even on 0-6 to 1-3 at the break.

A brace of points from Paul Graham put the town side into their first lead and doubled it after seven minutes of the restart and when full-forward O'Connor drilled over a sweet score the signs were looking ominous for the underdogs.

Finnegan grabbed a sorely needed score to try and stem the tide for his side, but overs from Niall Murray, Dunne (free), Andrew Graham and Paul Graham practically put the champions out of reach with 10 minutes to go.

Lacken needed an effort from Niall McKiernan to hit the net to be in with a chance, but the substitute's shot instead stung the hands of Cassidy and the danger was averted.  They'd have to settle for two Finbar O'Reilly frees, one of which was erased by sub Sean Johnston, as the Gaels saw out their second win with Dunne sending over their last.

Cavan Gaels: Martin Cassidy; John Fortune, Niall Gurhy, Barry Fortune; Levi Murphy, Darragh Sexton, Niall Murray (0-1); Paul Graham (0-3), Robert Maloney-Derham; Daniel Graham, Micheál Lyng, Niall Smith; Andrew Graham (0-2), Paul O'Connor (0-2), Martin Dunne (1-4, 2f). Subs: Marc Leddy for N Smith (35mins), Kevin Meehan for D Graham (35), Sean Johnston (0-1) for M Lyng (45), Vinny Coyle for P O'Connor (51), Stephen Murray for L Murphy (53), Sean Hanley for B Fortune (59).

Lacken: Jimmy Smith; Declan Brady, David Wilson, Daryl Buckley; Shane Finnegan, Philip Moynagh, James Moynagh; Thomas Galligan, James Galligan; Paul Leddy, Finbar O'Reilly (0-3, 3f), Craig Lanouze (0-1); Killian Galligan, Ray Galligan (0-4, 2f), Conor Finnegan (0-1). Subs: Stephen Brady for C Lanouze (HT), Kevin Shanaghy for S Finnegan (40), Niall McKiernan for P Leddy (40), Shane Moynagh for K Galligan (43), Michael Shanaghy for R Galligan (56), Martin Brady for T Galligan (60).

Ref: Joe McQuillan (Kill Shamrocks)

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