The Irish News Archive: June 8 1998: Cavan sneak past Fermanagh

Mickey Graham (left) was Cavan's hero against Fermanagh
Padraig O Meiscill

Bank of Ireland Ulster Senior Football Championship first round: Cavan (holders) 0-13 Fermanagh 0-11

From Eamonn O'Hara at Breffni Park

BACK from the brink. Cavan wrestled with an absolute cliffhanger first round, first title defence against firestorming Fermanagh, grasping the nettle of experience to finally force a thrilling victory yesterday at Breffni Park.

Liam Austin's reworked side were made to fight for a dramatic, pulsating, tensionsaturated survival win, rallying to their Championship cause with all barrells blazing over the frantic last 15 minutes. Ulster's battle for the provincial prize hit the mark in front of 13,000 roared hoarse fans, a terrific, absorbing, exciting, yet mistake-riddled match, played out at a cracking rate with Fermanagh suffering an agonising loss.

Mickey Graham, set free from the bench with 57 minutes gone, provided the spark to set up a semi-final meeting with Donegal. Graham, a powerful, pacey pocketbattleship, ignited the champions attack and it was his stunning point a minute from time that took the wind from the challengers. A brilliant move, he blasted onto possession, skinned Curran, and unloaded a magnificent effort between the posts.

Ahead for the first time from the sixth minute, this match turned for the final time. Fermanagh were left to wonder, what if.

Leinster Senior Football Championship: Dublin 0-10 Kildare 0-10

By Liam O'Connor

What must the Kildare footballers do to beat Dublin in the Leinster championship? The question may well be asked after yesterday's absorbing first round tie in Croke Park which saw the Lily Whites spurn what was surely their best ever chance of laying the Dublin bogey.

The scores were level at the finish, 0-10 each, but Kildare owned the ball for long stretches and should have cleaned out the opposition long before they contrived to inflict communal suffering on their agonised supporters.

No fault could be found with the excellent Kildare defence where Brian Lacey, Glen Ryan and John Finn played superbly but once the ball was moved into the scoring half of the field, Mick O'Dwyer's team were in trouble.

Alone among the Kildare attack Carl O'Dwyer (who kick two magnificent long range points) looked capable of scoring from play. Dublin were not blameless in attack either and only Jim Gavin and Farrell (in the first half) looked dangerous.

Kildare's inability to kill off the opposition smacks of a side that is ensnared in their own insecurity. A disallowed goal, a penalty claim waved on and two gilt edged goaling chances wasted is a tale of woe that may yet return to haunt the men in white.

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