GAA Football

Cavan turn on the power in second half to beat Louth

Cavan manager Mattie McGleenan
From Kevin Carney at Kingspan Breffni

MATTIE McGleenan was dressed for the occasion in Cavan on Saturday night as his charges made a freezing Kingspan Breffni a cold house for a limp Louth crew.

Cavan's horrendous goalscoring record has been the team's ball and chain for years.

However, after notching a brace first time out against Clare and then rattled in three second half strikes at the weekend, much to the delight of manager McGleenan (right).

“I'm delighted with the result and the performance too,” the Cavan boss beamed under the lights.

“Our goalscoring record has been poor and that's something we have worked on at training and our first goal definitely changed the nature of the game.

“We didn't create enough chances in front of goal last year and didn't score enough goals but we've spent 10 to 12 minutes every training session on those aspects of our game and it's beginning to pay off.

Declan Byrne's gem in the 10th minute served to cut Cavan's lead to 0-4 to 0-2 but the Ulstermen hit four unanswered points to enter clear water 17 minutes into the game.

The Wee County proved themselves to be the better team in the second quarter and an opportunist point on 27 minutes by the impressive Jim McEneaney helped leave Pete McGrath's side just two points adrift at the

interval at 0-8 to 0-10.

Louth remained on the front foot as the second half got underway and a Burns free after 38 minutes added to the feel-good factor in the visitors' camp.

However, Cavan grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and midfielder Bryan Magee's 45th minute goal propelled the Blues into a 1-14 to 0-9 lead.

“We were on the front foot for the last 10 minutes of the first half and then had the first score of the second half but they got four points and a goal straight away and that changed the whole complexion of the game,” lamented Louth boss Peter McGrath.

“I suppose the final scoreline tells its own story. It's a heavy defeat. After their first goal, they went up a gear and we struggled to hold onto their shirt tails.”

Cavan visibly grew in confidence after Mageen's breakthrough goal with seasoned campaigner Cian Mackey coming off the bench to turn the screw on the red brigade.

In truth, Cavan had it all so surprisingly easy in the final quarter with Ciarán Brady's 54th minute goal making it 2-16 to 0-10.

Mattie McGleenan's charges continued to move up through the gears and Niall Clerkin's scrambled goal six minutes from time helped secure them an unflattering 13-point winning margin.

“I was in Drogheda to see the Down game and it was an eye-opener for me and helped me devise a plan for Louth and I'll be in Navan for the Clare game [yesterday] to prepare for our next game against Meath,” said McGleenan.

Cavan: J Farrelly; N Murray, P Faulkner, David Phillips; M Reilly (0-2), C Brady (1-0), E Flanagan (0-1); K Clarke, B Magee (1-3, 0-2 frees); D McVeety, C Moynagh, O Kiernan (0-3); C O'Reilly (0-4, 0-3 frees), A Cole,

N Clerkin (1-0)

Subs: C Mackey (0-4) for D Phillips (33); D Brady for A Cole (h-t); C Bradley for E Flanagan (54); G McKiernan for C O'Reilly (59); S McCormack for B Magee (63).

Black card: D McVeety (60) replaced by S Murray

Louth: C Lynch; J Bingham, E Carolan, J Craven; S Stewart, B Duffy, A Williams; T Durnin, D Byrne (0-2); D Maguire,

A McDonnell (0-1), J McEneaney (0-2); R Burns (0-7, 0-6 frees, 0-1 45), C Grimes,

W Woods

Subs: G McSorley for D Byrne (50); T McEneaney for W Woods (50); D Marks for J Craven (55); C Downey (0-1) for J McEneaney (56); C Earley for S Stewart (63)

Ref: J Henry (Mayo)

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