GAA Football

'Some of his passing was an absolute joy': How the Cavan players rated

Martin Reilly's range of passing was outstanding for Cavan. Picture by Philip Walsh
From Cahair O'Kane at Kingspan Breffni

Raymond Galligan: The Cavan captain didn’t have one of his better days. Struggled to get his kickouts away quickly enough, with Monaghan picking off five of them. Dragged a couple of frees off target too. 6

Jason McLoughlin: It took him five minutes to get to grips with O’Hanlon but from there, McLoughlin was outstanding. Got the better of Conor McCarthy in a couple of key duels at the game’s vital time. Bled for the cause too. 8.5

Padraig Faulkner: He’s always done fairly well on Conor McManus, and this time Faulkner got his reward. Exceptionally disciplined in the tackle. Topped it by kicking the game’s vital score himself to reopen his side’s four point lead. 8.5

Conor Moynagh: Had a few good moments going forward and used the kick-pass well. Lost Shane Carey for two points in the second half but otherwise a solid display. 7

Gerard Smith: While never heavily involved in the game, Smith kept first Paudie McKenna and then Ryan McAnespie to the periphery of the game. 6.5

Killian Clarke: Quiet opening but found his stride and became a big attacking cog, keeping width. Marked Conor McCarthy for a lot of the second half and did well. 7

Conor Rehill: The Crosserlough debutant carried on his league form with a very solid display for wing-back, where he most notably linked up well with McKiernan on kickouts. 7

Conor Brady: Operated as his side’s sweeper for much of the evening and was effective in doubling up on Conor McManus especially. 6.5

Gearoid McKiernan: Big game from the big man. Carried their fight in the air at midfield and got into his stride a good few times in attack. First half score off his right foot was superb. Could have added another two at least though. 8.5

STAR MAN: Martin Reilly: Had he been wearing green and gold, a ginger wig and the number 13 on his back, you would never have questioned it. Some of his passing was an absolute joy, especially the ball for the penalty and their final score of the first half. Married it with a lot of good defensive work too. 9

Dara McVeety: Had a huge battle with Ryan Wylie from which both emerged intact. McVeety had good moments and his one score showed the danger he can be, steaming in on the endline to fist over. 7

Niall Murray: There were reports post-match of the Fire Service being called to extinguish his GPS monitor. Backed up the energy with two great scores, one off either foot. 8

Oisin Kiernan: The fact that he was playing at all so soon after recovering from testicular cancer was a triumph. Kiernan didn’t get into the game but still got a huge ovation coming off. 6

Thomas Galligan: Very effective, both as an occasional target man at full-forward and a powerful, direct runner from midfield. Monaghan struggled all day to cope with him, though he perhaps lacked an end product. 7.5

Conor Madden: Took his two scores calmly, though both were pretty much laid on a plate. Didn’t hugely trouble Drew Wylie beyond that. 6.5

Subs
Ciaran Brady:
The Arva man gave them a spring at a time when they looked tired. 7

Chris Conroy: Landed the late free that finally sealed it. 6.5

Cian Mackey: Surprisingly quiet cameo. 6

Jack Brady: Scarcely involved. 6

Stephen Smith: Won two vital frees, one at each end. 6.5

Killian Brady: Not on long enough to be rated.

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