Five-goal Dublin power past Cavan

The Ulster side were no match for the reigning champions and now face a clash with Roscommon to stay in the All-Ireland hunt

Cormac Costello could be one of the stars for Dublin on Sunday
Cormac Costello could be one of the stars for Dublin on Sunday

All-Ireland SFC Group 2, round two

Cavan 0-13 Dublin 5-17

SCOREBOARDS are seldom wrong, and the chasm between Cavan and Dublin right now stood out like a lighthouse in a bog at sun-kissed Kingspan Breffni on Saturday.

Shorn of top-scorer Paddy Lynch plus the nous of experienced trio Killian Clarke, Jason McLoughlin and Dara McVeety, Cavan were simply out-classed for the final hour of what was an eye-opening All-Ireland SFC round two tie.

“They’re a well-drilled machine,” said Cavan boss Raymond Galligan of a Dublin team that simply brushed his men aside.

“They’re very efficient, very clinical, you make basic mistakes and give away cheap possession and they will hurt you.

“They have that athleticism. They drive forward and get ahead of the ball and are really well drilled. They’re a number of years together and are hugely experienced with all-Ireland medals on show. They’re very efficient, that’s a compliment to them.”

Cavan competed well for the first 20 minutes, with the sides evenly sharing the first eight points, but a classy Cormac Costello goal paved the way for a facile victory for the defending All-Ireland champions.

Things gradually unravelled for the hosts from the then and Paddy Small’s tidy finish made it 2-9 to 0-7 at the interval.

Dublin’s third goal – just 28 seconds after the interval – from Killian McGinnis was thekiller score, as Dublin boss Dessie Farrell acknowledged afterwards:

“Killian’s goal was definitely very important. It was probably the end of the game as a contest when he got through after half-time,” he said.

“Cavan had been very good in the early stages of the game, especially close to goal and they did carry a threat so it was important that we closed things out and Killian’s goal did just that.”

That McGinnis score was just one of five notched from point blank range but Cavan boss Galligan refused to point the finger goalkeeper Liam Brady, who rather surprisingly got the nod ahead of Gary O’Rourke.

“I think we conceded that third goal from us having a free. We kicked it away and it finishes in the back of the net,” said Galligan.

“When we reflect and look at the goals we conceded, one or two might have come from a kick-out but the majority came from us giving away possession in the middle third.

“When you commit bodies to attack, every pass has to stick otherwise they leave you exposed at the back and Dublin cashed in.”

Asked to find a possible silver lining, Galligan pointed to his forwards.

“Oisin Brady has been moving very well for us over the last number of weeks and James Smith and Ryan O’Neill too and I’m very happy with how the lads presented and worked inside for us,” he said.

Cavan L Brady (0-1, 45); C Reilly, K Brady, L Fortune; P Faulkner, N Carolan, Oisin Kiernan (Denn); C Brady, B O’Connell; Oisin Kiernan (Castlerahan, 0-1), C Madden (0-1), G Smith; R O’Neill, J Smith (0-1), O Brady (0-8, 0-6 frees)

Subs M Magee for C Reilly (ht); P Meade for K Brady (ht); R Donohoe for O Kiernan (Denn, 46); R Brady for O Kiernan (Castlerahan, 54); D Lovett (0-1) for R O’Neill (56)

Dublin S Cluxton; E Murchan, M Fitzsimons, D Newcombe; B Howard, J Small, S Bugler (1-1); B Fenton (0-3), K McGinnis (1-0); N Scully (0-1), C Costello (2-5, 1-0 pen, 0-2 frees), C Kilkenny; P Mannion (0-2, frees), C O’Callaghan, P Small (1-2)

Subs J McCaffrey for N Scully (42); C Basquel (0-3) for C O’Callaghan (46); T Clancy for E Murchan (51); L O’Dell for J Small (54); S MacMahon for P Small (65)

Referee P Neilan (Roscommon)