Cavan save intermediate status with comfortable win over Antrim

The Saffrons are not relegated as a result, but they must beat Wicklow next weekend to avoid a swift return to the junior ranks

Zara Fay
Zara Fay (left) was among the scorers as Cavan beat Antrim. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile (Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)
TG4 All-Ireland Ladies’ IFC relegation qualifier
Cavan 3-11 Antrim 0-7

CAVAN retained their intermediate championship status with a convincing win over Antrim in Inniskeen on Saturday.

Two first-half goals in quick succession from Sinead Levingstone as half-time approached gave Cavan a 2-7 to 0-3 half-time lead and Amy Wharton’s 34th-minute goal from the penalty spot all but sealed victory for Mickey O’Rourke’s side. It was their first championship win this season but the most crucial.

All is not lost just yet for Antrim, who still have another chance to save their intermediate status against Wicklow next weekend.

The Saffrons opened the scoring with a point from a Caitlin Taggart free in third minute but three in a row for Cavan through Zara Fay, Levingstone and Wharton (free) put them into the lead.

Two Theresa Mellon points for Antrim brought them to within one, 0-4 to 0-3, but 2-3 without reply for the Breffni county gave them that healthy 10-point half-time advantage.

Wharton added a point and followed up with a goal from the penalty spot to put Cavan 14 clear, 3-8 to 0-3, with just four mintues of the second half gone.

Antrim continued to battle, with Aoife Montague, Aoife Taggart, Blaithin Ni Cathal and Caitlin Taggart (free) all raising the white flag, but Cavan kept their side of the scoreboard ticking over to run out 13-point winners.

Cavan manager Mickey O’Rourke was delighted with the win and how his side executed their gameplan.

“Staying up was very important, with the quality of young players we have coming in, it was important to be challenging at as high a level as possible in the next few years,” said O’Rourke.

“The girls worked hard, kept it simple and did exactly what was asked, retained the ball, and better shot selection.”