GAA Football

Ulster SFC, Cavan v Donegal - how the Breffnimen rated

Cavan came up short in Sunday's Ulster SFC semi-final defeat to Donegal, and now face into a Tailteann Cup campaign. Picture by Philip Walsh
Andy Watters

Raymond Galligan: Under pressure from Michael Murphy, he couldn’t clear the danger in the build-up to Donegal’s first goal. Kick-outs were mostly short and accurate. Brilliant at times when he did go long-range. Converted a long range free. 6.5

Jason McLoughlin: Typically committed display from the experienced defender. Didn’t push out on Ryan McHugh as expected and picked up Shane O’Donnell for a spell. 6

Padraig Faulkner: Central to Cavan’s determined defensive effort but lucky to escape with a yellow for a high tackle on McBrearty. Pushed into midfield after the break. 6

Killian Brady: Picked up Paddy McBrearty and kept him scoreless from play in the first half. Got a fist to Brennan’s high ball but his partial clearance gave Conor O’Donnell the chance to swoop for Donegal’s first goal. 6

Luke Fortune: Switched onto Jamie Brennan who had the better of their tussle in the first half. 5.5

Killian Clarke: Did his defensive job well but his late fumble gave McBrearty the chance to put the game to bed and he took it. 6

Conor Brady: Picked up the in-form Michael Langan and kept him scoreless. A strong runner and tenacious tackler, Langan improved in the second half but Brady kept a lid on him. 7

Thomas Galligan: Big hit on McFadden set the tone as Cavan gave it an almighty lash yesterday. Two points (one of either foot) in quick succession opened up a three-point gap in the first half. 7.5

James Smith: A superb display from the Crosserlough midfielder/full-forward. Brilliant partnership with Paddy Lynch up front, he earned his full-forward partner two frees and scored three himself. Also smashed a shot against the bar. 8.5

Gerard Smith: Industrious and committed, he does a lot of unselfish graft for Cavan and got through a lot of work. Kicked an early score. 6

Gearoid McKiernan: Could have had a first half penalty when he was bundled over in front of goal. Came into his own in the second half when he kicked three points on-the-trot to drag Cavan back into a game that was slipping away from them. 7

Conor Moynagh: Played as sweeper and slammed the door shut when Jason McGee tried to break through the middle of the Cavan defence. Shut down the space in front of McBrearty and pushed forward in the second half. 6

Cormac O’Reilly: Played in McKiernan for an early goal chance and his astute long ball created another for James Smith. Worked hard up front. 6

Paddy Lynch: He gave Brendan McCole a torrid time of it from the first minute with a darting run, a quick turn and a brilliant finish. Scored three points from play in the first half and added three frees. Eoghan Ban Gallagher got to grips with him in the second half. 8.5

Cian Madden: Worked hard, missed a scoring chance late in the first half. Withdrawn after 55 minutes. 6

Substitutes

Martin Reilly: Replaced Cormac O’Reilly after 45 minutes but Odhran McFadden-Ferry kept him on the periphery. 5

Oisin Kiernan: On for Madden with 15 minutes to go but couldn’t see Cavan over the line. 5

Caoimhin O’Reilly: Not on long enough to be rated.

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