Cavan come good in second-half to see off Fermanagh for Division 3 crown

April 01, 2023

Cavan's Niall Carolan tackled by Aidan Breen of Fermanagh ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Cavan produced the second-half goods to make it back-to-back Allianz Football League titles with a 0-16 to 1-7 victory over Fermanagh at Croke Park tonight.

After what was a largely uneventful opening half at HQ, barring Darragh McGurn’s well-taken goal, Mickey Graham’s men upped the ante in the second period to outscore their neighbours by 0-11 to 0-4 and claim the Division 3 league crown.

The favourites had settled in better as Gearoid McKiernan and Paddy Lynch had popped over close range frees before Ryan Lyons finally opened the Ernesiders’ account on 21 minutes.

Lynch (free) restored Cavan’s two-point lead but Kieran Donnelly’s charges would hit them on the break for the maximum on 27 minutes and it saw McGurn coolly finishing to give his side their first lead.

Lynch broke away himself to level but Sean McNally’s free had Fermanagh ahead by 1-3 to 0-5 at the break.

Aidan Breen nudged Fermanagh ahead again after a James Smith leveller, but the Breffni men were finding their rhythm and three frees from captain Raymond Galligan along with points from Oisin Brady and Dara McVeety had them four to the good headed into the closing quarter.

Ryan Jones, Sean Quigley and Ryan Lyons would make it a one-point game again, but that was as good as it got for Donnelly’s side as Cavan finished out in style with substitutes Conor Brady and Conor Madden each pointing either side of another deadly accurate Galligan free and one more from Oisin Brady in injury-time.

With the hurlers having captured the Division 3B title (and promotion along with it) earlier in Abbottstown, it was certainly a day to savour for the Breffni County.

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