Killian BradY, Cavan, and Marc Jordan, Antrim, in Ulster SFC action at Corrigan Park.
Killian BradY, Cavan, and Marc Jordan, Antrim, in Ulster SFC action at Corrigan Park.

Ulster SFC: Cavan register emphatic win

Ulster Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final

Cavan 1-20 Antrim 0-10

By David Mohan at Corrigan Park

A dominant display from Cavan saw them score an emphatic 13-point victory over Antrim in Saturday's Ulster Senior Football Championship quarter-final at Corrigan.

The Breffnimen never trailed in this game and put in a huge second half to put daylight between the teams after leading by just one at the break despite being on top for most of the opening period.

Paddy Lynch, making his Championship debut, was the star of the show as he kicked eight points and laid on Gearoid McKiernan's goal, but Cavan had some huge performances throughout as aside from the 10 minutes before the break, gave Antrim very little room for manoeuvre and had a fine spread of scores with nine players registering on the day.

Despite playing into the wind, Cavan were in total command in the opening quarter as they dominated the breaks, shut down any Antrim attacking avenues and created chances - but their finishing didn't let them build a lead that would have put them in total command.

Gerard Smith did kick them into a fifth-minute lead after two early chances came and went, while Antrim goalkeeper Mick Byrne then was not tested by James Smith whose effort was an easy gather, but Byrne then made a point-blank save from Cormac O'Reilly.

James Smith did finally add to the Cavan tally and a Gearoid McKiernan free had them three up on 19 minutes as Antrim started to find a way to create opportunities, but they too were wasteful with their efforts.

The home side finally got on the board in the 24th minute as Ryan Murray pointed brilliantly out on the left. Cavan would respond and then again when Dermott McAleese pointed, but Antrim were now looking a lot better and outscored the visitors by four to two in the closing stages of the half with Murray launching over another beauty from the left to pull the Saffrons to within one at the break with Cavan leading 0-7 to 0-6.

When Conor Murray tied the game from a free two minutes after the restart, for a moment we thought we were in for a real battle in the second half, but Cavan quickly put those notions to rest with Gerard Smith and Lynch landing quickfire braces and while Kevin Small pulled one back, things would quickly unravel for the hosts with Cavan rattling off three-in-a-row including a trademark long free from goalkeeper Raymond Galligan, while Antrim were down to 14 with Michael McCann picking up a second yellow on 52 minutes.

Six points was the margin on 59 minutes when any faint hopes Antrim still harboured were well and truly killed off as from a sideline, Martin Reilly found Lynch who this turn turned provider to put Gearoid McKiernan into blash home.

Ryan Murray did respond with his third point of the afternoon for Antrim, but Cavan kept the foot on the pedal in the closing stages with Lynch kicking his eighth of the afternoon, while Martin Reilly got in on the act with two of his own and defenders Paddy Faulkner and Jason McLoughlin also chipped in to seal a dominant Cavan performance and place in the semi-final.

Scorers for Cavan: P Lynch 0-8 (5 frees, 1 mark), G McKiernan 1-2 (0-1 free), G Smith 0-3, M Reilly 0-2, J Smith 0-1, Cormac O'Reilly 0-1, R Galligan 0-1 (free), J McLoughlin 0-1, P Faulkner 0-1.

Scorers for Antrim: R Murray 0-3, D McAleese 0-1, P McAleer 0-1, C Stewart 0-1, M McCann 0-1, K Small 0-1, J Gribbon 0-1, C Murray 0-1 (free).

CAVAN: Raymond Galligan; Jason McLoughlin, Padraig Faulkner, Killian Brady; Luke Fortune, Killian Clarke, Conor Brady; Thomas Galligan, James Smith; Gerard Smith, Gearoid McKiernan, COnor Moynagh; Cormac O'Reilly, Paddy Lynch, Cian Madden.

Subs: Chris Conroy for K Brady (55), Martin Reilly for Cormac O'Reilly (57), Caoimhin O'Reilly for C Madden (65), Ciaran Brady for Conor Brady (67), Ryan O'Neill for P Lynch (70).

ANTRIM: Mick Byrne; Eoghan McCabe, Peter Healy, Dermott McAleese; Paddy McAleer, James Laverty, Marc Jordan; Kevin Small, Michael McCann; Ryan Murray, Conor Stewart, Ruairi McCann; Odhran Eastwood, Conor Murray, Tomas McCann.

Subs: Jamie Gribbon for R McCann (13), Paddy McBride for O Eastwood (HT), Declan Lynch for T McCann (HT), Barry McCormick for J Laverty (64), Patrick McCormick for E McCabe (64).

REFEREE: Jerome Henry (Mayo).