By Mike Fitzpatrick
The outcome of this game meant nothing with regard to the winning the championship, but concerned survival and relegation. This tie, involving two of the three relegation candidates, was extremely crucial.
The first half was a well contested, if low-scoring affair with neither side doing much penetrating of the opposing defense. Dessie Reilly scored a goal and a point for Cavan, with Seamus O’Hanlon, Cathal O’Hanlon and Seamus Devlin replying for Tyrone to level the sides entering the interval.
After the break Cavan surged forward. The Tyrone backline seemed to edge off the Cavan forwards giving them plenty of room to develop scoring positions.
Paddy Sheanon and John McCorry were almost left to their own devices by their Tyrone counterparts and proceeded to exploit this advantage by feeding Ray Gallagher who thundered in a goal and two points to further Cavan’s cause.
Tyrone’s strongest players on the day were arguably their midfielders, Damian Daly and Seamus O’Hanlon who attempted to quell the Cavan attack in what unfortunately for them, turned into damage control. Damian Devlin and John Burke made appearances for Tyrone in a bid to beef up their assault, but Cavan were relentless.
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Shane Devlin scored twice for Tyrone and Ray Gallagher replied with a goal for Cavan. Although neither side was well ahead, Cavan obtained more possession and in allowing Ray Gallagher and Dessie Reilly to obtain too much of the ball, Tyrone’s defense found themselves bombarded.
Jim Gilsenan of Cavan grabbed a point for his side late in the game following a Tyrone goal. Both goalkeepers kept their sides in the hunt with Tyrone’s Noel Bonner facing Cavan’s Ray Gallagher and Dessie Reilly, and Dermot Fleming of the Cavan goal keeping the perilous Shane Devlin and Cathal O’Hanlon at bay. Cavan came through this tie with their survival still intact, but Tyrone must defeat Roscommon next Sunday to have any chance of survival.
Cavan: Dermot Fleming, Barney Brady, Emmet McGinlay, Andy McEvoy, Noel Sexton, Barry Annett, Jim Given, Joe Cassidy (0-1), Jim Gilsenan (0-1), Paddy Reilly, Gary McDermott, Des Reilly (1-2), Paddy Sheanon, Ray Gallagher (1-4), John McCorry. Sub: Vinnie Reilly.
Tyrone: Noel Bonner, Mark Daly, Gary McConnell, Peter Hanna, Kevin Ryan, Aidan Lloyd, Barry Tally, Damian Daly, Seamus O’ Hanlon (0-5), Patrick Redmond, Paul Halligan (1-0), Shane Devlin (0-2), Emmet Woods, Cathal O’Hanlon (0-2). Subs: Damian Devlin, John Burke.