Category: Archive

New York GAA Donegal free kick is Cavan’s undoing

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Mike Fitzpatrick

Cavan 0-12, Donegal 2-6

Who would have thought that it would have been Cavan to prevent league leaders Donegal, in this senior football Div. 1 clash at Gaelic Park, from grabbing their fifth successive win?

Donegal are assured of a place in this year’s playoffs, but they still go into every game seeking a win, as their junior side proved versus Dublin last week. Even when the win was absolutely guaranteed, they still greedily went for goal. Lawrence McGrath’s side suffered a few changes this week, though, with red-hot forward Stephen Cassidy missing due to suspension, and Donal Breslin still shaking off an injury he picked up while on All-Star duty.

All credit must go to Cavan, though. They put in easily their best performance since their opening-day win over champions Leitrim. Cavan led practically throughout the tie, hitting a couple of early points thanks to Cathal Collins, Dessie O’Reilly and Adrian Carville before Donegal even got near Finbarr Flood’s goal.

Shane Nugent, the Cavan forward, put in his usually excellent performance up front, bustling his way through the Donegal backline and making a thorough nuisance of himself for Keith Nolan and Damian Meehan of Donegal.

Never miss an issue of The Irish Echo

Subscribe to one of our great value packages.

Further points from substitute Anton Diver and Reilly added to Cavan’s first-half total, until Gary Dowd and Kieran Keaveney hit points for Donegal followed by a goal from Finnie Collins to make the scoreline look a little more believable going into the break.

Cavan led by a solitary point at halftime.

The second half opened in much the same fashion, with Cavan surging forward, hitting points through Andy McEvoy and Declan McCarthy, but a penalty from the boot of Edmund Cleary leveled the tie for Donegal.

After that it could have been anybody’s tie.

Cleary put McGrath’s men in front for the first time with a well-taken point, and Cavan’s Anton Diver equalized.

Cleary again took the lead for Donegal, but points from Carville and Reilly put the Cavan lads back in the lead.

The final minute looked as if Cavan would seal a hugely important, and perhaps an equally as surprising victory over this rampant Donegal side.

Fairy tales don’t often exist at Gaelic Park, though. Donegal were awarded a free with only seconds remaining, and with the last kick of the game, Edmund Cleary hit a free kick over the bar to spoil Cavan’s day.

Had they won this game, Cavan would still have been in with a decent chance of making the playoffs, but those hopes seem to have faded in front of one of the season’s best crowds at Gaelic Park. With three points from five games, things do not look well for Joe Cassidy and Co. of Cavan.

Cavan: Finbarr Flood, Barney Brady, Emmet McGinlay, Jimmy McGirr, Damian Brady, Cormac McGinlay, Joe Cassidy, Martin Cusack, Adrian Carville (0-2), Declan McCarthy (0-1), Dessie Reilly (0-3), Garret Toner (0-1), Cathal Collins (0-1), Shane Nugent, Andy McEvoy (0-1), Subs.: Anton Diver (0-2), Sean Lennon (0-1) , Sean Sorohan

Donegal: Eunan Doherty, Keith Nolan, Damian Meehan, Mark McClafferty, Raymond Kane, Gerry Kelly, David McSweeney, Keith Murray, Gary Dowd (0-1), Enda Lohan, Kieran Keaveney (0-1), Tadhg Donovan, Edmund Cleary (1-3), Pearce Coyle (0-1), Michael McClafferty. Subs.: Finbarr Collins (0-1), Connie Molloy, Leslie McElligott, Owen Cummins.

Other Articles You Might Like

Sign up to our Daily Newsletter

Click to access the login or register cheese