By Mike Fitzpatrick
Tyrone 0-16, Cavan 1-8
A below-par Cavan side, ravaged by injuries and abstentions, failed in its quest to obtain another meaningful win in this senior football Div. I clash Sunday at Gaelic Park.
Having earlier demolished champions Leitrim, Cavan entered this fray in an upbeat, if somewhat cautious, mood. Tyrone were also seeking their second win of the season, having dispatched Stamford a couple of weeks back in a closely fought encounter.
Missing Martin Slowey through suspension, Tyrone were still too strong a threat for Cavan, and despite some ambitious attacking, Cavan could not penetrate the Tyrone backline often enough to pose a serious obstacle.
Slowey’s brother Michael was too frequently left to roam the width of the pitch and, having shaken off his marker, fired in a number of early points to give Tyrone an early lead. Slowey sure proved his worth to this side, and if he can reproduce this ferocious appetite for scoring when playing in New York colors in a few weeks, Mayo will surely have their work cut out for them in Castlebar.
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Paddy Redmond opened the scoring for Tyrone, followed shortly by Slowey’s efforts.
Philip Mallon hit another and Cavan were clearly on the ropes. But for some accurate shooting from Ken Lawlor in the Cavan attack, the blues could have found themselves well behind at an early stage.
Behind by a couple of points, Cavan almost clawed back on level terms when Lawlor hit a goalbound shot, only to watch it bounce over the bar for a point.
Sean Regan came on for Tyrone and, in the humid conditions, Cavan could certainly have done with a replacement, but due to their injury list, they had no substitutes for the tired legs on the field.
Entering the halftime break, three points separated the sides, and it appeared likely that Cavan were in with a shot. But McDermott had a goalbound shot deflected wide and another effort was well saved by Mike Deere in the Tyrone goal.
Paddy Sheanon, making a rare appearance for his home county, punched an effort over, and Lawlor hit yet another point, though it was much in vain.
Slowey up front for Tyrone proved too much for the Cavan defense. He continued to fire shots over the bar to further his side’s lead, assisted by Philip Mallon, Gyles McShane and Seamus O’Hanlon. A late goal from the penalty spot for Lawlor brought Cavan closer to a respectable score, but it was too late for a serious comeback.
Cavan: David Balentine, Barney Brady, Kieran Reilly, Kieran Gaughan, Kevin Shalvey, Ronan McGrath (0-1), Shane Nugent, Jim Gilsenan, Barry Annette, Anton Diver, Dessie O’Reilly (0-1), Gary McDermott, Paddy Sheanon (0-1), Kenneth Lawlor (1-5), Phil Reilly.
Tyrone: Mike Deere, Aidan Lloyd, Sean Teague, Mark Daly, John Cormican, Gary McConnell, Philip Sloane (0-1), Seamus O’Hanlon (0-2), Paddy Redmond (0-2), Philip Mallon (0-3), Michael Slowey (0-6), Collie Fearon, Gyles McShane (0-2), Remo Higney, Ollie Crommie. Sub: Sean Regan.