Bank of Ireland McKenna Cup Rd 1
Cavan 0-13 Down 1-9
A late point from Conor Madden secured victory for Cavan in Kingspan Breffni over Down in the 1st round of this years Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup.
The result marks a win for Mickey Graham in his first game in charge as Breffni boss.
The home side had trailed this pre-season opener for large portions of the first period before eventually going in level at the break on 0-6 apiece and then finding another gear after half-time, outscoring their Mourne counterparts by five points without reply in the first 20 minutes of the restart.
Raymond Galligan (free), Ciaran Brady, Stephen Smith (free), Simon Cadden and Madden made it 0-11 to 0-6 when the visitors won a penalty which Pat Havern converted past Galligan to bring his team right back into the frame.
Smith (free) and Ciaran Harney traded scores to leave it a one-point game with five minutes left and Conor McGrady’s fine point ensured an exciting finish.
Cavan substitute Jack Brady nudged his team back in front soon after coming on to replace fellow Ramor United clubman Simon Cadden and when McGrady looped over at the other end on 72 minutes it looked like they’d be sharing the points.
The home side managed one more chance two minutes later though and it was Gowna man Madden – the man who sent them into Division 1 with the winner against Tipperary last spring – that came up trumps again to ensure a winning start to Graham’s reign.
Cavan host Queen University Belfast in round 2 next Sunday 6th January 1.30pm in Ballyconnell.
Scorers for Cavan: Raymond Galligan (0-3, 45 2f), Conor Madden (0-2), Ciaran Brady (0-2), Stephen Smith (0-2, 1f), Niall Murray, Simon Cadden, Jack Brady (0-1 each), Pierce Smith (0-1f).
Scorers for Down: Pat Havern (1-3, pen, 1f), Conor McGrady (0-2), Aaron McClements, Ciaran Harney (0-1 each), Rory Burns, Rory Mason (0-1f each).
CAVAN: Raymond Galligan (Lacken), Sean O’Connor (Cootehill Celtic), Padraig Faulkner (Kingscourt), Conor Moynagh (Drumgoon), Stephen Murray (Cavan Gaels), Ciaran Brady (Arvagh), Mark Stuart (Crosserlough), Michael Argue (Bailieborough), Thomas Galligan (Lacken), Martin Reilly (Killygarry), Niall Murray (Cavan Gaels), Simon Cadden (Ramor United), Pierce Smith (Crosserlough), Stephen Smith (Crosserlough), Conor Madden (Gowna).
Subs: James Galligan (Lacken) for T Galligan (28), Padraig Moore (Ballyhaise) for P Smith (45), James Smith (Crosserlough) for M Argue (56), Cian Mackey (Castlerahan) for M Reilly (56), Jack Brady (Ramor United) for S Cadden (63). Pierce Smith black card 1st half 18m, 10 minute in sin bin.
DOWN: Rory Burns, Kevin McClorey, Ruairi Wells, Ryan McAleenan, Ryan Brady, Brendan McArdle, Ryan Johnston, Aaron McClements, Daniel McCarthy, David McKibbin, Conor Poland, Conor Francis, Jerome Johnston, Pat Havern, Rory Mason.
Subs: Conor McGrady for D McKibbin (38), Declan McClements for A McClements (44), Shane Annett for K McClorey (48), Cory Quinn for R Johnston (54), Ciaran Harney for Ryan Brady (64), Eoin McCabe for Ryan McAleenan (68, Temp).
Referee: Martin McNally (Monaghan)
Man of the Match: Raymond Galligan (Cavan)