Philly McGuinness U20 League, Round 1 March Report
Longford finish strongly to win U20 opener
Philly McGuinness U20 League,
Paul Fitzpatrick at Newtownforbes
Cavan slipped to a defeat in their opening match in the Philly McGuinness League against Longford before a small crowd last Friday night in Newtownforbes.
While this was a low-key season-opener and Cavan, carrying a 40-strong panel, are still experimenting, there was a definite sense of disappointment in the camp afterwards. Last year’s Ulster finalists made the short trip aiming to start the year with a win – they were in position to do so but fell away in the final 20 minutes and ended up coming up short.
The home side were fired up, on the pitch and on the sideline, and were determined to get the season off to the best possible start. They managed that by out-scoring Cavan by 2-3 to 0-2 over the final 30 minutes (including injury time), with the Blues looking to be in control when they led by 2-5 to 0-6 five minutes into the second half.
While their performance level dropped when it came to the crunch, Cavan probably should have got something from the game. The visitors registered eight wides over the hour, gave away a poor goal (although Longford worked it well after forcing a turnover) from play and conceded the second from a penalty.
That said, Longford battled hard throughout, their work-rate stood out and they kicked some superb scores, with Micheál Hynes and Jamie Brady Hynes catching the eye among others.
Longford opened the scoring with an excellent point from their impressive full-forward Jamie Brady Hynes two minutes in but this was cancelled out a lovely curled effort off the left boot of Shane Tynan, who reacted quickly after Favor Shehu’s shot was blocked down.
The pacy Oran Rehill, who caused problems at times, nudged Cavan in front after a good ball from Tynan but two points in a minute (a mark from Brady Hynes and a point from play by Micheál Hynes immediately after) saw Longford retake the lead.
On 14 minutes, Cavan hit the front again with a fantastic goal from Barry Donnelly, who beat three defenders while soloing with the right foot, carried the ball across the goalkeeper and finished to the roof of the net with the left. It was a stunning individual goal, although Longford will be disappointed not to have halted the Arva man’s mazy run.
Two Brady Hynes frees were followed by a well-taken effort from Shehu, who won possession well after Rehill’s speed created the chance.
Cavan had a couple of wides before Brady Hynes knocked over a free but a well-struck Tynan free on the stroke of half-time gave Damien Donohoe’s side a 1-4 to 0-6 half-time advantage.
On the resumption, Cavan struck for their second goal and it came via their slickest move of the match. Ben McGahan played a nice ball to open the defence and a rapid exchange of handpasses between Daire Madden, Shane Tynan and Favor Shehu saw Tynan slot home coolly to the bottom corner.
That made it 2-4 to 0-6 and when Turlough Farrelly added a free, it seemed Cavan would kick on, despite Longford now having the benefit of the wind.
However, it was the hosts who rose to the challenge. Brady Hynes found the top corner with a super finish to cut the gap to two and they almost got in for another major moments later, Cillian Brady denying Micheál Hynes with a great save.
A free from Tynan steadied the ship on 43 minutes but Longford’s confidence was growing and it was back to a two-point game when Micheál Hynes curled in from the wing with a brilliant strike.
A Brady Hynes free, after Cavan captain Caoláin McCabe was penalised for over-carrying, cut the gap to the minimum on 55 minutes and three minutes later came the crucial score. A Cavan mistake in the middle saw Longford pour forward into space with men over; sub Jason Glancy was taken down while heading for goal and although the initial contact seemed to be outside the area, the ref’s arms were immediately out-stretched – and Glancy’s spot kick, which clipped the stanchion, was perfection itself.
That made it 2-8 to 2-6 in favour of Kieran Carey’s lads. Sub Thomas Partington won possession for Cavan and laid off for Cian Keaney to thread over a stylish point but the Blues could get no closer, with Ryan Brady going off on a black card as the close-quarter exchanges heated up.
And with time up, Jack Walshe wrapped it up when he flung over a terrific free from the right sideline to wrap up a two-point win for the home side.
Cavan: Cillian Brady (Gowna), Evan Crowe (Ballyhaise), Ben McGahan (Cootehill), Sean Óg McGearty (Castlerahan), Caoláin McCabe (Denn), Kyle McCabe (Knockbride), Philip Smyth (Cuchulainns), Mark McDermott (Killygarry), Oran Rehill (Crosserlough, 0-1), Turlough Farrelly (Cuchulainns, 0-1f), Barry Donnelly (Arva, 1-0), Shane Tynan (Ballymachugh, 1-3, 2f), Daire Madden (Gowna), Favor Shehu (Cavan Gaels, 0-1)
Subs used: Ryan Brady (Gowna), Matthew Costello (Crosserlough), Lorcan Reilly (Knockbride), Cian Keaney (Killygarry, 0-1), Liam Maguire (Lavey), Oran Daly (Lavey), Thomas Partington (Arva), Emmanuel Shehu (Cavan Gaels)
Longford: Oisin McManus (Killoe), Darragh Finlass (St Munis Forgney), Sean Morgan (Longford Slashers), Cian Sutton (Clonguish), Diarmuid Farrell (Ardagh Moydow), Oisin O’Toole (Dromard), Josh Sorohan (Clonguish), Dylan Lynch (Sean Connollys), Ben Lynn (Longford Slashers), Padraig Boyle (Ballymore), Matt Duffy (Dromard), James Galligan (Clonguish), Micheál Hynes (Granard, 0-2), Jamie Brady Hynes (Granard, 1-6, 4f, 1m), Eoghan Williams (Colmcille)
Subs used: Aaron Smyth (Colmcille), Dylan Reilly (Granard), Caolan Lynch (Abbeylara), Jack Walshe (Ballymahon, 0-1f), Oisin Flynn (Ballymore), Jason Glancy (Clonguish, 1-0 pen)