Burst of points at the finish give Tyrone win over Cavan

Cavan 1-12 - 0-18 Tyrone

Gutsy Tyrone underlined their qualifier class with a strong finish in Enniskillen to burn off resurgent Cavan and secure their place in Monday morning's Round 4 draw.

With 26 qualifier wins from 30 beforehand, Mickey Harte's All-Ireland hopefuls looked all set for another comfortable win in the back door when leading by double scores after 40 minutes, 0-10 to 0-5.

But a 1-2 burst from Cavan including a goal from Martin Reilly turned the game on its head and left the sides level.

They were tied twice more in Enniskillen and with 13 minutes to go there was nothing between the Ulster outfits, 0-13 to 1-10.

Niall Sludden of Tyrone in action against Dan Wharton of Cavan. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Gearoid McKiernan was terrific for Cavan, scoring five points and inspiring their best play in front of around 6,000 on the afternoon.

But not even his genius could secure a first win for Cavan over Tyrone in the Championship since 1983 as the Red Hands finished with a burst of points.

Ronan O'Neill was only on the pitch from the 44th minute but was terrific for Tyrone in the closing stages and scored three points.

Last year's All-Ireland semi-finalists outscored Cavan by 0-5 to 0-2 in the final 11 minutes to advance to the last round and will face beaten provincial finalists Roscommon, Cork, Fermanagh or Laois.

Cavan got a boost from captain Dara McVeety's involvement having been cleared of a red card offence against Down in the previous round.

Tyrone's Michael O’Neill and Fergal Reilly of Cavan challenge for possession. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

A 20th-minute McVeety point left the sides level at 0-5 apiece though Tyrone took over from there and scored the last four points of the half to lead 0-9 to 0-5.

Cavan went from the 20th minute to the 42nd without scoring and trailed by that 0-10 to 0-5 margin when they finally awoke from the slumber and hit 1-2 without reply.

The two points came from McKiernan, the second a brilliant effort from distance, while Reilly rose up highest to fist in the goal after Conor Bradley's high ball in from the right.

Tyrone chief Harte described it as a 'dangerous situation' for his team and admitted that Cavan appeared to be the side with momentum on their side.

But the introduction of O'Neill was vital as Tyrone edged a tense tie that hung in the balance until the last five minutes or so.

Scorers for Tyrone: R O'Neill (0-1f), N Sludden 0-3 each, T McCann, M Donnelly, C McShane, F Burns, P Harte (0-2f) 0-2 each, R Donnelly, C McAliskey (0-1f) 0-1 each.

Scorers for Cavan: G McKiernan 0-5 (0-2f), M Reilly 1-0, D McVeety 0-2, S Johnston, C Brady, K Clarke, O Kiernan, C Moynagh 0-1 each.

Tyrone: M O'Neill; M McKernan, R McNamee, P Hampsey; T McCann, M Donnelly, F Burns; C Cavanagh, D McClure; N Sludden, P Harte, C Meyler; C McShane, R Donnelly, C McAliskey.

Subs: R O'Neill for McAliskey 44, K McGeary for McShane 54, H Loughran for McClure 65, C McCarron for McKernan 66, C McCann for Meyler 71, R Brennan for Sludden 73.

Cavan: J Farrelly; E Flanagan, K Brady, F Reilly; C Brady, M Reilly, C Moynagh; K Clarke, G McKiernan; O Kiernan, C Mackey, S Johnston; N Murray, C Bradley, D McVeety.

Subs: S McCormack for Clarke 35+2, A Cole for Mackey h/t, J McLoughlin for Flanagan 43, P Faulkner for Murray 43, Mackey for Brady 63, C O'Reilly for Johnston 63.

Ref: D Coldrick (Meath).


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