National League Division 1
A man of the match display from magnificent midfielder Gearóid McKiernan inspired Cavan to their first win in the top-flight of the National League for thirteen years in Castlebar.
McKiernan delivered 1-5 for the Breffni men as they ambushed Mayo in front of a partisan home crowd of 8,565 to give themselves a fighting chance of surviving in the top tier.
Mattie McGleenan’s side were full value for their victory as late points from McKiernan, Dara McVeety and substitute Joe Dillon saw them overtake Mayo with the finish line in sight.
Without injured quartet Aidan O’Shea, Seamie O’Shea, Jason Doherty and Diarmuid O’Connor, the homeside were unable to create or finish enough scoring chances.
Cillian O’Connor also endured a frustrating afternoon as he was shut down by Cavan skipper Killian Clarke, and the Mayo captain failed to register a single score.
The complexion of the match changed completely after the aforementioned McKiernan scored the only goal of the day two minutes into first half stoppage time.
Mayo were leading by 0-9 to 0-5 without hitting too many high notes as half-time approached with Danny Kirby, Andy Moran and Conor O’Shea all landing two points apiece from play.
But they were visibly rattled when a long delivery from Killian Clarke saw Conor Madden and Dara McVeety combine before McKiernan crashed the ball past David Clarke from close range.
At 0-9 to 1-5, it was game on!
The second half was a frantic affair and the sides were level on three occasions during a helter-skelter third quarter.
However, Mayo hit the front on 58 minutes when sub’ Shane Nally landed a long-range point.
Remarkably though that was to be the homeside’s final score of the afternoon as Cavan finished with a flourish and three unanswered points sealed the deal.
Both sides still have a lot of work to do if they’re stay in Division 1 next season as Kerry visit Kingspan Breffni Park next Sunday while Mayo face a difficult trip to Omagh.
D Clarke; B Harrison, K Higgins, P Durcan; C Boyle, L Keegan (0-2), D Vaughan; T Parsons (0-1), D Kirby (0-4); F Boland (0-1), C O’Connor, C O’Shea (0-2); K McLoughlin (0-1), A Moran (0-3), C Loftus.
Subs used: S Coen for Vaughan (52); S Nally (0-1) for Boland (55); E Regan for Loftus (60); N Douglas for O’Shea (66); J Gibbons for Parsons (70).
R Galligan; K Brady, R Dunne (0-1), F Reilly; G Smith, K Clarke, C Moynagh; G McKiernan (1-5, 3fs), T Corr (0-2); M Reilly (0-1), D McVeety (0-3), N Clerkin; N Murray, C Madden (0-1), S Johnston.
Subs used: C Mackey for Johnston (44); S Murray for N Murray (50); C Brady for Clerkin (61); L Buchanan for Corr (70); J Dillon (0-1) for Madden (62).
Referee: A Nolan (Wicklow)
Also Monaghan defeated strugglers Roscommon by 2-17 to 1-13 in Inniskeen.