Cavan end 15-year Tyrone hoodoo

Cavan 1-13 Tyrone 0-12: Cavan clinched their first competitive win at senior level over Tyrone since 2001 with a gritty Dr McKenna Cup victory at Kingspan Breffni Park.

Cavan end 15-year Tyrone hoodoo

The unfancied hosts were good value for their win and led for all but three minutes of an encounter that lasted 82 minutes.

Indeed, once the Blues forged a 0-3 to 0-2 lead after the 13th minute, they never looked like losing what was a sometimes fractious encounter.

Cavan boss Mattie McGleenan saw his charges put in an eager display which was laced by some splendid passing and long-range point-taking to leave the champions suffering a rare defeat to Cavan.

Tyrone native McGleenan must have been especially pleased to notch an opening round win considering his side played with a man less for 11 crucial second half minutes.

Cavan were tentative early on but Martin Reilly’s angled effort on 13 minutes edged them ahead and while Tyrone huffed and puffed thereafter, they created just one decent goal chance but it didn’t arrive until deep in injury time.

Cavan were the more direct, potent side on the day with man-of-the-match Gerard Smith flicking the ball to the net in the 22nd minute to help propel his team into a 1-6 to 0-5 lead at the interval.

Tyrone were more miss than hit over the 82 minutes and their propensity to kick wildly saw them ping four efforts into James Farrelly’s mid-rib in the first half and another three after the restart.

Demonstrating great mobility and an eager-beaver workrate, Cavan continued to enjoy the majority of possession as the second half got underway despite Tyrone enjoying the benefit of a stiffening breeze.

Lee Brennan and Connor McAliskey (two) did keep Cavan honest though and with 20 minutes to play, Cavan’s lead was cut to a manageable four points, 1-9 to 0-8.

Cavan seemed set to go on and cruise their way to the winner’s enclosure but they received a sucker blow in the 57th minute when attacker Niall McDermott received his second yellow card.

However, the O’Neill county failed miserably to capitalise on Cavan’s ill-fortune and they too found themselves down to 14 soon after when Mattie Donnelly was red-carded after an off-the-ball incident involving Seanie Johnston.

Johnston was blackcarded less than a minute later but the script held good as Cavan refused to allow Tyrone make any headway through the middle thanks, in the main, to Martin Reilly’s expert job on marshalling Tyrone playmaker Peter Harte.

Cavan largely remained in their comfort zone in the run-in even if it took a diving save by Farrelly to prevent Ronan McHugh from grabbing a late goal for the O’Neill county deep in injury time.

CAVAN:

J Farrelly; F Reilly, P Faulkner, K Brady (0-1); C Brady, M Reilly (0-1), G Smith (1-2); K Clarke, T Corr (0-1); J Dillon, N McDermott (0-1, f), S Tierney; N Clerkin, L Buchanan, S Johnston (0-4, 3f).

Subs:

P O’Connor (0-1) for L Buchanan (inj, 19); N McKiernan (0-2) for S Tierney (half-time); T Mooney for J Dillon (45); S O’Rourke for T Corr (50); J McLoughlin for P O’Connor (64); C Smith for S Johnston (B.C, 69).

TYRONE:

N Morgan; A McCrory, J Monroe, R McNabb; M Cassidy, T McCann, N Sludden; D McClure, P McNulty; D McCurry, P Harte (0-1), C McCullagh (0-1); L Brennan (0-3, 1f), C McAliskey (0-5, 3f), R O’Neill (0-2, 2f).

Subs:

R Brennan for M Cassidy (inj, 15); H P McGeary for R Brennan (inj, 31); M Donnelly for P McNulty (half-time); R McHugh for D McCurry (57); N McKenna for C McAliskey (inj, 63).

Referee:

M McNally (Monaghan)

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