McCabe was left devastated by a two-point loss to Waterford (1-15 to 1-13) in Clane on Saturday — as Aileen Wall struck a winning goal in the third minute of stoppage time. Waterford’s remarkable season continues and having taken down Cork and Kerry in the Munster round-robin series, the Déise have now added another big scalp.
With Aisling Doonan on fire for Cavan, the Breffni County produced a superb second-half display, and came from three points down to lead late on. Having found themselves 1-7 to 0-13 adrift with 23 minutes left, Cavan gained a firm stranglehold on proceedings and Waterford looked like going out.
But in the 59th minute, Caoimhe McGrath caught Doonan’s free from underneath her own crossbar and Waterford stayed alive.
And with time almost up, substitute Wall squeezed a shot inside Elaine Walsh’s near post to secure a dramatic win.
McCabe said: “Waterford took their chance very well, they’re a very good team, and well capable of not just giving Dublin a rattle.
“They’ve beaten big teams already and they’ll going in full of confidence into that quarter-final.”
At half-time, Waterford were leading by a point, 0-9 to 1-5, despite losing goalkeeper Jessica Fitzgerald to the sin-bin early on.
Waterford boss Pat Sullivan was pleased with the response of his players, as they picked themselves up following Munster final heartache.
He said: “The bounce-back factor was always going to be a factor. They were hurt, most definitely. We know on the day we didn’t play to our ability. We came up against a very good Kerry team, take nothing away from them, deserving Munster champions, but with three minutes to go, we could have been Munster champions as well. We hit the bar, hit the upright, we had enough chances to put us in the driving seat but that comes with experience. They went down the field, won the kick-out and it was curtains from there.”
Meanwhile, Armagh will face Munster champions Kerry in the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies SFC quarter-finals — after they survived a massive scare from Leinster runners-up Westmeath on Saturday (3-16 to 4-11). Armagh held on for a two-point victory in a tense and high-scoring encounter at home of the Lannleire club in Louth.
The Orchard County got off to a cracking start when Caroline O’Hanlon netted a penalty, before the brilliant Aimee Mackin goaled to open up a 2-3 to 0-3 lead. Westmeath captain Laura Lee Walsh responded with a goal and when Ciara Blundell scored their second, it was very much game on. At half-time, Armagh led by 2-9 to 2-7 and there was more drama to come in the second period.
O’Hanlon scored a quite stunning goal to hand Armagh an early boost, fielding on the 45-yard line before launching the ball into the net from distance.
Westmeath hit back with Kelly Boyce Jordan finding the net.
Midway through the second half, Armagh led by 3-12 to 3-8 and they suffered a huge blow when Marian McGuinness was sin-binned, while Aine Mackin had a goal ruled out. A superb Aimee Mackin score steadied Armagh, and had them 3-15 to 3-9 in front, but Westmeath were back in it when Leona Archibold netted a penalty.
In stoppage time, Armagh were just two points clear and playing with 14, but star Mackin moved the winners into a three-point advantage. There was still time for Maud Annie Foley to bring Westmeath to within two points — but Armagh held out for a spot in the last eight of the championship.