Cavan see off Antrim challenge

Cavan 1-19 Antrim 1-13

Cavan 1-19 Antrim 1-13

Cavan convincingly booked their spot in the Ulster SFC quarter-finals today thanks to this six-point point victory over Antrim at a sunny Casement Park.

A 33rd-minute Dermot McCabe goal set Cavan up nicely for victory but it was a strong performance from full-forward Seanie Johnston with eight points which sealed the win.

Another upsetting statistic for Antrim manager Jody Gormley, who sees his Saffron side condemned to Tommy Murphy Cup action, will be the 11 wides which his players amassed in the second half, with the bulk of those efforts coming from scorable positions.

In front of an attendance of 7,096, Cavan began at a lightning pace and led by 0-7 to 1-1 after 20 minutes, following a second point from full-forward Johnston.

The visitors had led by 0-3 to 0-0 after six-and-a-half minutes, thanks to scores from Dermot McCabe, Jason O'Reilly and Martin Reilly but a goal from Antrim sharpshooter CJ McGourty, two minutes later, levelled the contest for the first time.

McGourty's ninth-minute goal was a well-placed effort as he slotted to the net, following a precision pass from Paddy Cunningham who caught a high ball in from a Sean Kelly free-kick.

However, Cavan won a lot of possession in the midfield sector and they clearly brought their shooting boots to Belfast as they took a 0-9 to 1-2 lead, 10 minutes before the break.

Antrim suddenly woke from their mini slumber however and strung together some excellent moves with Tomas McCann latching onto a pass from his brother Michael as the half-forward sent over the Saffrons' first point from play.

This was a good passage for the hosts who equalised, with five minutes left in the half, thanks to points from Ciaran Close and goal-scorer McGourty.

However, McCabe's 33rd-minute goal, following some clever play by Johnston, saw Cavan in the ascension once again.

Paddy Cunningham did get a point back for Antrim, with his third score of the contest leaving it 1-9 to 1-7 in Cavan's favour at the interval.

Antrim dominated possession in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, but despite this they could only manage two points over this period.

Just a point continued to separate the sides as the game entered the final 20 minutes, but it was then that Cavan turned on the style, scoring six of the next seven points to lead by 1-17 to 1-11 by the 58th-minute.

Johnston was instrumental during this purple patch with four glorious points. He punched the air in celebration after scoring his seventh point, with 12 minutes remaining.

Antrim failed to give up with McGourty converting his third point in the closing stages. However Cavan finished strongly to tee up a quarter-final clash with Armagh on June 15.

CAVAN: James Reilly; M Hannon, R Dunne, M Brides; D Sheridan, A Forde, M Cahill (0-1); M McDonald (0-2), D McCabe (1-1, 0-1f); M Reilly (0-3), R Flanagan (0-2), B Watters; C Mackey, S Johnston (0-8, 0-2f), Jason O'Reilly (0-2).

Subs used: P Reilly for Brides (31 mins), L Mulvey for Sheridan (44), P Brady for Dunne (47), E O'Reilly for Jason O'Reilly (59).

ANTRIM: S McGreevey; K O'Boyle, A McClean, J Loughrey; T Scullion, J Crozier, S Kelly; A Gallagher, M McCann; T McCann (0-3, 0-2 '45'), K Niblock (0-1), P Close; P Cunningham (0-4, 0-4f), C McGourty (1-3), C Close (0-1).

Subs used: M Magill (0-1) for P Close (39 mins), T O'Neill for P Close (55), C Brady for Crozier (61), T Convery for Gallagher (65), E O'Neill for Niblock (71).

Referee: Jimmy White (Donegal)

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