Cavan 0-12 Queen's University 3-13
New Cavan manager Tommy Carr got off to a losing start when Queen’s, powered by a Shaun O’Neill hat-trick, proved too strong at Breffni Park last night in the Gaelic Life Dr McKenna Cup.
The experimental disciplinary rules were introduced without any major controversy, although four players, three of them from Cavan, were sent off after being yellow-carded, with substitutes replacing the offenders.
Tyrone’s O’Neill fisted home two goals in the opening 10 minutes to give Queen’s a perfect start.
O’Neill spent most of the Red Hands’ All-Ireland winning campaign on the bench, but he looks a real prospect for 2009.
Gerard Pearson and substitute Jason O’Reilly kicked five first half points between them, but the students always held the edge in fitness, and Brendan McArdle and Armagh’s Charlie Vernon helped them dominate the central area.
Cavan attacker Eddie Reilly became the first victim of the experimental disciplinary rules when he was dismissed after picking up a yellow card, with Queen’s defender Paul Courtney also sent off in similar circumstances. Both players were replaced by substitutes.
James Loughrey, James Kielt, O’Neill and Vernon all fired over impressive scores, and it was the students who led by 2-8 to 0-6 at the interval.
O’Neill blasted home a spectacular third goal 13 minutes into the second half, and QUB’s superior fitness saw them open up a 14 points lead, before Cavan staged a brief revival late on.
Cavan: E Elliot, M Brides, P Reilly, E McCormack, J McCutcheon, R Dunne, M McKeever (0-1), C Galligan, L Mulvey, E Reilly, A Reilly (0-1), J Clarke, G Pearson (0-5, 2f), D Gibney, P Gumley.
Subs: P Brady for Dunne (blood), J O’Reilly (0-4, 3f) for E Reilly (yellow), Dunne for Brady, A Tate for Mulvey, Brady for A Reilly, D McKernan for Clarke, D O’Dowd for Gibney (yellow), J Hayes for McCutcheon (yellow)
Queen’s: F Murphy, H Gallagher, N McGovern, L Howard (0-1), R Dillon, P Courtney, J Crozier, B McArdle (0-2), C Vernon, J Loughrey (0-2), C Maginn (0-1), S McGoldrick (0-2), J Kielt (0-2), S O’Neill (3-2), P McVey (0-1).
Subs: D O’Hagan for Courtney (yellow), C Leonard for McVey, S Burke for Vernon, J O’Kane for Dillon, C Bayne for Loughrey, M Sweeney for McGoldrick.
Referee: M Higgins (Fermanagh).