Galway 2-16 Cavan 1-9
Galway swept to a 10-point win in the All-Ireland U21 football final at Croke Park, thanks to a devastating first half display.
The Tribesmen were 11 points clear at the halfway stage, and there was no way back for an outclassed Cavan side.
Galway’s fourth title at this level was attained with genuine class and style, and bodes well for the future of football in the county.
Patrick Sweeney and Eric Monahan both hit goals in the first half to give the Connacht champions a solid foundations, and, playing into the wind in the second period, they protected their lead.
Wing back Joss Moore pressed forward to fire over two early points for Galway, and Danny Cummins showed searing pace to dash through for a point.
And they had the ball in the net in the 15th minute. After Mark Hehir and Cummins had shot them into a 0-5 to 0-3 lead, full forward Patrick Sweeney fisted home at the third attempt.
Tomas Flynn twice hit the bar, his first effort superbly deflected onto the woodwork by goalkeeper Alan O’Mara, before Sweeney finished to the net.
Hehir and Cummins added to their tallies, and in the 21st minute, Eric Monahan finished off a move involving Michael Boyle and Tomas Fahy to blast home a second Galway goal.
Niall Smith and Barry Reilly had give Cavan hope with early scores, and there was a minor revival when Reilly and Niall McDermott did add further points, but they trailed by 11 at the break, 2-10 to 0-5.
Prospects for a Breffni comeback were dealt a blow when Manus Breathnach saved a Barry Reilly penalty four minutes into the second half, and moments later Galway centre back Jonathan Duane made a superb interception as jack Brady tried to release Packie Leddy on goal.
Cavan, now with the wind in their backs, did pull back points through Niall Murray, Kevin Tierney and McDermott, but the Connacht champions were comfortably able to maintain their healthy lead, with Cummins and Michael Boyle hitting superb points.
They could have had a third goal when Boyle sent Michael Farragher through, but the sub blasted wide.
Galway were never in danger of losing this one, however, even when cavan sub Conor McClarey slid home a late goal with his first touch.
Galway: M Breathnach, G Sweeney, C Forde, A Tierney, J Moore (0-2), J Duane, T Fahy, T Flynn, F O Curraoin, C Doherty (0-1), M Hehir (0-7, 4f), M Boyle (0-2, 1f), D Cummins (0-4), P Sweeney (1-0), E Monahan (1-0).
Subs: A Murphy for Sweeney, M Farragher for Monahan, B Flaherty for Boyle, C Halloran for Fahy, C Silke for Tierney.
Cavan: A O’Mara, M Leddy, O Minagh, D Tighe, K Meehan, D Barkey, M Brady, G McKiernan, F Flanagan (0-1), N Smith (0-1), N Murray (0-1), B Reilly (0-2, 1f), J Brady (0-1, f), N McDermott (0-2), P Leddy.
Subs: P King for M Leddy, T Mooney for Tighe, K Tierney (0-1) for Reilly, N McKiernan for King, C McClarey (1-0) for Meehan