Longford brush Cavan challenge aside

Cavan 0-11 Longford 2-16

Cavan 0-11 Longford 2-16

Longford bristled with confidence and intent as they demolished Cavan’s poor challenge at Breffni Park.

And they came good in the finishing stakes, having reflected long, hard and painfully on their one point Leinster SFC defeat to Laois, when they hit 16 wides.

This time, there were only seven wides, and an attacking rout by deadly trio Sean McCormack, Paul Barden and Brian Kavanagh, who shared out a spectacular 1-14 tally to banish an inexperienced Breffni side from the 2011 championship.

Longford looked dangerous in the early stages, running at a hesitant Cavan defence and picking off scores almost at will.

Having established midfield supremacy through Bernard McElvaney and Martin Brady, they had opportunities to build up a big lead, but failed to put many of their best scoring chances away.

Brian Kavanagh and Sean McCormack, who converted two frees, helped them to a 0-4 to 0-2 lead by the 12th minute, with Eugene Keating on target twice for the home side.

Cavan looked vulnerable at the back, and were fortunate not to concede a goal when David Barden was allowed to break through a series of tackles, only to scuff his shot wide.

But the home side suddenly grasped the game by the scruff of the neck, and dominated the second quarter.

Having gone 16 minutes without scoring, they hit five of the final six points of the half, with Keating bringing his tally to four with an immaculate long range effort.

Wing backs Mark McKeever and James McEnroe also found the target, sending Cavan in at the break with a 0-7 to 0-6 lead.

Longford, now with the wind in their backs, drew level with a McCormack free five minutes after the restart, and moved back in front when the same player thumped over a long range free.

And they opened out a five points lead in the 49th minute when Paul Barden smashed in a goal after being released by the unselfish McCormack.

Cavan struggled to win primary or secondary possession around the middle, where the efforts of David Givney brought them little in the way of reward.

Cavan did pull back points through Seanie Johnston and Michael Brennan, but their challenge was over when they lost two men to second yellow cards in the closing stages, Gareth Smith and Givney.

And Longford finished the job off in spectacular fashion when Kavanagh volleyed in their second goal after James Reilly had saved from Niall Mulligan.

Cavan: J Reilly, M Cahill, T Corr, M Brady, M McKeever (0-1), J McCutcheon, J McEnroe (0-1), D Givney, G McKiernan, F Flanagan, M Lyng, N Murray, N McDermott 0-1, f), E Keating (0-4, 1F), S Johnston (0-3, 2F).

Subs: G Smith for Murray (18), R Flanagan for F Flanagan (41), M Brennan (0-1, ’45) for McCutcheon (41), C Mackey for Lyng (51)

Longford: D Sheridan, D Brady, B Gilleran, D Reilly, S Mulligan, K Diffley,

N Farrell, B McElvaney (0-1), M Brady, D Barden, D Masterson, P Barden (1-3), D McElligot, B Kavanagh (1-2), S McCormack (0-9, 2f).

Subs: F McGee for McElligot (46), P Foy for Mulligan, N Mulligan for Masterson, C Smith (0-1) for Farrell (61), J Keegan for D Barden (69)

Referee: M Duffy (Sligo).

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