Cavan 0-5 Roscommon 0-16
Roscommon routed a sorry Cavan side at Breffni Park to sweep through to the third round of the All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers today.
John Evans’ men cut loose in the second half, but in truth, encountered little resistance from a Breffni side devoid of ideas, struggling for confidence and alarmingly short on hunger and desire.
Enda Smith, Diarmud Murtagh and Cathal Cregg cut swathes through the home side’s defence in the second half, the trio finishing with a combined total of 12 points, while Cavan did not possess a single attacker who carried a meaningful threat.
In front of a crowd of 8,150 at the Cavan town venue, an error-ridden opening 16 minutes failed to produce a score, but did feature many missed opportunities.
Cavan, with 13 men stationed almost permanently in their own half, struggling to make anything of wind advantage and it was the Rossies who went ahead with a Diarmuid Murtagh free.
Conor Daly’s attempt to release Ciaran Cafferkey on goal was thwarted by a Cavan interception from Joshua Hayes, and at the other end, Roscommon corner back Neil Collins stretched to punch away Eugene Keating’s delivery, directed at Jack Brady.
Keating and Brady were isolated inside, and starved of quality possession as the Breffni men relied on sporadic breaks.
Cathal Cregg doubled the Roscommon lead, before the home side finally registered an opening score in the 29th minute, Martin Reilly hitting the target from distance.
But they were being squeezed out in midfield, from where Kevin Higgins drove the Connacht side’s challenge.
Enda Smith made a surging run to drill over a third Ros point, but they squandered further chances to pull further clear, Murtagh and Cregg both missing easy frees.
And just a point separated the sides at the break, after Keating thumped over a superb score from wide on the left, sending his side in trailing by 0-3 to 0-2.
But the Rossies opened up with a flourish with three points inside the opening six minutes of the second half, two of them delightful efforts from the strong-running Shine.
Cavan repeatedly coughed up possession in cheap turnovers, from which they conceded scores to Conor Daly and Cregg, as Roscommon eased six points clear by the 46th minute.
Niall Daly and Neil Collins were rock solid at the back, carrying the ball forward with conviction as Cavan went back on the retreat after virtually every failed attack.
The further ahead they went, the more Roscommon grew in confidence, and Smith was unstoppable as he thundered through for another point.
Conor Daly chipped in with a couple of scores, and Murtagh added two more to his tally, before he and Smith were substituted.
Substitute Donie Smith also weighed in with two classy points, with Cavan’s consolation scores coming from Philip Tinnelly and Martin Reilly.
Cavan: C Gilsenan, J McLoughlin, K Brady, F Flanagan, J Hayes, J McEnroe, R Maloney-Derham, D O’Reilly, G McKiernan, M Argue (0-1), M Lyng, N McDermott, J Brady, E Keating (0-1), M Reilly (0-2).
Subs: M McKeever for Hayes, D Givney for Lyng, P Tinnelly (0-1) for Maloney-Derham, T Mooney for McDermott, N Murray for Brady, T Corr for Argue
Roscommon: D O’Malley, S McDermott, N Carty, N Collins, D Keenan, N Daly, C Cafferkey, C Shine, K Higgins, D O’Gara, E Smth (0-4), C Daly (0-2), S Kilbride, C Cregg (0-3, 1f), D Murtagh (0-5, 3f).
Subs: R Stack for Keenan, D Smith (0-2) for O’Gara, M Nally for Daly, I Kilbride for E Smith, M Finneran for Higgins, C Murtagh for D Murtagh.
Refreee: B Cassidy (Derry).