Seanie Johnston made a long-awaited return for Cavan in Saturday night’s crushing 3-14 to 0-9 win over UUJ at Kingspan Breffni Park.
Making his first appearance in Breffni blue since 2011 following a short stint with Kildare and a spell out of the inter-county scene, the Cavan Gaels forward was brought on in the 60th-minute with the home team already assured of victory.
He failed to get on the scoresheet, but set up a late score for Joe Dillon in a low-key return to ease his way back into top-level football.
All the goals came in a 10-minute spell in the first half, early sub Paul O’Connor with two and Enda Henry with the other.
Cavan were 3-6 to 0-5 ahead at the break, with Niall Murray and Chris Conroy among the second-half point scorers as Terry Hyland’s side put one foot into the semi-finals.
Elsewhere, a strong finish saw Armagh come from five points down to beat Ulster champions Monaghan by 0-16 to 2-9 in Clones.
Stefan Campbell scored five of the last six points to give Kieran McGenney’s side their first win of the season while Monaghan slipped to a second defeat in a row.
Monaghan had led by 1-6 to 0-7 at half-time, Barry McGinn the star performer hitting 1-3 in the opening period.
Owen Duffy bagged a second goal in the second half to put Monaghan in a commanding position, leading by 2-7 to 0-8.
Malachy O’Rourke’s side were to rue three good goal chances in the game as Armagh finished strongly in the final quarter.
Niall McConville, Michael McKenna, and Rory Grugan began the fightback with Campbell’s points crucial as Armagh stayed in the hunt for a semi-final place.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved