Galway 0-10, Cavan 0-12:
Galway coughed up a substantial half-time lead for the second time in a week as Martin Dunne inspired Cavan to their third result on the road this season at Pearse Stadium.
Galway held a five-point lead at the break, but first-half substitute Dunne kicked five points after his introduction — he also missed a penalty before the break — as Galway repeated their poor second period form.
Unlike last week’s capitulation against Down, Walsh was disappointed not to see his side perform yesterday and he lamented some poor wides, disappointing decision-making and out-of-form players.
“There was lots of things we didn’t do right. I think carrying ball into tackles, bad decision-making out the field, I thought we didn’t win near as much ball in the middle of the field like we have been used to doing.
“That was a platform for Cavan to come forward like they are good at. But you’d be happy to be five points up but since I’ve been here we’ve always been hoping to get performances. Right up until today, I would consider we had performances even though we lost last week, but that wouldn’t be a performance for us today,” said the Galway manager, who will hope for big improvements against Laois next weekend.
Walsh was not too happy with his side before the break as they leaked a couple of goal chances, but neither was his opposite number, Terry Hyland who felt his side turned down shots at goal too often.
Cavan have yet to score a goal in their five games to date, have lost both their home games, and have also taken two wins and a draw away from home, but Hyland is not inclined to dream of top flight football and back-to-back promotions just yet.
“We’d be happy if we can get another point or two and consolidate ourselves in the division because we’ve been playing in Division Three for so long. It is a step up in pace for us but it’s all about consolidation,” said Hyland.
With Paul Conroy making his first start of the season for Galway at centre forward, Walsh’s tactics were clear: flood men behind the ball once you lose it, but counter attack quickly and supply direct ball into the forward line once you reach halfway.
It worked well for the Tribesmen in the first 35 minutes as their full-forward line showed very well for ball, while the excellent Cathal Sweeney and Paul Varley kept it tight at the back.
Conroy kicked the first two points of the game to give Galway the advantage at the 10-minute mark, and after Michael Martin slotted a free from the right, Jack Brady finally got Cavan off the mark in the 15th minute.
Dunne was barely on the field a minute when he landed a score from the right touchline to put two between the sides. He could have given Cavan the lead from the penalty spot but Manus Breathnach easily saved his kick. The game could have turned at that juncture. Instead of taking the lead, Cavan went on to concede three points in a row before half-time and it could have been worse had Danny Cummins not blasted a chance over the bar in injury-time.
Cavan were certainly boosted by that wastefulness and went on to kick five of the next six points to pull within one score. Damien Comer responded for Galway, but another four unanswered points from Cavan, including a brilliant Dunne point from the left saw Cavan easily hold on for victory.
Scorers for Galway: M Martin 0-4, (4f), D Comer 0-3 (1f, 1 ‘45), P Conroy 0-2 (1f), D Cummins 0-1.
Scorers for Cavan: M Dunne 0-5 (2f), M Reilly 0-1 (f), J Brady 0-1, N McDermott 0-1, D McVeety 0-1, J McEnroe 0-1, G McKiernan 0-1, T Corr 0-1.
GALWAY: M Breathnach; J Duane, F Hanley, C Sweeney; P Varley, G Bradshaw, G O’Donnell; F Ó Curraoin, E Tierney; D Comer, P Conroy, S Denvir; M Martin, A Varley, D Cummins.
Subs: E Hoare for A Varley (54), S Walsh for Denvir (61).
CAVAN: C Gilsenan; J McLoughlin, R Flanagan, R Dunne; J McEnroe, F Flanagan, K Brady; T Corr, G McKiernan; N McDermott, D McVeety, M Reilly; C Mackey, C Moynagh, J Brady.
Subs: M Dunne for K Brady (23), B Fitzpatrick for J Brady (51), N Murray for R Flanagan (66, BC), C Conroy for Moynagh (70), P Smith for Reilly (70).
Referee: M Deegan (Laois)
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