Home GAA Cavan Shock Monaghan In Huge Derby Day Upset At Breffni Park

Cavan Shock Monaghan In Huge Derby Day Upset At Breffni Park

Cavan 1-13

Monaghan 0-12

Cavan caused a huge upset in Kingspan Breffni Park by dumping local rivals, Monaghan, out of the Ulster Senior Football Championship.

Mickey Graham’s side dominated from start to finish in front of over 13,000 fans to send last season’s All-Ireland semi-finalists into the first round of the qualifiers.

Conor Brady made his championship debut at midfield for Cavan and if he had any nerves going into the game he didn’t show them as he put Cavan ahead with a little over a minute played.

Niall Murray and Conor Madden grabbed points either side of a Cavan penalty which was coolly dispatched by Martin Reilly to give Cavan the dream start.

Whether Cavan should have been awarded a penalty or not is up for debate. The referee judged Rory Beggan to have fouled Madden but upon reflection, it may have been harsh.

It took nine minutes but Monaghan eventually got on the scoreboard through a Rory Beggan free before Conor McManus added a second.

Monaghan looked to be gaining a foothold in the game but Cavan’s nerves were settled when talisman, Gearoid McKiernan, hit an inspirational score to restore a five-point lead before Murray’s second score put Cavan six ahead ten minutes before half-time.

McManus and McKiernan exchanged frees before Conor Rehill marked his championship debut with a beautiful score. McManus added another free but it was Cavan who got the final score of the half.

Martin Reilly played an inch-perfect, outside of the foot pass inside to Conor Madden. The corner-forward could have tried to go for goal but he took the sensible option, kicking over the bar to give Cavan a commanding seven-point lead at half-time.

HT score: Cavan 1-8 Monaghan 0-4

McKiernan added another free to stretch Cavan’s lead to eight but Monaghan seemed to find their stride hitting three scores back-to-back through McManus, Shane Carey and Beggan.

Dara McVeety and Conor McCarthy traded further points as Cavan entered the final 20 minutes five points clear of their rivals.

Cavan introduced the experienced Cian Mackey to try and close the game out as a pair of points from Carey and Ryan Wylie brought Monaghan to within a goal of their rivals.

The Breffni men desperately needed a score having gone through a 15-minute drought but full-back, Padraig Faulkner, sauntered upfield to edge them four points clear and settle the nerves.

Conor Moynagh then received his marching orders from the referee meaning Cavan had to see out the game with 14 players.

Thomas Galligan was withdrawn from the action with five minutes remaining but not before he marked an impressive first championship start for Cavan by setting up McKiernan to put them four points in front once more.

McKiernan’s influenced had waned somewhat in the second-half despite Cavan continually looking for him from the restart, however, their talisman stood up when counted.

A Christopher Conroy free was the insurance point that Cavan needed, Kieran Hughes attempt to score a last ditch goal but his effort sailed over the bar as Cavan held on for a huge win.

Cavan now await the winners of tomorrow’s clash between Down and Armagh at Páirc Esler.

About Michael Corry

Sports Journalist based in Dublin. Hit me up if you have a unique story to tell. Email: michael@punditarena.com Twitter: @Corry_10 Instagram: @Corry_10