Allianz FL D2: Clare and Cavan share the spoils
Allianz Football League Division 2
CLARE 1-12 CAVAN 2-9
By Peter O'Connell at Cusack Park
An injury time Bryan Magee free rescued a draw for Cavan in Ennis in the opening game of NFL division 2. Clare had led 1-10 to 1-4, nine minutes into the second half but they they didn't score again for 26 minutes, when Eoin Cleary pointed to tie the game, 2-8 to 1-11.
A minute later Cleary placed Keelan Sexton to put Clare a point up and it looked as if they would hold on. However, Magee pointed after Kieran Malone conceded a free, 45 yards from the Cavan goal.
Clare led 1-7 to 1-2 at half-time, having conceded a 49th second Caoimhin O'Reilly goal, after Cavan sliced through in their first attack.
The game featured 16 full league débutantes, with 10 Cavan players starting their first league game, while six Clare players did likewise, including four of their six forwards.
Éire Óg's Eimihin Courtney goaled in the 12th minute, when full forward Sexton cleverly intercepted an attempted hand pass from goalkeeper Raymond Galligan.
Eoin Cleary put over three first half points, two from frees while Conor Finnucane pointed twice from play. Gearóid O'Brien and Sexton also pointed from play while Cavan's Bryan Magee and goalscorer O'Reilly completed their first half tally, with a pointed free apiece.
Clare started the second half impressively with points from Gary Brennan and O'Brien. However, Cian Mackey, who came on at half-time and played superbly, pointed twice to bring Cavan back into it.
A Dara McVeety goal, after a Mackey shot had been blocked was a huge boost to Cavan who added points from Ciaran Brady, Adrian Cole and Oisin Kiernan.
Clare lost Gary Brennan to a black card, 13 minutes from time and the momentum shifted to Mattie McGleenan's team. Both teams had chance to win it late in the game but Cavan will be happier to pick up an away point, having trailed by half a dozen points, early in the second half.
CLARE: *Killian Roche; Cian O'Dea, Cillian Brennan, Gordon Kelly; Pearse Lillis, Ciaran Russell, Jamie Malone; Gary Brennan (0-1f), Cathal O'Connor (0-1); Alan Sweeney, Eoin Cleary (0-4, 2f), Gearóid O'Brien (0-2); Eimhin Courtney (1-0), Keelan Sexton (0-2), Conor Finucane (0-2). *Subs: Darragh Bohannon for Gary Brennan (BC- 57), Kieran Malone for Alan Sweeney (59), Seán O'Donoghue for Eimhin Courtney (65).
CAVAN: Raymond Galligan; Donal Monahan, Padraig Faulkner, David Phillips; Darragh Kennedy, Ciaran Brady (0-1), Oisin Kiernan (0-1); Killian Clarke, Jack Wharton; Enda Flanagan, Dara McVeety (1-1), David Brady; Caoimhin O'Reilly (1-1, 0-1f), Bryan Magee (0-2f), Conor Madden. *Subs: *Conor Moyna for Jack Wharton (23), Cian Mackey (0-2) for Darragh Kennedy (half-time), Niall McKiernan for Conor Madden (half-time), Adrian Cole (0-1), for David Brady (41), Ryan Connolly for Caoimihin O'Reilly (63), Conor Brady for Niall McKiernan (69).