Allianz FL D1: Dublin defeat Cavan
Allianz Football League Division One
DUBLIN 1-16 CAVAN 1-10
By Paul Fitzpatrick at Kingspan Breffni
Neither side will have learned an awful lot from encounter at a sunny Kingspan Breffni, with the hosts' relegation back to Division 2 confirmed and Dublin picking up a routine victory.
While Cavan made the visitors work for it at times and could have been closer but for some poor shooting, for the most part, Dublin were the better side and once Paul Mannion goaled nine minutes into the second half, they never looked in any danger.
In the end, the large Dublin contingent among the 7,311 attendance will have headed back up the M3 fairly content with what they saw while, for Cavan, there were subtle signs of improvement but plenty to work on, too.
At half-time, Dublin were ahead by a point, 0-8 to 1-4, with Martin Reilly's goal just before the break having thrown a lifeline to Mickey Graham's men.
Dean Rock – who raised six white flags in the first half – opened the scoring with a free which was quickly cancelled out by a mark from Dara McVeety.
Rock tapped over another free before Chris Conroy ghosted into space to level matters and Cavan hit the front for the first time when Gearoid McKiernan swung in a super point from the left wing.
The Dubs, though, would kick five of the next six to put some daylight between the sides. From a quick break, Rock blasted over the bar when a goal was on.
The Ballymun man quickly added three more - one from play, a mark and a free. Paul Mannion added a sweet strike as Dublin continued to hold the hosts at arm’s length. Cavan hit back through Conor Madden but another free from Rock left it at double scores.
And then came Cavan’s goal, Reilly rising to beat Evan Comerford in the air and flick home after McKiernan’s delivery.
The Blues could have hit the front, too, with a Martin Reilly ‘point’ waved wide (one umpire signalled for a score) and McVeety hitting the upright from a tight angle.
Cavan levelled on the resumption with a mark from Reilly and Mickey Graham’s charges pushed up as they searched for a second win in this campaign.
Dublin, though, always seemed to have another gear in reserve. Veteran Reilly and Kilkenny traded points before the defining score of the contest arrived in the 43rd minute.
A mishit shot from Rock dropped short and Mannion pounced, grabbing possession and coolly rattling the net to make it 1-9 to 1-6.
And from there, the visitors turned the screw. A point from sub Kevin McManamon and two from Rock (one free) put six between them and more or less put the result beyond doubt.
Cavan had some bright moments in the closing stages, Paul Graham and Killian Clarke registering eye-catching points but Dublin’s lead was never really threatened and they eased home, with Colm Basquel adding the final score.
Scorers for Dublin: Dean Rock 0-9 (5fs, 1m), Paul Mannion 1-3 (1m), Ciaran Kilkenny 0-1m, Kevin McManamon 0-1, Sean Bugler 0-1, Colm Basquel 0-1
Scorers for Cavan: Martin Reilly 1-3 (1m), Gearoid McKiernan 0-3 (1f), Dara McVeety 0-1m, Chris Conroy 0-1, Conor Madden 0-1, Killian Clarke 0-1
DUBLIN: E Comerford, D Daly, D Byrne, C O’Connor, B Howard, C O’Sullivan, J McCarthy, MD Macauley, D Gavin, P Flynn, D Rock, N Scully, C Kilkenny, C O’Callaghan, P Mannion
Subs: K McManamon for Flynn (43 mins), S Bugler (0-1) for Scully (48), P McMahon for O’Connor (55), C Basquel for Mannion (62), B Brogan for Macauley (65).
CAVAN: R Galligan, J McLoughlin, P Faulkner, C Moynagh, G Smith, Conor Brady, C Rehill, D McVeety, K Clarke, P Graham, G McKiernan, C Conroy, M Reilly, J Galligan, C Madden
Subs: B Fortune for McLoughlin (46 mins), J Brady for Madden (49), O Kiernan for Smith 50), N Murray for Graham (52), S Murray for Conroy (63).
REFEREE: R Hickey (Clare).