Fáilte chuig gaa.ie - suíomh oifigiúil CLG



Allianz FL D2: Spoils divided at Kingspan Breffni

Paddy Lynch scored six points for Cavan against Meath. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Paddy Lynch scored six points for Cavan against Meath. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Allianz Football League Division Two

Cavan 0-11 Meath 0-11

By Paul Keane at Kingspan Breffni

Goalkeeper Sean Brennan emerged as Meath's unlikely saviour, drilling the 70th minute equaliser to secure a dramatic draw in Cavan.

Mind you, exactly who benefits from the stalemate is anyone's guess with both counties requiring a win beforehand to keep alive their outside hopes of promotion back to Division One.

Cavan began the day knowing that three wins to round off their campaign would result in a top-two finish.

They did lead after Paddy Lynch's sixth point of the evening in the 68th minute too but, overall, were perhaps fortunate to get the draw.

Meath led by four points at half-time, hit the woodwork with a point attempt from Ciaran Caulfield deep into stoppage time and had a gilt edged goal chance from Shane Walsh earlier in the second-half expertly saved.

The Royals had to dig in late on as they had substitute Ruairi Kinsella black carded in the 66th minute.

Colm O'Rourke's Tailteann Cup champions, a point behind Donegal and Armagh, but with an extra game played, will return to duty in a fortnight against Cork, in Navan, while Cavan will travel to play Armagh.

Meath, seeking a first league or Championship win against Cavan in Cavan since the 1960s, were unchanged from the side that defeated Kildare last weekend in Navan but Cavan brought Ryan Brady and Conor Rehill into their lineup.

Brady wore number five but lined out at midfield alongside Killian Clarke while Rehill slipped into the half-back line.

The match-ups were intriguing with Meath dangermen Shane Walsh and Costello picked up by full-back Killian Brady and Jason McLoughlin respectively.

The early Walsh-Brady battle was absorbing with Walsh, comfortable playing off either foot, winning plenty of ball.

Walsh only struck one first-half point though he consistently threatened and he played in Jack O'Connor for one tidy score. Eoghan Frayne was similarly influential as a creator, laying on passes for Costello and Walsh scores in the opening quarter.

At the other end, Cavan full-forward Lynch was picked up by Meath's most accomplished defender Donal Keogan before Adam O'Neill later moved onto him.

Lynch struck Cavan's first point from a 14th minute free and added another from a free approaching the interval. Other than that, he was held scoreless from play and Cavan only scored once from open play as a team in the first period, a Cian Madden score in the 23rd minute.

Meath led by 0-7 to 0-3 at half-time but the real story of the opening half was of errant shooting and all the missed opportunities.

They shared 11 wides between eachother and Cavan were most guilty of wasteful play, shooting six of those misses into the town end and dropping another couple of score attempts short.

Meath moved captain Ronan Jones into the full-forward line for the second-half. But most of the action was at the opposite end as a much-improved Cavan outscored Meath by 0-4 to 0-1 in the first 20 minutes of the second-half.

Lynch and James Smith registered two points each though wides and point attempts dropping short continued to frustrate them.

Meath were profligate too and Walsh was denied a goal in the 40th minute when Cavan goalkeeper Gary O'Rourke pulled off a great save in a one-on-one.

McGowan had another goal chance for Meath 10 minutes later but his meek shot was blocked by a defender.

The sides were finally back level on the hour mark following a Padraig Faulkner point for Cavan, leaving it 0-9 to 0-9.

They were tied again at 0-10 and 0-11 apiece and it ultimately remained that way despite both sides having stoppage time opportunities to steal a winner.

Meath came closest when wing-back Caulfield struck a left-footed kick from the left side of goals back off an upright after a lung bursting counter-attack.

Scorers for Cavan: Paddy Lynch 0-6 (5fs), James Smith 0-2, Cian Madden 0-1, Padraig Faulkner 0-1, Niall Carolan 0-1.

Scorers for Meath: Sean Brennan 0-3 (3 45s), Daithi McGowan 0-2, Mathew Costello 0-2, Eoghan Frayne 0-1 (0-1f), Shane Walsh 0-1, Ronan Jones 0-1, Jack O'Connor 0-1.

Cavan: Gary O'Rourke; Niall Carolan, Killian Brady, Jason McLoughlin; Conor Rehill, Brian O'Connell, Padraig Faulkner; Ryan Brady, Killian Clarke; Ciaran Brady, Cian Madden, Gerard Smith; Oisin Brady, Paddy Lynch, James Smith.

Subs: Caoimhin O'Reilly for Oisin Brady 21, Tiarnan Madden for Ryan Brady h/t, Cian Reilly for Rehill h/t, Ryan O'Neill for O'Reilly 53, Oisin Kiernan for Killian Brady 69.

Meath: Sean Brennan; Adam O'Neill, Donal Keogan, Brian O'Halloran; Ciaran Caulfield, Darragh Campion, Sean Coffey; Daithi McGowan, Cian McBride; Ronan Jones, Eoghan Frayne, Jack O'Connor; Mathew Costello, Shane Walsh, Cathal Hickey.

Subs: Ruairi Kinsella for O'Connor 49, Danny Dixon for McGowan 57, Michael Murphy for Hickey 52, Aaron Lynch for Frayne 52, Adam McDonnell for Campion 65.

Referee: James Molloy (Galway).