Cavan comeback thwarts Antrim masters

All Ireland Masters League

Antrim 2-8, Cavan 3-8.
After a late start and as the sun started to go down near Lough Neagh, Antrim and Cavan finally threw in at St Mary’s Aghagallon. On a perfect evening for a game Cavan were back to the same place where they were beaten last year, before going on to reach the masters final against Mayo.
The evening was set up for a competitive game and both teams did not disappoint. Antrim started the brighter with new Master players Dualtach Johnston (Cargin) and Peter McCann (All Saints) getting to grips with the tempo of the game. Both teams tried successfully to exploit the mark and quick attacking football out of a defensive position, attributes of the modern game. Some great fielding and levels of support were evident through the 1st half by both teams.
At the end of this period Antrim were leading 1-3 to 0-4 and had
chances to increase this further. An experienced new forward line was still finding its feet with conversion and delivery from up field.
In order to utilise the available daylight, referee Colm McDonald did a quick turnaround. From the throw in Cavan won a free and quickly
hit one of their light footed forwards, Art McSeain who rounded the Antrim defence to score a splendid goal. Game on and Cavan up by a point 1-4 to 1-3. Antrim tried to push forward over the next 10 minutes getting a brace of points but were punished with good Cavan counter attacking play as a result of mistakes. The consequence of this was two further Cavan goals in quick succession from Barry McGovern and Aoghan Cahill, the Antrim defence exposed with the overlap as players tried to get back, 3-5 to 1-6 for Cavan. With 10 minutes to go and playing over 40’s football Antrim could have dropped the heads but instead found a second wind and pushed hard again, this time reducing the amount of turnover ball and marshalling defence more effectively. The score was cut back to within 1 point 3-5 to 2-7 and Antrim had chances to get on terms, but decision making was a challenge as tiredness crept into the legs.
Cavan finished the game the winners 3-8 to 2-8 with some clever close play as Antrim chased more scores.The game was played over 50 minutes due to the late start and diminishing light … who knows what another 10 minutes would have meant?

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