Depleted Blues beaten by Breffni
DUBLIN'S Under 16 footballers failed in their attempts to claim the Gerry Reilly inter-county tournament as they fell by 1-16 to 1-8 to a dominant Cavan side in Oldcastle last Sunday evening.
There were mitigating factors to the Dubs' defeat given they were without key personnel on the night and the Ulster county took full advantage by claiming a deserved eight-point win.
It was an even opening with the score tied at 0-2 apiece after eight minutes, but Cavan took control through their ascendancy in the middle third.
David Maloney was denied by Daniel Cullivan soon after and Cavan appeared galvanised by that save as they kicked successive scores through Stephen Smith, Eoin Smith and three points from full-forward Thomas Edward Donohue.
Although Dublin briefly stemmed the flow through a point by Aaron Carey, Cavan finished the half on a high, kicking points from Eoin Smith, Stephen Smith, Owen Cooney and Donohue with Cullivan's wonderful save late on from Conor Lennon ensuring a 0-11 to 0-3 interval lead for Cavan.
Matters deteriorated for Dublin within four minutes of the resumption as Stephen Smith was in the right place to apply a clinical finish after a point attempt had been parried out.
Despite that body blow, Dublin regrouped impressively with Lennon kick-starting a mini-revival that included two frees by Ciaran Dowling and further scores from Jeff Rafter and midfielder Aaron Bradshaw.
At the end of the third quarter, Rafter's goal trimmed Dublin's arrears further to six points (1-13 to 1-7) but Cavan regather their composure to land further scores through Stephen Smith and Cooney.
Cavan completed their win despite the concession of a late point to Cormac Howley but the merit of their victory could not be questioned as they excelled in the tackle and their use of the long ball while Dublin were ultimately inconvenienced by the absence of key personnel who had shone in earlier round robin victories.
SCORERS - Cavan: S Smith 1-5 (0-4f); T Donohue 0-5 (2f); O Cooney 0-3; E Smith 0-2; C Smith 0-1.
Dublin: J Rafter 1-2; C Dowling 0-3 (3f); C Lennon, C Howley, A Carey 0-1 each
DUBLIN: Evan Comerford (Ballymun Kickhams); Glen McNamara (Raheny), Rob Shaw (Castleknock), Seafra Fitzgerald (Na Fianna); Aaron Carey (St Oliver Plunkett's/Eoghan Ruadh), Paddy Smyth (Clontarf), Conor Gibson (Nh Barróg); David Maloney (St Sylvester's), Aaron Bradshaw (Ballinteer St John's); Cormac Howley (Round Tower, Lusk), Dan O'Brien (Kilmacud Crokes), Kevin Lillis (Clontarf); Jeff Rafter (Na Fianna), Ciarán Dowling (Lucan Sarsfields), Conor Lennon (St Finian's, Swords).
CAVAN: Daniel Cullivan; Finbar McAvenie, Patrick O'Reilly, Matthew McGee; Eoin Smith, Colm O'Reilly, Luke Fortune; Conor Brady, Thomas Keaney; Ryan O'Neill, Patrick Brady, Stephen Smith; Owen Cooney, Thomas Edward Donohoe, Conor Smith.