Cavan end 18-year wait for Ulster final after pulsating replay win over Armagh

Cavan 0-23
Armagh 0-17

Declan Bogue reports from St Tiernach’s Park

MICKEY GRAHAM REACHED deep into his great Gaelic football replays guide to fashion out an impressive semi-final win over Armagh that takes Cavan into their first Ulster final since 2001.

The Breffni men led from the seventh minute to the finish and while Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney was left to rue a number of spurned goal chances, Cavan themselves hit the post from a short distance with a wide open goal.

They also clipped over six of the last seven scores to push out the margin of victory as Armagh tired.

Dara McVeety was immense throughout, and late scores from him, Cian Mackey and Gearoid McKiernan sent them through the Ulster final, where they’ll meet Donegal on 23 June.

Asked about his record in replays, Graham said, “You could put it down to luck! As Napoleon says, you need to be a lucky general!

The way I always looked at replays is, when you get a second chance in life, you have to grab it. Some teams look at it and see it as a missed opportunity, we looked at it as an opportunity to back up our performance and maybe take it to another level and I felt it was in us.

“If we had have lost last week, we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do that so I said to the lads, ‘You have an opportunity now, if you don’t go and put a performance in today, there are no excuses. You get two cracks at it, how many cracks do you want?’ And that’s the way we approached it.”

He’s modest. Way too modest.

A first Ulster final in 18 years and one step closer. Through all the good times and bad we have stuck together. Cavan and Proud. pic.twitter.com/RNb3KXjsI3

— Official Cavan GAA (@CavanCoBoardGaa) June 9, 2019

Scorers for Armagh: J Clarke 0-7, 3f, R O’Neill 0-6, 4f, S Campbell 0-2, M Shields, R Grugan 0-1 each

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Scorers for Cavan: N Murray 0-5, 4f, D McVeety 0-4, R Galligan 0-3, 3f, G McKiernan 0-3, C Moynagh 0-2, M Reilly, K Clarke, C Rehill, O Kiernan, O Pierson, C Mackey 0-1 each

ARMAGH: B Hughes; R Kennedy, C Vernon, P Hughes; M Shields, P Burns, J Morgan; J Óg Burns, N Grimley; A Forker, A Nugent, J Hall; A Murnin, R O’Neill, J Clarke

Subs: S Campbell for Nugent (29m), A McKay for Vernon (30m), R Grugan for Murnin (44m), B Crealey for Hall (57m), J McElroy for Morgan (67m), E Rafferty for J Óg Burns (69m)

CAVAN: R Galligan; P Faulkner, K Clarke, J McLoughlin; N Murray, C Rehill, M Reilly; T Galligan, C Brady; O Kiernan, C Moynagh, D McVeety; O Pierson, G McKiernan, C Madden

Subs: C Mackey for Madden (42m), S Murray for T Galligan (49m), C O’Reilly for Pierson (65m), J Brady for O Kiernan (75m)

Referee: Paddy Neilan (Roscommon)

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Attendance: 21,192

– Updated 21.19

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