ulster shock Monaghan dumped out of All-Ireland by Cavan's late, late show
Cavan 2-15 Monaghan 1-17
Underdogs Cavan shocked Monaghan in the Ulster SFC for the second year in a row as a late 55-metre free-kick from goalkeeper Raymond Galligan clinched a victory after extra time in this thrilling local derby.
Cavan were four up early on, fell seven down but rallied to force the extra 20 minutes, where Rory Beggan looked to have sent the game to a penalty shoot-out.
Up stepped Galligan with a monster kick to secure the victory for Cavan in what was an unforgettable rollercoaster of a match which could have gone either way.
How did it come to this, at the end of around 110 exhausting minutes of football? In which two goalkeepers on opposing teams scored consecutive points?
“But it is winter football,” exclaimed Cavan Mickey Graham.
“You are going to get mistakes and opportunities and things are not going to go for you all the time. We said that, chances might slip by. Conditions mean ball handling can be hard. But what a start to the Championship! Wow! What a pity nobody was here to enjoy it.”
Monaghan’s boss Seamus McEnaney suffered a cruel fate of having no back door to console himself.
“Gut-wrenching for us. Really gut-wrenching,” he said. “We knew it was going to be tight. We prepared for it, prepared for extra time,” he said.
Monaghan spent long stretches looking good, really good. Not least for the way they flew into a lead by half-time, 1-11 to 1-4. Cavan’s early goal by Oisín Pierson being cancelled out by Conor McManus on the stroke of half-time, while Monaghan also had three clear goal chances and hit the crossbar twice.
Weather conditions deteriorated badly in the second half but Cavan found their range with the wind around 45 metres out with points from Oisin Kiernan, Thomas Galligan and Luke Fortune.
Monaghan nudged ahead by two by the break of extra time, but a Martin Reilly goal, palmed in after good work and unselfish play by Thomas Galligan, gave Cavan a chance for a sprint finish.
They were helped in that regard by a puzzling straight red card for an off-the-ball incident involving Chris McGuinness that gifted Cavan a numerical advantage from the sixth minute of extra time.
The game flipped once again in Cavan’s favour when Thomas Galligan took delivery of a raking pass, got inside Ryan Wylie and squared to Martin Reilly to palm home.
Monaghan equalised with a Shane Carey mark, Chris Conroy put Cavan back in front with a ‘45’, Rory Beggan restored parity again with a free.
And finally, there was Raymond Galligan at the death. Condemning Monaghan to a winter of soul-searching and putting his own team into a quarter-final against Antrim in Kingspan Breffni next weekend.
Scorers: Monaghan – C McManus 1-4, 2f, M Bannigan 0-2, K Duffy, D Ward, F Kelly, K Hughes, R McAnespie, S O’Hanlon, C McCarthy, A Woods, C Walshe 0-1 each, S Carey 0-1mark, R Beggan 0-1f. Cavan – M Reilly 1-1, G McKiernan 0-3, O Pierson 1-0, S Smith, L Fortune 0-2 each, G Smith, J Smith, O Kiernan, T Galligan 0-1 each, N Murray 0-1mark, C Conroy 0-1 ‘45’, R Galligan 0-1f
MONAGHAN: R Beggan; K Duffy, C Boyle, R Wylie; D Ward, F Kelly, K O’Connell; D Hughes, K Hughes; R McAnespie, M Bannigan, D Wylie; S O’Hanlon, C McCarthy, C McManus. Subs: D Malone for D Wylie (29m), S Carey for McCarthy (64m), N Kearns for O’Hanlon (65m), C McGuinness for K Hughes (73m), C Walshe for Bannigan (ET, 1m), A Woods for Kelly (ET, 8m), C McCarthy for O’Connell (ET 18m)
CAVAN: R Galligan; J McLoughlin, K Clarke, K Brady; G Smith, C Brady, L Fortune; J Smith, P Faulkner; M Reilly, G McKiernan, O Kiernan; O Pierson, S Smith, C O’Reilly. Subs: T Galligan for J Smith (HT), N Murray for Pierson (42m) TE Donoghue for O’Reilly (65m), C Conroy for C Brady (55m), P Graham for K Brady (60m), E Doughty for Murray (ET), O Brady for S Smith (ET, HT), C Timoney for McLoughlin (ET, 20m), N Murray for Donoghue (ET 21m)
Referee: Ciaran Branagan (Down)