This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
Dublin: 10 °C Thursday 24 October, 2019

Rock hits 0-9 as Dublin end tricky league campaign with six-point win in Cavan

The All-Ireland champions now turn their attention towards this summer’s Leinster championship.

Dublin 1-16

Cavan 1-10

Paul Fitzpatrick reports from Kingspan Breffni Park

THE BIG TAKEAWAYS from this slow-burner of a contest in Cavan?

There were none to report, really, other than to say that Cavan are going down and Dublin, for all the reports of their demise, are still capable of winning well while playing within themselves.

Gearoid McKiernan with Darren Gavin Cavan's Gearoid McKiernan battles for possession with Dublin's Darren Gavin. Source: Declan Roughan/INPHO

Jim Gavin’s side were never really threatened here bar a brief spell either side of half-time when Cavan rallied from four down to level thanks to a 1-1 haul from veteran Martin Reilly but once Paul Mannion found the net minutes after the restart, there was only going to be one winner.

Dublin started brightly with a couple of points from Dean Rock – who bagged the first six for the away side – but Cavan hit the front for the first and only time with points from Chris Conroy and Gearoid McKiernan.

At this stage, there was little between them but Dublin were beginning to probe and a run of five points from six established a foundation on which their success was ultimately built.

Rock supplied four points – two from play, a mark and a free – and then, after a bout of handbags in front of the stand, order was restored and a superb Paul Mannion strike makde it 0-7 to 0-3.

Tempers flare between the two teams Tempers flare between the two teams. Source: Declan Roughan/INPHO

The Ballymun man quickly added three more – one from play, a mark and a free – before tempers frayed. A flashpoint in front of the stand saw at least a dozen players pile in and saw four yellow cards handed out, two to each side.

Cavan hit back through Conor Madden but another free from Rock left it at double scores. And then came Cavan’s goal, Reilly rising to beat Evan Comerford in the air and flick home after McKiernan’s delivery.

The Blues could have hit the front, too, with a Martin Reilly ‘point’ waved wide (one umpire signalled for a score) and McVeety hitting the upright from a tight angle.
Cavan levelled on the resumption with a mark from Reilly and Mickey Graham’s charges pushed up as they searched for a second win in this campaign.

Dublin, though, always seemed to have another gear in reserve. Veteran Reilly and Kilkenny traded points before the defining score of the contest arrived in the 43rd minute.

Gearoid McKiernan with Michael Darragh Macauley Gearoid McKiernan with Michael Darragh Macauley. Source: Declan Roughan/INPHO

A mishit shot from Rock dropped short and Mannion pounced, grabbing possession and coolly rattling the net to make it 1-9 to 1-6. And from there, the visitors turned the screw. A point from sub Kevin McManamon and two from Rock (one free) put six between them and more or less put the result beyond doubt.

Cavan had some bright moments in the closing stages, Paul Graham and Killian Clarke registering eye-catching points but Dublin’s lead was never really threatened and they eased home, with Colm Basquel adding the final score.

For Jim Gavin, there was no hangover from the Tyrone defeat. “What we referenced was just that our skill set last week was off and the standards that the players set themselves wasn’t what we’d expect from them no matter who we’re playing against,” he said.

“That was the only thing we referenced from the previous game. Thankfully today we had a big improvement on that and hopefully we’ll see more of that going into the Championship.”

Jim Gavin Dublin manager Jim Gavin. Source: Declan Roughan/INPHO

Cavan boss Mickey Graham, meanwhile, drew the positives. “I can’t fault their effort,” Graham said. “It was very hard for them to lift themselves coming into this game because they were disappointed after the last number of games.

“We were looking for a performance but as I said that’s the league done and dusted now, we have to park it, we’ll review it and look to learn from it. But yeah, lots of positives to take from today.”

Scorers for Cavan: Martin Reilly 1-3 (1m), Gearoid McKiernan 0-3 (1f), Dara McVeety 0-1m, Chris Conroy 0-1, Conor Madden 0-1, Killian Clarke 0-1

Scorers for Dublin: Dean Rock 0-9 (5f, 1m), Paul Mannion 1-3 (1m), Ciaran Kilkenny 0-1m, Kevin McManamon 0-1, Sean Bugler 0-1, Colm Basquel 0-1


1. Raymond Galligan (Lacken)

2. Jason McLoughlin (Shannon Gaels)
3. Padraig Faulkner (Kingscourt Stars)
4. Conor Moynagh (Drumgoon)

5. Gerard Smith (Lavey)
19. Conor Brady (Gowna)
7. Conor Rehill (Crosserlough)

8. Dara McVeety (Crosserlough)
9. Killian Clarke (Shercock)

10. Paul Graham (Cavan Gaels)
22. Gearoid McKiernan (Swanlinbar)
23. Chris Conroy (Lavey)

13. Martin Reily (Killygarry)
25. James Galligan (Lacken)
15. Conor Madden (Gowna)


17. Barry Fortune (Cavan Gaels) for McLoughlin (46 mins)
14. Jack Brady (Ramor United) for Madden (49)
12. Niall Murray (Cavan Gaels) for Graham (52)
6. Stephen Murray (Cavan Gaels) for Conroy (63)


1. Evan Comerford (Ballymun Kickhams)

20. Darren Daly (Fingal Ravens)
3. David Byrne (Naomh Olaf)
4. Cian O’Connor (Kilmacud Crokes)

5. Brian Howard (Raheny)
6. Cian O’Sullivan (Kilmacud Crokes)
7. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams)

8. Michael Daragh Macauley (Ballboden St Enda’s)
9. Darren Gavin (Lucan Sarsfields)

10. Paul Flynn (Fingallians)
22. Ciaran Kilkenny (Castleknock)
12. Niall Scully (Templeogue Synge Street)

13. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams)
14. Con O’Callaghan (Cuala)
15. Paul Mannion (Kilmacud Crokes)


24. Kevin McManamon (St Jude’s) for Flynn (43)
19. Sean Bugler (Oliver Plunkett/Eoghan Ruadh) (48)
23. Philip McMahon (Ballymun Kickhams) for O’Connor (55)
17. Colm Basquel (Ballyboden St Enda’s) for Mannion (62)
18. Bernard Brogan (Oliver Plunkett/Eoghan Ruadh) for Macauley (65)

Subscribe to our new podcast, The42 Rugby Weekly, here:

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

About the author:

Paul Fitzpatrick

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel