'Elementary mistakes cost us' laments Cavan's Terry Hyland

The Cavan manager admits silly errors in the first half were hard to recover from.

Cavan manager Terry Hyland knows where it all went wrong for his team.
Cavan manager Terry Hyland knows where it all went wrong for his team.
Image: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

IT’S USUALLY ANOTHER code where the old cliché about a game of two halves is trotted out by the manager in their post match interview but it was certainly something that played on the mind of Cavan’s Terry Hyland on Sunday.

Despite scoring the first point of the game, Cavan weren’t at the races for much of the first half of their All Ireland Senior Football Championship Quarter Final clash with Kerry and the Kingdom duly put them to the sword by racing into a nine point half-time league.

The Ulster side were much brighter in the second half but by then, Hyland admits, the damage was done.

“Well sure look in fairness, I’d take it in two stages. We didn’t perform in the first-half. We made too many elementary mistakes.

“We gave the ball away too often and any time we did, we got punished for it.

“I suppose you can put that down to Kerry being more experienced than we are or whatever.

“The second-half, I have to say that we probably did perform maybe more up to our ability but it was probably too little too late.”

Staring down the barrel of a heavy defeat made Hyland’s half-time team talk that bit easier as his side had little choice but chase the game in the second period.

“Possibly we gave them a little bit too much respect in the first-half and we stood off a bit.

“We had talked about our game plan and breaking (forward) but we were probably a bit too nervous moving forward with pace in the first-half.

“Maybe it was easier in the second-half when we were looking to chase the game and it was coming a bit easier to us to throw the shackles off a little bit.

“We probably didn’t do the right thing (in the first half) and that’s where management have to hold their hands up. Sometimes you have to go out and be brave and push on and that’s what the lads did in the second-half.”

Kerry’s Colm Cooper under pressure from Jason McLoughlin and Damien O’Reilly of Cavan
Image: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Overall though, this year’s Championship has been a valuable learning experience for Cavan football and Hyland was able to take a lot of positives out of the year as a whole.

“We learned we have ability, we have the skill set to compete.

“We also learned that the pace of the game between Division 1 and Division 3 is a whole lot different and we need to get up out of Division 3 and play at a higher level where our players are used to the pace of the game early on. From that point of view it was a learning curve.

“We can take encouragement from the second-half in that we know we have the players and we know we have the ability.

“It’s up to us as management to put it together.”

Despite the positives though, Hyland doesn’t believe it’s fair to say that Cavan exceeded expectations this year.

“Probably not to be honest with you. I felt we were good enough and we were growing and maturing as a unit.

“I felt disappointed we didn’t get out of Division 3. I know people wrote about us as mid table and that but, at the end of the day, it probably came down to the last day to see where we were in terms of promotion and relegation.

“In the Championship, we felt we had enough to get to an Ulster final and we slipped up to Monaghan. In fairness, Monaghan were the better team on the day but it was only a one point game.”

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Steve O'Rourke

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