Cavan captain Raymond Galligan lifts the trophy. Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO
breffni boost

Cavan get the better of Tipperary to lift first senior title at Croke Park since 1952

Young attacker Paddy Lynch starred with 2-3 in the Division 4 final.

Cavan 2-10

Tipperary 0-15

CAVAN AND TIPPERARY have played out quite an intriguing, off-Broadway rivalry in recent seasons and Cavan managed to pull one back here with a first senior title success at HQ since 1952.

The sides had met three times since 2017, all at Kingspan Breffni Park, with Tipp winning a qualifier match and this year’s league meeting while the Breffni men were victorious in a promotion-clinching round seven Division 2 tie in 2018, by a solitary point.

That was the story again here as a goal in each half from young attacker Paddy Lynch proved crucial. The Crosserlough full-forward has excelled at times in the league and carried his fine form into this game as he struck for timely majors which swung momentum Cavan’s way.

But Tipp wouldn’t go away and almost snatched it when sub Stephen Quirke smashed a shot off the underside of the crossbar in injury time.

Cavan were ahead by the minimum, 1-5 to 0-7 at the end of a slow-burner of a first half.
When the sides met in the league, Tipperary set up defensively and negated the hosts. This time, the sides mirrored each other to an extent, with the result that defences were on top for long spells.

Cavan hit the jackpot with a superb Lynch goal on 24 minutes which opened a four-point gap but Tipp then strung together four points in succession, three of them spectacular efforts from the right wing by Mark Russell, before a Ray Galligan ’45 with the final play of the first half left Cavan ahead.

paddy-lynch-scores-goal Paddy Lynch starred for the Breffni at HQ. Lorraine O’Sullivan / INPHO Lorraine O’Sullivan / INPHO / INPHO

Conor Moynagh, who played the ‘quarter-back’ role for Cavan, opened the scoring but Tipp were soon ahead through Conor Sweeney (free) and Mikey O’Shea.

Lynch, whose movement was excellent, gathered a Jason McLoughlin pass and converted a mark but Tipperary nudged in front again with a monster 40-metre effort from Kerry native Teddy Doyle.

Gearoid McKiernan (free) and Lynch raised further white flags and when Cavan, playing against the wind, found the net through Lynch, they were in command.

But Tipp came roaring back through Russell’s three and a Jack Kennedy free and Galligan’s free was all that separated them at the midway point.

On the resumption, Conor Sweeney and Mikey O’Shea pointed but Cavan pulled two back quickly from Sweeney’s fellow 2020 All-Star and direct opponent Padraig Faulkner and a fisted Cian Madden point.

Sweeney showed his class for another two quality scores from pay as Tipp hit the front with 20 minutes to go. James Smith sent over a good score for Cavan but the Munster men weren’t going away and a fourth for the excellent Russell nudged them in front again and when Kevin Fahey thumped over a big score, Tipperary were in the box seat.

the-cavan-team-celebrate The Cavan team celebrate. Lorraine O’Sullivan / INPHO Lorraine O’Sullivan / INPHO / INPHO

But back came Cavan. Stephen Smith threaded over a well-taken score after good work from McKiernan and Lynch converted a pressure free and then, after a brave Jason McLoughlin interception, the 22-year-old attacker raised his second green flag to make it 2-10 to 0-13 with seven minutes remaining.

The closing stages were helter skelter; Cavan forced numerous turnovers but struggled to convert. Sweeney knocked over two frees, either side of Quirke’s thunderous effort off the woodwork, but Cavan held on for what was only their second win at HQ from 11 appearances at all levels since 1997.

Scorers for Cavan: Paddy Lynch 2-3 (1f, 1m), Ray Galligan 0-1 (45), Conor Moynagh 0-1, James Smith 0-1, Gearoid McKiernan 0-1 (f), Cian Madden 0-1, Stephen Smith 0-1, Padraig Faulkner 0-1

Scorers for Tipperary: Conor Sweeney 0-6 (3f), Mark Russell 0-4, Mikey O’Shea 0-2, Teddy Doyle 0-1, Kevin Fahey 0-1, Jack Kennedy 0-1 (f)


Raymond Galligan (Lacken Celtic)

Luke Fortune (Cavan Gaels), Padraig Faulkner (Kingscourt Stars), Killian Brady (Mullahoran)

Jason McLoughlin (Shannon Gaels), Conor Moynagh (Drumgoon), Gerard Smith (Lavey)

James Smith (Crosserlough), Killian Clarke (Shercock)

Thomas Galligan (Lacken Celtic), Gearoid McKiernan (Cavan Gaels), Cian Madden (Gowna)

Evan Finnegan (Ballinagh), Paddy Lynch (Crosserlough), Stephen Smith (Crosserlough)


  • Conor Brady (Gowna) for K Brady (47 mins)
  • Caoimhin O’Reilly (Butlersbridge) for Madden (49)
  • Conor Madden (Gowna) for G Smith (60)
  • Chris Conroy (Lavey) for Finnegan (63)
  • Niall Murray (Cavan Gaels) for S Smith (70)


Michael O’Reilly (Clonmel Commercials)

Shane O’Connell (Golden Kilfeacle), Jimmy Feehan (Killenaule), Jack Harney (Moyle Rovers)

Kevin Fahey (Clonmel Commercials), Colm O’Shaughnessy (Ardfinnan), Tommy Maher (Loughmore Castleiney)

Conal Kennedy (Clonmel Commercials), Mark Russell (Aherlow)

Bill Maher (Kilsheelan Kilcash), Jack Kennedy (Clonmel Commercials), Teddy Doyle (Ballina)

Mikey O’Shea (CJ Kickhams Mullinahone), Conor Sweeney (Ballyporeen), Sean O’Connor (Clonmel Commercials)


  • Cathal Deeley (Clonmel Commercials) for S O’Connor (19 mins)
  • Willie Eviston (Loughmore Castleiney) for Harney (49)
  • Stephen Quirke (Moyle Rovers) for Russell (54)
  • Billy Hewitt (Ardfinnan) for Deeley (65)
  • Martin Keogh (CJ Kickhams Mullinahone) for T Maher (69)

Referee: John Hickey (Carlow).

The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel