Dublin: 13°C Sunday 1 August 2021

Three-goal Cavan seal big win over Laois, as Offaly and Wicklow also triumph in difficult conditions

There were three rescheduled National Football League fixtures down for decision this afternoon.

Cavan’s Thomas Galligan and two-time goalscorer Stephen Murray after the game.
Cavan’s Thomas Galligan and two-time goalscorer Stephen Murray after the game.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

THREE NATIONAL FOOTBALL League fixtures fell foul to Storm Ciara last weekend, only to be played in the eye of Storm Dennis this time around as Cavan, Offaly and Wicklow sealed valuable wins this afternoon.

Cavan powered up the Division 2 table — and certainly boosted their survival hopes — after a huge victory over Laois, following a seven-day fixture delay due to a waterlogged pitch last weekend. 

After a heavy defeat to Armagh and a win over Westmeath, Mickey Graham’s Cavan collected much-needed points in their 3-10 to 1-6 win at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise. 

A late first-half goal from Evan Doughty had the Breffni men in the driving seat come the break as they led 1-8 to 1-3, while a second-half brace of goals from substitute Stephen Murray sealed the brilliant victory.

Mike Quirke’s side’s bright start to life in Division 2 — they earned a draw with Roscommon and a huge home win over the Orchard county — came to an end, as a firsthalf goal, and 0-3 from Evan O’Carroll wasn’t enough.

Gerard Smith and Oisin Pierson hit 0-3 each for Cavan, while Eoin Lowry scored the Laois goal and Breffni keeper Raymond Galligan saved a penalty.

mickey-graham-celebrates-with-his-daughter-lauren-after-the-game Mickey Graham celebrates with his daughter Lauren. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

In Division 3, Offaly earned their first victory of the campaign as the Faithful county were three-point winners over Louth in Drogheda.

It was also a hard-earned win in difficult conditions — 2-13 to 2-10. Offaly were 2-7 to 0-3 up at half time after playing with the wind, as early goals from Anton Sullican and Ruairi McNamee sent them on their way. 

Offaly had raced into a 2-4 to 0-0 lead within 16 minutes, such was the impact of the wind, but the hosts soon got up and running. Louth duo Sam Mulroy and Conor Grimes hit back with goals in the second half, but John Maughan’s men did enough to hold on and see out the win.

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Meanwhile in Division 4, Wicklow were five-point winners over Sligo as Davy Burke’s men brought their western opponents’ unbeaten run to an end in Aughrim.

Wicklow produced a brilliant performance, particularly in the second half against the wind as it finished 1-15 to 1-10. 

davy-burke Wicklow manager Davy Burke. Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

Seanie Furlong’s early goal put the hosts on the front foot, but Sligo pulled one of their own back midway through the second half when Sean Carrabine slotted home despite the fact that the visitors were playing into a strong wind.

That made it 1-3 a-piece, and then it was tit-for-tat for a period. Points from Chris O’Brien, Andy Maher, Chris O’Brien, Darren Hayden and goalscorer Furlong sent Wicklow into a five-point lead by half time, and while Sligo fought back and got within two points after the break, Burke’s men did enough to weather the storm and manage the difficult conditions.

Sligo went down to 14 with Stephen Coen shown a black card in the dying minutes, while Mark Kenny and Eoin Darcy sealed the win for Wicklow in the hailstones.

National Football League rescheduled fixtures results

  • Division 2: Laois 1-6 Cavan 3-10
  • Division 3: Louth 2-10 Offaly 2-13
  • Division 4: Wicklow 1-15 Sligo 1-10

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Emma Duffy

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