Cavan's Ulster final woes summed up by astonishing goal chance 1 month ago

Cavan's Ulster final woes summed up by astonishing goal chance

DONEGAL 1-24, CAVAN 2-16

Donegal had to wait 66 years to win their first Ulster senior football title. Since 1972, they have now won 10.

Jamie Brennan kicked 1-4 for Donegal and both Ryan McHugh and Michael Murphy showed their obvious class as they dominated Cavan in Clones.

For all the fine points scored, two awful misses were the big talking point after the first half.

Five points down after 26 minutes of their first Ulster final in 18 years, Cavan needed a spark. Mickey Graham's men had overcome Monaghan and Armagh on their way to this year's Ulster SFC final but they lost their scoring touch on the big stage.

With their kick-outs under pressure from Donegal and the likes of Hugh McFadden and Jamie Brennan in good form for Declan Bonner's side, Cavan struggled to get going.

The first half saw Cavan trail 0-13 to 0-5 at the break, having converted just five of their 15 scoring opportunities. Donegal spurned 10 chances themselves, in the opening 35 minutes, with Paddy McGrath's wide - after being teed up by McFadden - the most glaring.

After 26 minutes, Cavan had a golden chance to get right back into the game. Gerard Smith swung an effort toward the posts but his shot dropped short.

Midfielder Conor Rehill kept the attack alive, though, by smartly following up and getting to the ball before Donegal goalkeeper Shaun Patton, as it dropped short.

Neil McGee was caught out by the dipping shot that suddenly became a goal-scoring chance.

Credit to McGee, though, he raced over to put pressure on Rehill and Patton spread himself. That being said, Rehill will have been livid with himself for missing from all of three yards out and right in front of the goal.

It is worth watching the Cavan attack at full speed to appreciate Rehill's attacking instinct and to take him how poor his finish was.

He tried to shake it off and get back into position but Donegal made him, and Cavan, pay for the miss. In the next 10 minutes, they added five more points while Cavan tagged on two scores.

Rehill was not the only Cavan player guilty of wastefulness in the first have but his miss came at a crucial period of the final.