Holders Donegal crush Cavan in Ulster Championship

Cavan's Eugene Keating holds on to the ball as Neil McGee of Donegal hits the deck
Cavan's Eugene Keating holds on to the ball as Neil McGee of Donegal hits the deck

Ulster champions Donegal started their title defence with a comfortable victory over Cavan at Breffni Park.

Cavan, under new manager Terry Hyland, started strongly with four points in the opening 12 minutes but then faded and trailed 0-4 to 1-7 at half-time.

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Man of the match Rory Kavanagh on Donegal's six-point Ulster Championship win over Cavan.

Both goals came from penalties, with Colm McFadden of Donegal and Cavan's Niall McDermott finding the net.

Donegal go through to play Derry in the Championship quarter-finals on Saturday, 16 June.

That will be a repeat of the 2011 Ulster final and should present Donegal with a more daunting challenge.

Cavan, regarded as a young team in transition, will head into the qualifiers again while Jim McGuinness should be happy enough with how his side eased into the last eight.

New boss Hyland will have been encouraged with how the Breffni boys started.

Championship debutant young Jack Brady hoisted their opening point and further scores from David Givney and the impressive Eugene Keating had Cavan 0-3 to 0-1 up.

Rory Kavanagh, McFadden, Mark McHugh and Neil McGee responded to put Donegal one ahead.

Keating, who ended with five scores from play, brought Cavan level but, critically, that was to be their last score of the half.

Donegal took charge with a McFadden free and points from Kavanagh and Leo McLoone.

The three-point lead was doubled with McFadden's well-taken penalty which came after Patrick McBrearty, with only the keeper to beat, was brought down by Killian Clarke.

Cavan needed a good start to the second half but found themselves eight in arrears as full-forward McFadden landed a fine individual effort and McHugh squeezed one over from a tight angle.

The Cavan drought was ended by a McDermott free but Neill Gallagher, Kavanagh and McLoone kept the scoreboard ticking over for the champions.

Cavan's penalty was awarded for a McGee foul on Keating and McDermott's score cut Donegal's lead to 1-13 to 1-7.

Gearoid McKiernan and Keating (2) added points from play for Cavan who, to their credit, kept going to the end.

But McFadden got Donegal's last three scores to finish on a personal tally of a goal and six.

Cavan scorers: Brady 0-1, Givney 0-2, Keating 0-5, McDermott 1-1, McKiernan 0-1

Donegal scorers: Kavanagh 0-3, McFadden 1-6, McHugh 0-2, McGee 0-1, McLoone 0-2, McGlynn 0-1, Gallagher 0-1

WEEKEND GAA RESULTS

SATURDAY

Christy Ring Cup quarter-finals

Derry 1-15 3-11 London

Meath 1-16 - 0-16 Kildare

Leinster Hurling Championship

Westmeath 0-14 0-12 Antrim

Carlow 0-13 - 0-20 Laois

Nicky Rackard Cup quarter-finals

Sligo 1-09 3-15 Louth

Roscommon 2-19 1-11 Monaghan

SUNDAY

Ulster SFC preliminary round

Cavan 1-10 1-16 Donegal

Connacht SFC

Roscommon 0-10 3-15 Galway

Leinster SFC

Westmeath 0-14 2-09 Louth

Longford 1-10 0-12 Laois

Munster SFC

Limerick 2-12 0-7 Waterford

Lory Meagher Cup

Leitrim 1-10 2-14 Warwickshire

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