Football League Division Two: Cavan beaten by Roscommon in decider
Cavan were defeated 4-16 to 4-12 by Roscommon in an entertaining Division Two decider at Croke Park on Sunday.
Conor Bradley, Martin Reilly and Dara McVeety netted for Cavan but they trailed 0-12 to 3-2 at the break.
Goals from Niall Kilroy and David Smith saw the Rossies go five points clear before Enda Flanagan hit the top corner for the Breffni men.
Cathal Cregg found the net twice late on as Roscommon regained control and they held firm to secure victory.
Cavan rocked their opponents with two goals inside the opening eight minutes.
First Bradley burst through the clutches of two defenders to finish low past James Featherstone and when McVeety was fouled by Conor Daly, Reilly slotted home the penalty.
But the Rossies were unfazed and posted a defiant response, hitting eight points on the spin to go in front.
Donie Smith landed a gem, and Diarmuid Murtagh hit the target four times, twice from play as they eased ahead by the 25th minute.
But remarkably, the Breffni men were back in front a minute later, thanks to McVeety's superb strike - Cian Mackey provided the assist for the team captain to claim his side's third goal.
The Connacht men rallied again, making worryingly comfortable inroads against Cavan's packed defence, for Smith to add a couple more stylish scores to his tally.
Roscommon went in ahead at the interval while Cavan's two points, from Caoimhin O'Reilly and Padraig Faulkner, had come half an hour apart.
Cavan's defensive woes showed no signs of abating after the break, as they were repeatedly opened up by a fast-moving Roscommon attack that struck for two goals in the space of as many minutes.
Brian Stack combined with Devaney, who supplied the cross that Kilroy palmed home in the 44th minute.
And the Breffni men shipped another blow when Murray shook off the tackles of three defenders to fire in his side's second.
But once again the Ulster side responded, and when Adrian Cole knocked a dropping ball into the path of Flanagan, the defender smashed a spectacular volley to the net.
Ciaran Brady narrowed the gap to a single point, and substitute Seanie Johnston brought the Ulster men level in the 59th minute.
Diarmuid Murtagh's superb pass sent substitute Cregg in for Roscommon's third goal, and three minutes later Cregg netted again after Devaney's shot was parried by keeper Raymond Galligan.
Back came Cavan again, but late scores from Galligan, Johnston and Gearoid McKiernan, were not enough.
Meanwhile, Dublin secured their 13th league title by beating Galway 0-18 to 0-14 in the Division One final.
Cavan: R Galligan (0-1, '45); J McLoughlin, P Faulkner (0-1), E Flanagan (1-0); M Reilly (1-0, pen), C Brady (0-1), O Kiernan; G McKiernan (0-1, f), K Clarke; D McVeety (1-3), B Magee, C Mackey; C O'Reilly (0-1, f), A Cole, C Bradley (1-0)
Subs: N Murray for Magee (28), S Johnston (0-4, 2f) for O'Reilly (h-t), N Clerkin for McLoughlin (h-t), C Madden for Bradley (51), S Murray for Flanagan (51), C Moynagh for McVeety (62)
Roscommon: J Featherstone; D Murray (1-0), P Domican, F Lennon; C Daly, U Harney, B Stack; T O'Rourke, C Compton; C Murtagh (0-1, f), N Kilroy (1-1), C Devaney (0-3); D Smith (0-3), C Lennon, D Murtagh (0-4, 2f).
Subs: N McInerney (0-1) for Daly (h-t), E Smith (0-1) for O'Rourke (47), C Cregg (2-1) for Lennon (51), O'Rourke for Compton (BC, 52), N Daly for Stack (60), I Kilbride (0-1) for Lennon (67)
Referee: S Hurson (Tyrone)
WEEKEND ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE RESULTS
|Allianz Football League fixtures - Saturday, 31 March|
|Division Three final|
|Division Four final|
|Allianz Football League fixtures - Sunday, 1 April|
|Division One final|
|Division Two final|