Ulster U21 FC: Holders Cavan beat Derry in preliminary clash

Paul Graham was among the Cavan goal-scorers

Cavan opened their bid for a fourth straight Ulster Under-21 Football title with an impressive dismissal of Derry at Celtic Park.

Goals proved the key with Joe Dillon's immediate three-pointer and Enda Flanagan's 34th-minute strike putting Cavan 2-5 to 0-5 ahead at the break.

The six-point lead was maintained to the 53rd minute when Paul Graham's goal extended Cavan's lead to nine.

James Kearney hit six Derry points but Cavan deserved their win.

Dillon's early Cavan goal was followed by an injury to Derry player Declan Brown which led to a seven-minute delay in play.

Further Dillon and Graham points extended Cavan's lead to 1-2 to 0-0 before Kearney and Brian Og McGilligan opened the Oak Leafers's account.

Two Michael Argue points extended Cavan's lead to five again before a couple of Anthony O'Neill scores left a kick of the ball between the teams again.

But Cavan were back in firm control again when Flanagan struck their second goal a minute before the break.

After leading 2-5 to 0-5 at the interval, Cavan's lead was reduced to five thanks to two more Kearney points but the game was ended as a contest in the 53rd minute after Graham netted following good work by Kevin Bouchier.

Three unanswered points from Ryan Bell, Neil McNicholl and Kearney cut Cavan's lead to six but two more Graham scores ended any prospect of an Oak Leaf fightback.

The victory earns Cavan a tussle with Tyrone at Breffni Park next Wednesday.

Cadbury's Ulster Under-21 Football Championship 2014 - 20:00 GMT and BST throw-ins

Preliminary round - Wednesday 12 March

Derry 0-12 3-10 Cavan

Quarter-finals - Wednesday 19 March

Donegal v Fermanagh, Ballybofey

Armagh v Antrim, Athletic Grounds, Armagh

Monaghan v Down, Inniskeen

Cavan v Tyrone, Breffni Park, Cavan

Semi-finals - Wednesday 2 April

Donegal/Fermanagh v Armagh/Antrim

Monaghan/Down v Tyrone/Derry/Cavan

Final - Wednesday 9 April

Two semi-final winners meet in the decider