McKenna Cup: Cavan 0-10 1-08 Ulster University

Forward Cillian O'Connor starred for Ulster University
Mayo forward Cillian O'Connor was named man of the match after hitting 1-4

Ulster University recorded a surprise one-point victory over Cavan in the McKenna Cup on Saturday to boost their chances of a place in the semi-finals.

Mayo forward Cillian O'Connor was named man of the match after hitting 1-4 including a penalty in the 16th minute.

The students did the damage in the first half of the Section A match, reeling off 1-5 without reply.

UU play Down in their final group game on Wednesday night while Cavan will be at home to Monaghan.

In their opening fixture last weekend, the university side lost out to Monaghan 0-20 to 2-10.

In Saturday's game at Breffni Park, Gearoid McKiernan and Jack Brady gave Cavan an early lead before the students went on a scoring spree, hitting an unanswered 1-5 in a 13-minute spell.

Tyrone star Ronan O'Neill landed two points, with former Tyrone minor Frank Burns also on the scoresheet in the first quarter as UU went 0-4 to 0-2 ahead.

O'Connor converted a penalty for UU in the 16th minute and then tagged on a free as the students coasted to a 1-5 to 0-2 lead after 19 minutes.

Frees from Enda and Martin Reilly stopped the rot for Cavan, but a Liam Gervin point gave UU a 1-6 to 0-5 lead at half-time.

Enda and Martin Reilly's accuracy from placed balls reduced UU's advantage to a single point before Cillian O'Connor's free settled the students midway through the second half.

With the snow beginning to fall, Martin Reilly and Jack Brady converted frees to bring Cavan to within a point, 1-8 to 0-10, with four minutes remaining.

However, the students held on to put themselves in contention for a last four place.

Cavan: J Farrelly; J Hayes, R Dunne, J McLoughlin; D McVeety, D O'Reilly, P Smith; G McKiernan (0-1), K Clarke; E Hessin, B Reilly, M Reilly (0-4, 3f, one '45'); R Flanagan, E Reilly (0-3, 1f), J Brady (0-2, 2f) Subs: N Murray for B Reilly (HT), J Morris for O'Reilly (36), P Tinnelly for Smith (59), D Wright for Clarke (64)

UU: J Hughes; K Brady, R Johnston, D McNally; B Sankey, M Donnelly, C Harkin; C Mooney, N McKeever; F Burns (0-1), C O'Boyle, R Donnelly; L Gervin (0-1), R O'Neill (0-2), C O'Connor (1-4, pen, 4f) Subs: R McCaughey for D McNally (51)

Referee: N Cullen (Fermanagh)