Football League Division One: Cavan set for drop after defeat by Monaghan

Cian Mackey
Cian Mackey's first minute goal got Cavan off to the perfect start

Cavan are set for Division Two football next year after a 0-14 to 1-8 defeat by Monaghan at Clones on Sunday.

Cian Mackey's early goal got the visitors off to the perfect start in Clones but they were unable to keep up with the Farney men in the second half.

Three-time All Star Conor McManus top scored with six points as Monaghan ended a four-game losing streak despite Jack McCarron's late red card.

Only unlikely results could save Cavan in the final round next weekend.

Mickey Graham's side will need to beat All-Ireland champions Dublin at home and and hope that Roscommon's game against Kerry ends in a draw - in addition to Monaghan losing their contest in Mayo.

Such a sequence of results would mean that Cavan could escape on scoring difference.

The lack of confidence within both sides was evident in a first half in which Cavan shot seven wides while McManus uncharacteristically misfired twice from frees.

Mackey's first minute goal indicated that the Clones crowd could be in for an entertaining affair however what followed for the majority of the opening 35 was a cagey encounter with neither side finding any momentum.

McManus and goalkeeper Rory Beggan punished the visitors' indiscipline to overturn their early deficit, with Monaghan's first four scores coming from frees.

Conor Madden provided Cavan's best attacking outlet in the early stages but soon found himself receiving close attention from the impressive Conor Boyle.

Monaghan pull away in one-sided second half

Two scores apiece in the final four minutes of the half ensured the sides went into the break level, however it was last year's All-Ireland semi-finalists who came out quicker in the second period.

Geroid McKiernan's missed free straight in front of the D was indicative of a tiring Cavan side as Beggan, McManus and substitute McCarron ensured that the Monaghan score kept ticking over.

McCarron's dismissal came too late for Cavan to make use of their numerical advantage and despite three late McKiernan scores they never looked likely to catch their opponents.

Despite the win, Monaghan are not yet certain to be playing in Division One next season.

Malachy O'Rourke's side now have four points having recorded an impressive victory over Dublin in their first game of the league campaign.

The sides will meet again in the quarter final of the Ulster Championship on 18 May, with Cavan hoping that they can make use of their home advantage to secure their first win in the provincial championship since 2016.

Monaghan scorers: C McManus 0-6, R Beggan 0-2, D Hughes 0-1, C McCarthy 0-2, J McCarron 0-3

Cavan scorers: C Mackey 1-1, N McKernan 0-1, D McVeety 0-1, C Madden 0-1, R Galligan 0-1, G McKiernan 0-3

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