All-Ireland qualifiers: 'No excuses' after Tyrone loss says Cian Mackey

Cian Mackey
Mackey's Cavan were well beaten by Tyrone in a one-sided qualifier in Clones

Cavan forward Cian Mackey says his side cannot attribute their 16-point defeat by Tyrone on Saturday to fatigue.

The Breffnimen lost the Ulster Championship final two weeks ago having progressed via a semi-final replay win over Armagh.

"There's no excuse. We have had two weeks to recoup," said Mackey.

"We came with big expectations but Tyrone got a foothold early and when they do that they are very good at being able to grind you down."

The Red Hands swept into the Super 8s with a fine display while Cavan failed to make an impression.

After some eye-catching performances on their route to the Ulster final, Breffni boss Mickey Graham will have been disappointed with his side's flat display.

There is no doubting that Cavan were dealt a tough draw in the shape of last year's All-Ireland finalists, however most onlookers would certainly have expected a closer contest.

"If you get into the Super 8s you would be playing the likes of Tyrone so if you got a lesser draw, got into the Super 8s and weren't up for it against the likes of Dublin, Kerry and Mayo you would be under severe pressure," Mackey acknowledged.

"They had us beat at half-time.

"We were hoping to chip away at their lead and thought that they might take their foot off the gas but they didn't."

Tyrone now move into the last eight of the All-Ireland championship for the 15th time in the last 19 years and will face Roscommon, Cork and Dublin in Group Two of the Super 8s.

Mackey, who was played from the start instead of being used in his customary role as an impact substitute, said the Red Hands can beat five-in-a-row chasing Dublin if they have learned lessons from their 2018 final defeat.

"In my opinion they need to get their gameplan better than last year and they seem to have improved in that aspect," he said.

"Either press the kick-out or don't press it.

"Last year they didn't, they pushed up the field but didn't press the kick-out so they were wasting energy for no reason.

"Donegal could really tighten the Dubs but Tyrone have the athleticism as well so the rest of the summer will be interesting."