All-Ireland Junior Semi-Final
By Jonathan Foley at Granton Road
Scotland were left to ponder what might have been as the British Champions were put to the sword by Cavan in Saturday evening’s All-Ireland semi-final in Edinburgh.
Despite a valiant and positive effort throughout, it was to be men from the Breffni County who would be celebrating as they now look forward to taking their place in the upcoming All-Ireland final where they will face Kerry.
On a humid and windswept evening in the Scottish capital, the hosts – under the managerial reigns of Donegal native, Cormac O’Gara – can take heart for how far they have come this season on the whole. In the greater scheme of things however, their lack of experience at this level of inter-county football was shown against a very well-organised Cavan set-up.
Having come through the British Championship with great success, Scotland started the opening exchanges with signs of nervous trepidation yet they nonetheless possessed a genuine determination in their early gameplay.
Cavan would settle where it counted though and took an early lead when captain Packie Leddy slotted calmly over the bar to open the scoring.
The visitors came close to emphatically extending that lead just a few minutes later when Paul O’Connor’s thunderous strike crashed off the underside of the crossbar and bounced outward for the Scotland defence to clear from danger.
Cavan didn’t have to wait too long to build upon their early advantage as they marched upon a three point to no scores lead by the tenth minute.
Refusing to let the game slip away as a contest in the early stages, Scotland carried a genuine threat to the favourites and could be considered immensely unlucky not to have levelled the affair after Damien Keane’s attempt at goal was brilliantly saved by James Farrelly.
The hosts would respond positively though and get off the mark when Alan Ward opened their account with a free.
For more see this week’s edition of the Irish World