McDaid’s goal the icing in the cake for Dublin as they easily claimed their All Ireland final spot and the chance of six-in-a-row
Dublin powered past Cavan this evening in Croke Park to claim an All Ireland Final spot for the sixth season in a row and eight in ten years.
In what has been an unprecedented year there were no shocks tonight and the semi final panned out as many predicted. Cavan gave it a go but in the end couldn’t live with Dublin’s pace, power and finishing.
Cavan struggled all evening to penetrate the Dublin rearguard, many expected the Ulster champions to test the Dublin full-back line with a constant bombardment of high balls to their big forwards but they only tried that tactic a couple of times mainly in the second half, but even that tactic yielded nothing and they drifted out of the game long before the finish.
Dublin controlled the tempo throughout, slowing the ball down when Cavan dropped all 14 outfield players into their own half and then injecting pace to punch holes in the lines and set up scores.
The Sky Blues hardly stretched beyond third gear throughout the contest and could have added a couple more goals to their tally if they had really gone for the Cavan jugular.
The opening six minutes of the semi final were even with both sides registering three points apiece. Ciaran Kilkenny, Brian Fenton and Robert McDaid finding the target for Dublin and the three points for Cavan coming from the boots of Martin Reilly who grabbed the games opening score after twenty seconds, James Smith and Thomas Galligan.
Dublin though put some daylight between themselves and their Ulster opponents with four unanswered points from Dean Rock with three, two from play and the other from a free and one from Con O’Callaghan.
Ciaran Brady swung the ball over down the Hill 16 end to register Cavan’s first score in ten minutes. But two more from Brian Fenton and Dean Rock stretched the Dubs lead to five with 15 minutes left in the half.
A Ciaran Kilkenny point sandwiched in between converted free for Cavan by Gearoid McKieran and Chris Conroy left four between the teams as the half entered its final minutes.
A fifth point of a productive first half for Dean Rock was followed by a fine point by Paddy Small off his right boot and with just sixty seconds of added time left it looked like Dessie Farrell’s outfit would head into the break with a double score lead.
But Cavan worked the ball down the field and Oisín Kiernan split the posts from the Hogan Stand side to leave the score at the break 0-12 to 0-07 in Dublin’s favour.
Dublin controlled the majority of the second half picking off scores at will as Cavan ran out of ideas and drifted out of the game long before the final whistle.
A fisted point from Con O’Callaghan four minutes after the restart got the scoreboard once again ticking in Dublin’s favour. Another fine pointed effort from the excellent Brian Fenton was followed with a Paddy Small point from a forward mark.
Conor Madden swung over an effort for Cavan in the 43rd minute but scoring opportunities were at a premium for the Ulster champions.
Two minutes later and Dublin almost put themselves out of sight, Fenton picked up the ball inside the Cavan 45’ fed the ball out to James McCarthy rampaging down the left, the Ballymun Kickhams man strode forward a few metres and released Ciaran Kilkenny in on goal with a perfectly weighted hand-pass, Kilkenny let fly but his effort was deflected over the bar by the retreating Martin Reilly.
Dublin though finished the game off as a contest in a six minute spell between the 51st and 57th minute out scoring Cavan by five points to one, Con O’Callaghan with a brace and one each from Kilkenny, Robert McDaid and Brian Howard. The line response from Cavan an excellent long range effort from Martin Reilly.
So far ahead Dublin went through a couple of sloppy minutes and Cavan took full advantage with three points on the spin from Martin Reilly, Oisín Kieran and James Smith.
But Dessie Farrell’s men regathered their composure and any ideas of a comeback from Cavan were quickly evaporated as the Sky Blues conjured up the opening goal of the semi-final.
Dublin overturned the ball, Michael Fitzsimons deep in the Cavan half found Dean Rock in a central position, he turned towards goal and as defenders converged towards him he picked out player of the match Robert McDaid with a hand pass and McDaid palmed the ball to the net.
Dublin tagged on three more points to round off the game from Brian Fenton, a Dean Rock free and an excellent point from substitute Cormac Costello to seal a fifteen point win and their All Ireland final spot on the 19th of December.
For Cavan they had Thomas Galligan sent off late on game on a second yellow for verbals to the referee but can be proud of their championship run this year.
Dessie Farrell and his side will know tomorrow who they will face on the 19th of December in the All Ireland Final with the second semi final between Mayo and Tipperary taking place tomorrow afternoon.
Will it be another final meeting with the men from the West or will it be a repeat of the 1920 final and a meeting with Tipperary, the way this year has panned out anything is possible.
Watch the Full-Time Highlights of Dublin v Cavan in the All-Ireland Senior Football Semi-Final here on GAANOW!
Cavan: 0-12 pic.twitter.com/7LVwzLZaja
— The GAA (@officialgaa) December 5, 2020
15. Dean Rock 0-06 (2f)
7. Robert McDaid 1-02
11. Ciaran Kilkenny 0-04 (1m)
8. Brian Fenton 0-04
14. Con O’Callaghan 0-04
13. Paddy Small 0-02 (1m)
9. Brian Howard 0-01
20. Cormac Costello 0-01
10. Martin Reilly 0-03
24. James Smith 0-02
12. Oisin Kiernan 0-02
8. Thomas Galligan 0-01
6. Ciaran Brady 0-01
11. Gearoid McKiernan 0-01 (1f)
14. Chris Conroy 0-01 (1f)
13. Conor Madden 0-01
1. Stephen Cluxton
2. Michael Fitzsimons
3. David Byrne
4. Eoin Murchan
19. Jonny Cooper
6. John Small
7. Robert McDaid
8. Brian Fenton
5. James McCarthy
10. Niall Scully
11. Ciaran Kilkenny
12. Seán Bugler
13. Paddy Small
14. Con O’Callaghan
15. Dean Rock
9. Brian Howard for 12. Sean Bugler (48)
24. Philly McMahon for 19. Jonny Cooper (52)
23. Paul Mannion for 13. Paddy Small (55)
20. Cormac Costello for 10. Niall Scully (64)
17. Colm Basquel for 15. Dean Rock (70)
1. Raymond Galligan
2. Jason McLoughlin
3. Padraig Faulkner
4. Kilian Clarke
5. Gerard Smith
6. Ciaran Brady
7. Luke Fortune
8. Thomas Galligan
9. Killian Brady
10. Martin Reilly
11. Gearoid McKiernan
12. Oisin Kiernan
13. Conor Madden
14. Chris Conroy
24. James Smith
15. Conor Smith for 9. Killian Brady (17)
22. Stephen Murray for 14. Chris Conroy on: (34)
17. Niall Murray for 4. Killian Clarke (45)
26. Conor Brady for 15. Conor Smith (52)
18. Stephen Smith for 13. Conor Madden (64)
Player of the Match: Robert McDaid (Dublin)
Referee: Ciaran Branagan (Down)