Derry sent out a warning to those who wrote off their chances of being serious All-Ireland contenders this year with a comfortable 1-14 to 2-07 victory over Cavan in Clones. Derry completely dominated this encounter and when Cavan finally looked like making a breakthrough it came too late to have a serious effect on the outcome of this tie. Anthony Tohill in particular was in stunning form as he inspired his team to victory with a personal tally of 1-4 while Paul McFlynn and Paddy Bradley also impressed up front.
Derry enjoyed the best possible start when they scored six points without reply in the opening 16 minutes before Dermot McCabe opened Cavan's account with a long-range point. Cavan's hopes were lifted when centre-back Anthony Forde showed up in the front line and struck a superb goal to narrow the gap. However, Derry went in at the break leading 0-08 to 1-02 and although Cavan were still in touch, the first-half suggested that Derry would increase their dominance as the game wore on.
No sooner had the whistle sounded to signal the start of the second-half but Derry had the ball in the net. Paddy Bradley set up Tohill and although he looked to have lost control of the ball as he bore down on goal, he managed to hook it up in the air and volley it into the net. Although Cavan fought back immediately with scores from Finbarr O'Reilly and Peter Reilly, Derry continued to dominate and by the 55th minute, they led 1-14 to 1-06 thanks Paul McFlynn's third point of the tie.
By that stage, Derry began to relax and Cavan, all too aware that time was running out, pressed forward. When Reilly netted in the closing minutes, there was only four points between the sides but it proved too little too late and Derry deservedly progress to the quarter-final stage.
Filed by Amanda Fennelly