KERRY EASED TO victory over Cavan in the All-Ireland SFC quarter-final at Croke Park this afternoon.
The Kingdom cruised to a nine-point lead in the first half but took the foot off the gas after the interval and allowed Cavan to narrow the deficit.
In what was their first appearance in the All-Ireland SFC quarter-finals, the Breffni County were hoping to upset the odds by knocking overwhelming favourites Kerry out of the championship.
There were a couple of late changes on both sides with Dara McVeety replacing Jack Brady for Cavan and Kerry’s David Moran in for Anthony Maher.
Cavan started well with Martin Dunne coming inside to pop over the first point of the game after four minutes.
However, they then had to wait until the half-hour mark to register another score as Donnchadh Walsh finished a good move to get Kerry off the mark and they took control from there.
The Munster champions managed nine unanswered points with Colm Cooper, Johnny Buckley, Declan O’Sullivan, Kieran Donaghy and Walsh all getting in on the action.
Cavan were struggling to get their forwards involved but eventually managed their second point five minutes before half-time through midfielder David Givney.
Cooper sent over his fourth free to bring the score to 0-11 to 0-2 in favour of Kerry at the break.
Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice with his players. Credit: INPHO/Cathal Noonan
Niall McDermott pulled two points back to lift Cavan’s spirits in what was the start of a much more productive period of the match.
Substitutions saw Jack Brady take Martin Dunne’s place and Kieran Donaghy withdrawn for Paul Geeney and when Eugene Keating was successful with a free on 55 minutes, there was six points between them.
Kerry were looking a little jaded with ten minutes on the clock and Cian Mackey pulled out a brilliant point to make it 0-14 to 0-9.
However, Cavan followed up by registering a couple of wides and Cooper was allowed to run through unopposed to score his first from play, which proved to be the final point of the day.
Kerry now go on to face Dublin in the last four on 1 September.
Scorers for Kerry: Colm Cooper 0-6 (0-5f), Donnchadh Walsh, Johnny Buckley (0-2f, 0-1 ’45) 0-3 each, Kieran Donaghy, Declan O’Sullivan, David Moran 0-1 each.
Scorers for Cavan: Niall McDermott 0-3 (0-2f), Eugene Keating 0-2 (0-2f), David Givney, Cian Mackey, Martin Dunne, Martin Reilly (0-1 ’45) 0-1 each.
KERRY: Brendan Kealy; Fionn Fitzgerald, Marc Ó Sé, Shane Enright; Tomás Ó Sé, Killian Young, Peter Crowley; David Moran, Johnny Buckley; Paul Galvin, Colm Cooper, Donnchadh Walsh; Declan O’Sullivan, Kieran Donaghy, Darran O’Sullivan.
Subs: Paul Geaney for Donaghy (50), Kieran O’Leary for Walsh (52), Patrick Curtin for Darran O’Sullivan (60), Eoin Brosnan for Young (62), Michael Geaney for Galvin (66).
CAVAN: Alan O’Mara; Thomas Corr, Rory Dunne, Killian Clarke; Jason McLoughlin, Alan Clarke, Ronan Flanagan; Damien O’Reilly, David Givney; Cian Mackey, Jack Brady, Feargal Flanagan; Martin Reilly, Martin Dunne, Eugene Keating.
Subs: Niall McDermott for Ronan Flanagan (34), Michael Argue for Corr (44), Jack Brady for Dunne (50), James McEnroe for Givney (58), Kevin Tierney for Keating (70).
Referee: Eddie Kinsella (Laois)