Monahan the last-gasp hero as Cavan break Masters’ hearts 

All-Ireland Masters Plate Final

Cavan 2-10 Roscommon 1-12 

Cavan staged a dramatic late rally to pip Roscommon to the title in this very competitive decider played at Monaduff in County Longford last Saturday.

  With seven minutes gone in the second half, Roscommon led by seven points (1-12 to 2-2) and were looking good for a comfortable victory. But Cavan upped their performance levels for the rest of the contest and – incredibly – Roscommon were not to score again.

  On a blustery evening, Roscommon looked the better side for most of the first half, but the concession of two soft goals was to prove very costly.

   Roscommon led by three points to no score after eight minutes with Seamus Keane (their best player) scoring two (one free), and Kenny Bosquette providing the other.

  In the ninth minute, Cavan were level when corner-forward Eurick Reilly shot for a point from a difficult angle only for the ball to loop over David Hussey and into the net.

  Roscommon replied with two Keane points before Cavan struck for a second goal on 13 minutes. Gerard Nulty and Eurick Reilly were involved in the build-up. Reilly was fouled in the large square and Barry McGovern converted the subsequent spot-kick.

  Undaunted, Roscommon played some great football in the second quarter. After Emmett Collins pointed from play, a great team move in the 22nd minute ended with Niall Finneran fisting to the Cavan net. Further points from Finneran (2) and Seamus Keane (2) saw Roscommon go in at half-time leading by 1-10 to 2-1.

  When Keane and Terence Kelly pointed on the resumption, Roscommon led by seven points and looked to be in complete control. 

  When Cavan upped their game, a recovery was suddenly underway. Barry McGovern, an increasing influence on the game, pointed two frees to reduce the gap to five by the 43rd minute. Then Emmett Collins was black-carded for a third man tackle and Roscommon were down a man and now on the back foot.

  McGovern kicked three more points (two frees) as Cavan pressed forward, and by the 48th minute the gap was down to just two (1-12 to 2-7). Tomás Leonard pointed in the 54th minute, and when McGovern pointed another free in the 57th minute the sides were level.

  Roscommon had a couple of chances but efforts from Terence Kelly and Gary Cox fell short or were cleared, and just when it looked like the match was heading for extra-time, Philip Monahan popped up to steer the ball over for the winning point in the 61st minute. It was a tough way for Roscommon to lose, but in truth, Anthony Carroll’s men fell away badly in the second half.