A MEMORABLE YEAR for Mickey Graham has ended with the new Cavan senior football manager guiding his county to victory in his first game in charge.

Graham recently guided Longford champions Mullinalaghta to the Leinster club senior football title, setting up an All-Ireland semi-final against Dr Crokes on 16 February.

In the meantime, he must balance those preparations with his role as Breffni County boss. His reign got off to a winning start this afternoon at Kingspan Breffni Park.

A point from Conor Madden in the fourth minute of additional time sealed a 0-13 to 1-9 victory for Cavan over Down in the first round of the Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup.

The sides had been level at 0-6 each at half-time, but Cavan raced into a five-point lead after the restart. However, a Down revival was sparked by a Pat Havern goal from a penalty with 14 minutes remaining.

Ciaran Harney and Conor McGrady then brought the visitors level, Jack Brady nudged Cavan back in front, before McGrady pointed again in the second minute of additional time as the game looked destined to end in a draw. However, Madden settled it for the hosts.

In Ballybofey, an experimental Donegal side were too strong for Queen’s University Belfast, with man-of-the-match Ciaran Thompson chipping in with four points for the home side in a 0-21 to 0-11 victory.

Yesterday, Monaghan ran out 1-20 to 1-12 winners over Antrim. 

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