A goal from Cavan midfielder Catherine Dolan in the third minute of the second half proved to be the difference as the Breffni County got the better of Waterford to book their place in the Division 2 Final at Birr on Sunday afternoon.
Dolan got onto the end of a pass from Catriona Smith before bursting through and firing to the back of the net. At that stage Cavan were ahead by five points but credit to Waterford they fought back and the game was in the balance until the final whistle.
Although they secured the win Cavan will know they’ll have to up their game if they are to beat Tipperary in the Division 2 decider on May 6th.
Cavan made a great start to the game and opened up an early four point lead kicking four unanswered points. Aisling Doonan with the opening point in the first minute. Bronagh Sheridan then kicked over two points before Doolan got her second point in the eighth minute.
Waterford had possession but were unable to convert chances. A point from Maria Delahunty opened their account in the 20th minute. Doonan kicked over her third to put Cavan in front by four again.
In the 27th minute Cavan keeper Evelyn Baugh brought off a fine double save to first deny Geraldine Power and then Eimear Fennell. Cavan wasted chances and points from Delahunty (free) and Lauren McGregor left Waterford trailing by two at the break; 0-05 to 0-03.
A point from Fennell cut the gap to one inside the opening minute of the second half. A
fine point from Sinead Greene edged Cavan in front by two in the 32nd minute. That lead was five points one minute later when Smith set up Dolan who burst her way through and found the back of the net.
Waterford though were back in the game with three frees in a row kicked by the boot of Delahunty. They began to put pressure on the Cavan defence but they stood firm.
Cavan got a much needed point in the 49th minute when Doonan kicked over a free and minutes later Sheridan fired over a neat point to put four between the sides.
With time ticking down Waterford continued to press and Cavan defender Joanne Moore put in a well-time tackle to deny the Deise a late goal. Minutes later Cavan substitute Liz Devine kicked over a point to seal the win for her side.
Cavan: Evelyn Baugh; Rachel Doonan, Laura Fizpatrick, Joanne Moore; Sinead Greene (0-1), Mona Sheridan, Nessa Byrd; Catherine Dolan (1-0), Donna English; Grainne McGlade, Bronagh Sheridan (0-3), Aisling Sheridan; Roisin O’Keefe, Aisling Doonan (0-4,1f), Ciara Finnegan.
Subs: Catriona Smith for Finnegan, Sinead O’Sullivan for O’Keefe, Ailish Cornyn for A Sheridan.
Waterford: Grainne Kenneally; Katie McGrath, Michelle McGrath, Rebecca Casey; Mairead Wall, Keeley Corbett, Megan Dunford; Karen McGrath, Katie Murray; Aoife Murray, Geraldine Power, Lauren McGregor (0-1); Maria Delahunty (0-5,4f), Eimear Fennell (0-1), Alice Wall.
Subs: Michelle Ryan for Power, Sinead Ryan for McGregor, Liz Devine (0-1) for Fennell, Kelly Ann Hogan for Murray.
Referee: Garryowen McMahon (Mayo)