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Hard Work and Smart Play

Senior Football League Lavey 2-12 Banagher 0-14

Lavey picked up a valuable two points on Wednesday, playing Banagher in front of a home crowd on a bright summer afternoon. Lavey started the half on fire; within five minutes, Niall Toner got out in front of this marker, took on his player, rounded the Banagher keeper’ and sent the ball low under the bar to set out a marker that Lavey intended business.

The Lavey full forward line combined well; Colm Murphy adding a succession of points and Kevin O’Neill also getting on the score sheet after he drove forward at pace and took an ‘off the shoulder’ pass from Toner.

In the previous few league outings, it would be fair to say that this Lavey team came under some tough criticism for the quality of ball supplied to their full forward line with aimless high balls being launched time and time again into a full forward line smothered in defenders. The same could not be said today. The Lavey half back line, Cailean McGurk and Sam Dodds in particular, assisted by Ben Dodds and Damian Chivers in midfield, navigated quality passes into the active Murphy and Toner, while also pushing forward to provide support play which resulted in further scores for Lavey from McGurk and Sam Dodds.

With Lavey dominating all over the pitch, Banagher eventually got their first score of the game after approx 20 minutes and followed this up with a second when a free which appeared to be going wide was kept in play and knocked over the bar. It was at this point that Niall Toner again stepped up; after intercepting a Banagher short kick out, he punished Banagher by scoring his second goal of the game.

After a very pleasing first half performance, Lavey went in 10 points ahead at the break, Lavey 2-6 Banagher 0-2.

Banagher started the second half much stronger, scoring four points in succession (2 from frees) to reduce the deficit to 6. Indeed, they looked to be through for a goal however the shot, although powerful, was not on target and was send narrowly wide of the posts. Sam Dodds increased Lavey’s lead again when he got on the end of a Niall Toner pass, but this was quickly cancelled out by a Mark Lynch free. The sides continued to trade scores; Colm Murphy picking up his third point of the game after he was well spotted with a long cross field ball from Ryan Faren and Kevin O’Neill also scoring three points, the last could only be described as a ‘beauty of a point’ from the side line 45 yards out.

Banagher continued to push forward in an attempt to reduce the Lavey lead; Gavin O’Neill looking dangerous when on the ball and Lynch punishing any fouls with his precision free taking. Indeed, they reduced the gap to a goal with only a few minutes on the clock. When Bangaher looked for the equalising goal, it was instead Lavey captain; O’Boyle who came in off the bench, collected and carried the ball forward, passing to young Toner who made no mistake and kicked the ball over the bar to leave the match beyond the reach of Banagher.

This was a good victory; one which incorporated a lot of smart play and a lot of hard work. Lavey scored a total of 2-11 from play while the defence also looked solid with Kevin McCloy looking comfortable in his ‘old’ full back position and Cailean McGurk performing well in the half back line. With a mixed league season to date, manager Jude Donnelly will now look to build on this victory with more consistent performances from his side. Well done to the team and management and best of luck in the next outing where they take on local rivals, Bellaghy!

Team; Michael Hasson, Shane Lagan, Kevin McCloy, Martin Scullion, Joe Duggan, Cailean McGurk (0-1), Sam Dodds (0-2), Ben Dodds, Damian Chivers, Ryan Farren (0-1), Michael Drumm, Peter Scullion, Colm Murphy (0-3), Kevin O’Neill (0-3), Niall Toner (2-1). Subs Used. Gary Doyle for Ben Dodds, Cailean O’Boyle (0-1, 1 f) for Joe Duggan, Liam Murphy for Colm Murphy.

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