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Lavey Hurlers’ Record their First League Victory of Year

Senior Hurling League; Lavey 1:16 Swatragh 0-6

A young Lavey side took the field against an equally young Swatragh side on Wednesday night; both teams missing key players through long term injuries/suspension. After a promising display against Slaughtneil in the first league game of the year, hurling manager- Martin Convery would have been disappointed with the next two league outings where Lavey suffered poor defeats against Banagher and Dungiven. This game offered an opportunity to settle his side and build confidence in preparation for championship.

Swatragh looked to get off to the best start as they charged through on goal within the first few minutes; however Shane Lagan recovered quickly, reaching for a ‘hook’ with a stretched hurl, with goalie Cathal O’Loan then clearing.
Liam Og Magill scored the first point of the game with Sam Dodds, Kevin O’Neill, Paddy Henry and Paul Doherty all getting on the score sheet before Swatragh opened their scorebook with a well taken point after 17 minutes of play. Lavey’s half back line of John Darragh, Paul Hearty and Dermot O’Neil dominated play during the opening quarter and should be commended for their tacking and the quality of ball which they supplied to the inside forward line, who then converted the possession into scores.

Lavey were awarded a penalty after captain’ O’Boyle was dragged down in the square when he looked to be through for goal; however Paul Hearty slotted the ball over the ball the bar to push Lavey five points ahead. Cailean O’Boyle had a second goal chance shortly after; this time he was denied by the Swatragh keeper who pulled off an impressive save.

Paddy Henry added a second point to his tally on the 25 minute mark when Colm Murphy found him with a clever pass; Swatragh adding two late points to leave the half time score Lavey 0-7 Swatragh 0-3.

Paddy Henry opened the second half with a pointed free after Kevin O’Neil was tripped. Midfielder; Paul Doherty and Sam Dodds added further scores before the same player converted the first goal of the game. Kevin O’Neil’s shot was partially blocked; however Sam Dodds was in paramount position to ‘pull’ the rebounded shot past the Swatragh keeper’.

As the game progressed, the young Lavey side appeared to grow in confidence and belief and as a unit; they began to show the hurling they are capable of playing. Colm Murphy had a superb game in midfield where, time and time again, his vision and ball delivery to the inside forwards resulted in scores. The same player showed his versatility when moved to corner forward for the last 10 minutes of play where he scored a tally of 0-2. His mid-field partner; Paul Doherty also produced a strong performance and scored two points for his efforts.

Lavey appeared to be well in control during much of the second half; Ryan Farren had an excellent game in corner back while the Lavey half back line continued to dominate the play throughout the duration of the match, the physical presence of Paul Hearty well suited to his newfound position of centre half back. Swatragh did score a further three points (two frees) in the second half, however with a total of nine Lavey players getting on the score sheet, they never looked like they would threaten the outcome of the game.

Lavey will look to build on this impressive performance as they face Donegal side ‘Burt’ in their next league game on Saturday 1st June, 7pm at Lavey.

Final Score Lavey 1-16 Swatragh 0-6

Team; Cathal O’Loan, Ryan Farren (0-1), Shane Lagan, Cailean McGurk, John Darragh, Paul Hearty (0-1, 1 pen), Dermot O’Neill, Paul Doherty (0-2), Colm Murphy (0-2), Mark Dillon (0-1), Cailean O’Boyle, Liam Og Magill (0-1), Sam Dodds (1-2) Kevin O’Neill (0-1), Paddy Henry (0-5, 3f). Subs used; Michael Drumm, Sean Toner

Photograph courtesy of Damian McKee

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