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Minor Hurlers Ready for Championship

Lavey minor hurlers were in fine form last night when they breezed past Na Magha scoring an impressive tally of 9-14.  This however, was not a ‘one off’ exhibition of scoring; they also racked up a tally of 3-17 against Banagher and 2-16 against Ballinascreen.  Defeated only by Kevin Lynches, they currently top the league table with a total of 8 points from five games.

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Despite their fine run in the league, Championship is what counts and it is the ultimate goal for this young Lavey squad.

Lavey face Slaughtneil in the Championship Quarter Final next Wednesday, 26th June at 7.15pm (venue is yet to be confirmed).    The teams haven’t met this year in the league yet; however they will be well accustomed to each other through previous years of underage hurling and through the college and county hurling setups.  Slaughtneil sit just below Lavey in the league table with a total of 6 points, however Lavey have two games in hand which would suggest a tight battle is in store next week!

Captain Conor McGurk, pictured below, took a few minutes to tell us of how preparations for Championship have been going…

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Question: Conor, in the run up to the minor championship, can you tell us how things have been going this year so far? You seem to have been progressing well in the league and knocking up big score lines?
We’ve been going well this year so far, doing more work and playing more games this year than any other. We’ve developed physically and the younger players in the team are really beginning to stand out.

Question: Slaughtneil will be a tough challenge in the quarter final- what do you know about the Slaughtneil team and are Lavey ready for the challenge?
Slaughtneil have always been the best team in our age group right up through underage. They have a couple of very good hurlers and are a physical side. However I think this year we can match them and it will be a very close encounter. Hopefully we will come out with the right result which I think we are very capable of doing.

Question: Both the minor football team and the minor hurling team currently top their respective league tables. Are there many dual players on these teams? What do you feel is the key to achieving success in both codes?
The majority of our players are dual players and we have many u-16s who play both football and hurling at 2 age groups. The key to our success has been due to the planning and cooperation between the football and hurling managers on when to arrange training and matches, making sure that everyone gets training and that no player is doing too much.

Question: Ok- time to ‘dish the dirt’ on your team mates…Who is…

– the biggest ‘hallion’ or the one ‘not to mess with’ on the pitch?
Has to be Eunan Shaw, he strikes fear into the hearts of many opponents when he steps out onto the pitch with his “bear step. He plays rugby you know!!

-the biggest poser?
A no brainer. Declan Hughes. Always fixing his hair in the mirror before matches, putting on the white socks and wrist tape. Once he even brought straighteners to training so he could use them before a night out on the town! So spicy.

-the ‘managers’ pet?
Brendan Laverty, he is a lovable character. Couldn’t dislike him if you tried. A true gentleman, and his pre-match team talks are inspirational.

-the slickest stick work?
Jarlath shaw. Lavey’s Henry Shefflin. Scored something like 6-8 against Na Magha this year whilst not even match fit, probably more than I’ve ever scored in my whole hurling career. However his younger brother Jack could challenge him in later years as he has a great touch also.

-the one who gets in trouble with the ref?
Eamon McGill. Sent off on more than one occasion. He is victimised by referees across County Derry. It’s never his fault!

-the one who is always late for training?
Would have to be myself or Hugh McGurk (if you can ever get him out) Usually the last on the pitch. McGurks are always late for everything.

-the clown of the team?
Dominic Duggan. Hilarious man altogether. “Domsturbia” as we like to call him. Closely followed by Niall Toner, who sometimes takes warmups which are highly entertaining.

-the one you can always depend on?
Can always depend on Dara McPeake, brother of Saoirse. Solid defender, I enjoy playing with him in the half back line. Kevin and Aidan Toner are also so dependable!! They are like two bulls coming forward and are very hard to stop.

-the best excuse you have heard for missing training, by whom and why?
Thats a tough one . Jamie O’Kane once missed training that was on from 5 to 6 as he thought it started at 5 to 6! Haha

Wishing Connor and the Lavey Hurlers good luck in their quarter final!

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All photographs courtesy of Damian McKee, Picture Magic Studios

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