Published on July 29th, 2013 | by Edelle Henry


Senior Footballers off to a Winning Start

Lavey defeated neighbours Bellaghy in the opening round of the football championship on Sunday afternoon.

The intense build up to the game was heightened by the Owenbeg opening proceedings running late with referee Brendan Quinn getting things underway approximately 25 minutes behind schedule. With the new facilities at Owenbeg looking resplendent, the pitch in spectacular condition (despite the heavy rain and thunder storms experienced throughout the province) and a large (3105) and vocal crowd filling the stadium, it was all to play for!

The Lavey team before the game

This game between local rivals was always going to be a heated affair and the first half was scrappy to say the least with little free flowing football. The majority of first half scores for both teams came from the placed ball with precision free taking from Cailean O’Boyle cancelled out at the other end by Cassidy and Brown. One of the highlights of the half was the mammoth performance from Damian Chivers, particularly in the first quarter when he produced an exhibition of fielding and totally dominated the midfield area.

Damian Chivers had a superb game at midfield

Lavey manager, Jude Donnelly, shouts instructions to his team

Early on in the game, Bellaghy were dealt a blow when veteran Fergal Doherty appeared to fall awkwardly on his head. Despite playing on, he was later forced to retire from play and was taken to hospital as a precaution. Doherty was a major loss for Bellaghy in the centre of the pitch. Lavey GAC would like to wish Fergal a speedy recovery and hope to see him back on the playing field in the near future.

With five minutes of added time to be played in the first half, the key talking point of the game came after 33 minutes. Both teams had four points on the board when a well worked move resulted in a goal which allowed the Erin’s Own men to open a three point gap going in at the break. Kevin Rafferty worked hard to win possession out the field; he played a long cross field ball to Shane Devlin. Cailean O’Boyle created the decoy as the ball was played to Sam Dodds, who somehow found himself on the edge of the square. Dodds played a clever inside pass to Anthony McGurk who finished the ball low past Bellaghy keeper’ Quinn to leave the half time score Lavey 1.4 Bellaghy 0.4

Kevin O’Neill secures possession as Ben Dodds looks on

With the gap opened, Lavey began to play a more free-flowing brand of football in the third quarter which resulted in fine scores for Kevin O’Neill, Kevin Rafferty and Joe Duggan to push Lavey five points ahead. Youngster Niall Toner who made his championship debut, also showed his class when he rounded Bellaghy defender McGoldrick, ran some 40 yards before cleanly striking the ball over the bar for the final score of the game.

While Eoghan Brown aways looked a handful at the edge of the square, he was well marshalled by the Lavey full back line of Peter Scullion, Ryan Farren and Shane Lagan. Caolan McGurk gave a man of the match performance from centre back, cutting out attack after attack and driving forward at every opportunity. Kevin Rafferty also excelled; the corner forward drifted outfield and won a lot of vital possession for Lavey despite being closely marshalled by Declan Brown. Cailean O’Boyle also impressed from play, although it was his precision free taking which really caught the eye as he scored a tally of 7 points from the placed ball.

Ryan Farren on the ball

The match may not have been pretty for the neutral; nevertheless a great result for Lavey who ran out clear winners by 6 points. Final score Lavey 1-11 Bellaghy 0-8.

Lavey now face Banagher in the next round of the Championship. Onwards and Upwards!

Team; Ciaron O’Boyle, Ryan Farren, Peter Scullion, Shane Lagan, Shane Devlin, Caolan McGurk, Sam Dodds, Damian Chivers, Gary Doyle, Ben Dodds, Colm Murphy, Joe Duggan (0-1), Kevin Rafferty (0-1), Cailean O’Boyle (0-7, 7 f), Anthony McGurk (1-0). Subs used; Kevin O’Neill (0-1) for Gary Doyle, Niall Toner (0-1) for Colm Murphy, Kevin McCloy for Peter Scullion, Declan Hughes for Sam Dodds.

All photo’s by Damian Mckee

Sam Dodds in possession

Caolan McGurk put in a ‘man of the match’ performance from centre back.

The free taking of Cailean O’Boyle was instrumental to Lavey’s win

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PRO, Lavey GAA

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    Postal Address
    Erins Own Lavey GAA, 56 Quarry Road, Maghera

    T: +44 (0) 28 7964 3202

    Centre Manager: Anne Graffin

    Chairman: Paddy Chivers

    Secretary: Helen O’Neill

    PRO: Dermot McPeake