Published on April 21st, 2013 | by Edelle Henry


Senior Footballers Pick Up Valued Two Points

After a poor showing against Slaughtneil last week, a young Lavey team took to the field against Ballinascreen with much to prove.  With several players injured, some working abroad and many more carrying tired muscles from the senior hurling game the previous night, Jude Donelly looked to experiment with his line-up; positions were tweaked and young players were offered opportunities to nail down a place on the team.  A strong breeze blew up the pitch, Lavey opting to play with the wind in the first half.

From the throw-in, Lavey looked sharp and Cailean O’Boyle quickly pointed to settle his side. Cailean added another two points, (1 free) with Ballinascreen also adding a point from a free.  Cailean O’Boyle and Anthony McGurk looked threating in the full forward line and after 15 minutes of play, McGurk scored the first goal of the game after an impressive move involving Ben Dodds and Kevin McCloy.  Aware of the influence of the strong wind, Lavey looked to get as many scores on the board as possible; Ben Dodds pointed from 50 yards, with O’Boyle and Shane Devlin adding further points to put Lavey 8 points ahead.  Lavey dominated all over the pitch; Shane Lagan and Sean Toner solid in the full back line, and Colm Murphy and Ryan Farren in the half back line driving forward at every opportunity.  On the 27th minute, Ballinscreen added another point to their tally leaving the half time score Lavey 1-6 Ballinascreen 0-2.

With the wind, Ballinascreen scored the opening point of the second half; however Anthony McGurk quickly cancelled this out with a well taken point at the other end after a strong run and clever pass from Ryan Farren.  Ballinascreen began to win the breaking ball around the middle of the pitch and the Lavey defence found themselves under more pressure with the midfield and half forward line having to drop deeper into the defence.  Despite their possession, Ballinascreen struggled to impact on the scoreboard with missed chances after good pressure from the Lavey defence and an excellent save from Michael Hasson.  Benny Heron added a point for Ballinascreen.  The same player later played a high ball into the square; confusion between the Lavey goal keeper and full back line resulted in a Screen’ goal to leave only three points between the sides.

At this stage of the game, two things happened which had a major influence on the match; firstly, Ballinascreen player Philly Bradley was side-lined following a red card after a challenge on Kevin McCloy, and secondly, Lavey introduced two substitutes; Declan Hughes and Niall Toner, both of whom had played in the Hogan Cup Final for St. Patricks Maghera last week.  Both players excelled in their senior debuts and once again, Lavey began to dominate in every area of the pitch.  Kevin McCloy and Kevin Rafferty won vital position in midfield and with quality ball supplied to the forwards, Anthony McGurk, Ben Dodds, Cailean O’Boyle and Shane Devlin added further points to push Lavey 6 points ahead.  Niall Toner put the game to bed with a well taken goal after rounding the Screen’ keeper to leave the final score Lavey 2-11 Ballinascreen 1-5.

This was an excellent team performance; 100% improvement from the previous outing.  Credit must go to the younger players in the team; Ryan Farren had an excellent game in defence, the two minor’s; Hughes and Toner also delivered on their first senior outing while Anthony McGurk tortured the Ballinascreen defence with his pace and off-the-ball runs throughout.

Team; Michael Hasson, Sean Toner, Shane Lagon, Martin Scullion, Colm Murphy, Peter Scullion, Ryan Farren, Kevin Rafferty, Kevin McCloy, Cailean McGurk, Shane Devlin (0-2), Ben Dodds (0-2), Liam Murphy, Cailean O’Boyle (0-5, 3f), Anthony McGurk (1-2).  Declan Hughes for Sean Toner, Niall Toner (1-0) for Liam Murphy.

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PRO, Lavey GAA

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