Published on October 25th, 2013 | by Edelle Henry


U13 Footballers Win County Title


Lavey U-13 footballers won the county title under lights in Owenbeg by beating a very strong Dungiven team by two points.

This was a thoroughly entertaining game with the lead changing hands many times between two very even teams. The standard of football was of the highest standard and kept the large crowd enthralled until the final whistle. The large open spaces of Owenbeg helped the flow of the game as there wasn’t one line ball throughout the entire match and ensured play was fast and furious!

Dungiven settled the quicker and made a great start kicking four points in the first 5 mins. Things weren’t looking good for the young Lavey lads but a great turnover from Lee Tsang, who would go on to have an outstanding game at right half back, set up a move which saw Fintan Bradley fouled and Enda Downey swung over Laveys first score. Lavey’s defense was now starting to get on top and after good work from James Mc Gurk and Eoghan Laverty at the back, a quick counter attack saw Fintan Bradley score Laveys second point after 8 minutes.

A point from a Dungiven free halted Laveys comeback only temporarily, as the next flowing move involving James Crawford, Oran Downey, Ryan Mc Gill and Calum Murray, saw Fintan Bradleys long range free fall to Enda Downey who smashed the ball to the roof of Dungivens net to tie the scores 0-5 to 1-2 after 15 mins.

Play quickly swung to the other end of the field where Lavey goalkeeper Eoin Mulholland made the save of the season and from this he set up a move involving Paudie Duggan, Oran Downey and Ryan Mulholland who placed Ryan Mc Gill for a great point; a perfect example of what team play is all about.

James Crawford made a great turnover tackle on Dungiven’s next attack and sent livewire corner forward Oran Downey racing away. He fed the onrushing Fintan Bradley who skimmed the crossbar with a fierce drive to register another Lavey point and send the Lavey lads in leading at half time- Lavey 1-4 Dungiven 0-5

The second half started the same way as the first with Dungiven on top, straight from the throw-in Richard Mullan got in behind the Lavey defence to score a goal on their first attack. Things became worse for the Lavey lads as they conceded a free from the kick out which was duly converted and Laveys 2pt interval lead had disappeared into a 2pt deficit.

While small in stature, this young team have great character and so it showed once again as they fought their way back into the game. Enda Downey placed his cousin and half time sub Matthew Downey with a terrific pass and he drove over a great score with the outside of his right foot to leave 1pt in it, Dungiven 1-6 Lavey 1-5.  Things got even better for Lavey as Matthew Downey won the kick out and fed the onrushing Ryan Mulholland who made great ground and fired an unstoppable shot to the corner of the Dungiven net to the delight of the large Lavey following. 

Play was end-to-end; great defence from Paudie Duggan saw his clearance find Fintan Bradley- who was doing great work in the midfield area, his cross field ball was flicked on by Oran Downey to Matthew Downey whos goal bound shot was brilliantly tipped onto the crossbar and over by the Dungiven keeper to leave the score board Dungiven 1-6 Lavey 2-6 after 10mins of the second half.

Dungiven weren’t beaten yet as in their next attack, Fintan Murphy blasted a great left footed shot to Laveys net to tie the scores once again and leave all to play for entering the last 5 mins.  Lee Tsang won Laveys kick out, as he had done repeatedly throughout the game, linked with Ryan Mc Gill, Ryan Mulholland and when Fintan Bradley was fouled Lavey had the chance to edge in front.  Enda Downey duly converted and Lavey took a 1 point lead with only a few mins remaining.

Frantic play from both teams saw play go from end to end!  Cormac Collins won an important ball in Laveys defence to repel a dangerous Dungiven attack.  Oran Downey was winning vital ball in Laveys forward line along with the hard working Ryan McGill and from the resultant Lavey attack, Matthew Downey was fouled and Enda Downey once gained proved very accurate to put Lavey 2 points up with time almost up. Dungiven mounted another surging attack and with their towering midfielder bearing down on goal, Lee Tsang made a full length diving block to deflect the goal bound shot away for a 45.  The last kick saw big Eoghan Laverty pluck the ball from the night sky and clear to safety and the final whistle sounded.
A great game of football from both teams.   Lavey went through this U-13 competition having beaten Steelstown, Coleraine, Ballinascreen and Glen to top their group, they then defeated Magherafelt in the semi final and Dungiven in the final.  A proud James Crawford accepted the Kerr Signs sponsored cup from County Chairman John Keenan, who also passed comment on the high standard of football from both teams.

james crawford

Panel- Eoin Mulholland, Cormac Collins, Eoghan Laverty, Paudie Duggan, James McGurk, James Crawford, Lee Tsang, Enda Downey, Ryan Mulholland, Ryan McGill, Oran Downey, Fintan Bradley, Matthew Downey, Calum Murray, Neil O Kane, Adrian McMullan, Jamie Duggan, Jack Scullion, Ciaran Mullan, Max Kazogi, Jack Mc Kendry, Joe Duggan, Daniel Mc Larnon, Jake O Connell

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PRO, Lavey GAA

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