Second half collapse sees Lavey exit Ulster Hurling Championship

Ulster Club Senior Hurling Semi Final.

Monday, 11th October 2010, 3:28 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th October 2010, 11:50 am

Keady 1-15

Lavey 2-10

WHEN Lavey cruised into a 1-9 to 0-1 lead after twenty minutes at O’Neill Park, Dungannon, they looked to be on their way to an emphatic win and a place in the Ulster final.

For some reason or other, however, they folded like a pack of cards and were outscored for the rest of the game by 1-14 to 1-1.

And for most of that period Keady were down to fourteen men when corner back Philip Kirk was sent off just before half time. The numbers were levelled late in the second half when Lavey’s Kevin O’Neill got sent off.

This is a further blow to the state of Derry hurling and they are now just the fourth best county in Ulster having also lost to the Orchard County in senior, under 21 and minor hurling during the summer.

A lack of match practice probably did not help Lavey who had picked up their first Derry title for eight years thus preventing Kevin Lynch’s from completing five in a row.

It was a tough uncompromising encounter with Lavey completely on top in the opening third of the game but a Keady move that saw the experienced Paul McCormick move to midfield gave them a grip in that area where previously Paul Doherty and Michael Drumm had been in control. The injured Sam Dodds was a big loss to the Derry champions hopes of progress.

Lavey’s attacking duo of Paddy Henry and Caolan O’Boyle caused endless problems for the Keady defence but they badly lacked support.

However a closer inspection will show that virtually all of the Keady boys were county players and perhaps it was a bit risky for those who predicted an easy Lavey win. It was the first time that a Derry club team had lost to their Armagh counterparts.

It was all Lavey in the opening exchanges with the Derry champions 1-3 to nil in front after ten minutes. The goal came after Kevin O’Neill finished a Paul Hearty shot to the net.

Paul McCormick steadied the Keady ship when he moved to midfield but still it was Lavey who pulled away with another six unanswered points between the duo of Henry and O’Boyle for what looked like an unbeatable 1-9 to 0-1 lead.

With McCormick prominent at midfield Keady finished the half strongly with the next five points and their confidence rose as they went in at the interval just six points in arrears.

McCormick quickly closed the gap to four with two early scores on the resumption. Paddy Henry brought the Lavey total to 1-10 from a free but Keady were now dominant and closed the gap to a point 1-10 to 0-12.

Just after Kevin O’Neill was sent off Cathal Mone scrambled the Keady goal and Lavey were behind for the first time. Then Paddy Henry looked to have saved the day for the Derry champions but the sharper looking Keady men were not to be denied and finished deserving winners after that nightmare start.

Keady scorers: Cathal Mone 1-2, Paul Breen 0-5, Paul McCormick 0-3, Brian Breen and Ger Enright 0-2 each and Brian McNaughton 0-1.

Lavey scorers: Paddy Henry 1-6, Kevin O’Neill 1-1 and Caolan O’Boyle 0-3

Keady: J. Burke, P. Kirk, E. McDonnell, M. McDermott, F. McMullan, B. McCormack, R. McComiskey, G. Enright, B. Breen, B. McNaughton, C. Mone, J. Corvan, L. McKee, P. Breen, P. McCormack. Subs R. Digby for J. Corvan, C. McShane for L. McKee and J. Breen for C. Mone.

Lavey: P. McGill, S. Lagan, P. McVeigh, P. Dillon, D. O’Neill, S. Henry, J. Darragh, P. Doherty, M. Drumm, P. Hearty, B. Dodds, C. O’Boyle, K. O’Neill, C. Murphy. Subs C. Henry for P. Doherty and M. Collins for B,.Dodds.

Referee G. Duffy Anrim.