Swatragh indebted to O’Kane as Lavey rue missed chances

There were many pivotal moments in this see-saw game before Swatragh saw off the challenge of a Lavey side had the edge for periods of the first half before the Davitt’s made good use of the stiffish breeze after the interval.

Eight minutes into the first half, with the sides level at 0-02 each, Lavey were awarded a penalty and Sam Dodds came forward to take up the challenge. However keeper Conor O’Kane diverted his block-busting shot over the bar for 0-03 to 0-02, the first of a string of sensational saves by the Swatragh custodian.

Five minutes from time with four points between the teams Lavey were awarded a second penalty but Michael Kirkpatrick came to Swatragh’s rescue when he parried Paddy Henry’s shot.

In the second minute O’Kane had denied Henry from point-blank range and he would make a couple more key saves in the first half to keep Lavey at bay, even though he had no chance when he made another stunning stop from Caolan O’Boyle but Henry followed up to net from close range.

Ten minutes into the game Henry injured an ankle and, although he played the rest of the game, he was badly hampered by the injury. He did finish the half with 1-3 but the brilliant free taking of Ruairi Convery who finished the half with six frees in his 0-7 haul, ensured that Lavey had only a 1-9 to 0-9 half time lead.

The game was delicately poised as Swatragh levelled at 0-12 to 1-9 but, after Henry put Lavey 1-11 to 0-13 ahead in the 41st minute, Ruairi Convery pounced on a loose ball to the goalmouth to blast it to the net and from there they kept control as Convery finished with 1-12.

In the 47th minute Sam Dodds was shown a straight red card but Lavey had a chance to resurrect their chances five minutes from time when they were awarded a second penalty but again O’Kane was the Swatragh hero.

The Swatragh scorers: Ruairi Convery 1-12 (11f), Chris Convery 0-02, Declan McGuckin, and Sean McNicholl 0-01 each

The Lavey scorers: Paddy Henry 1-05 (4f), 0-01 ‘65’, Sam Dodds 0-03, Ben Dodds 0-02, Dermot O’Neill, Neil McGill and Colm Murphy 0-01 each

Swatragh: Conor O’Kane; Niall O’Doherty, Seamus McFerran, Paddy O’Kane; Seamus Bradley, Sean McNicholl, Conor Quinn; Malachy O’Hagan, Cathal McQuillan; Declan McGuckin, Seamus McQuillan, Mickey Conway; Chris Conway, Michael Warnock, Ruairi Conway. (Subs) Michael Kirkpatrick for M Warnock 32 mins; Tommy McCloy for S McQuillan 42 mins

Lavey: Paul Hearty; Colm Dillon, Shane Lagan, Ryan Farren; Oisin Shaw, Chris Henry, John Darragh; Ben Dodds, Paul Doherty; Dermot O’Neill, Neil McGill, Paddy Henry; Colm Murphy, Caolan O’Boyle, Sam Dodds. (Subs) Caolan McGurk for O Shaw, 51 mins

Referee: Barry Milligan (Down).