DERRY GAA: Lavey leave it too late as Newbridge advance to senior semi-final

IMPRESSIVE: Conor Doherty was in excellent form against Lavey at the weekend.  Photo: George Sweeney.  DER2236GS –IMPRESSIVE: Conor Doherty was in excellent form against Lavey at the weekend.  Photo: George Sweeney.  DER2236GS –
IMPRESSIVE: Conor Doherty was in excellent form against Lavey at the weekend. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2236GS –
O’Neill’s Derry Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final

​​Newbridge 0-18, Lavey 1-13

Two well drilled teams served up a real senior championship treat for the large crowd at Owenbeg on Saturday evening.

Lavey looked in a good position at half time with a 1-10 to 0-9 lead but were overwhelmed in the early stages of the second half. In that half hour the, ‘Bridge outscored them by 0-9 to 0-3.

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Lavey had been the best team in the first half by some distance but with the young Newbrdge keeper James Gribbin finding a team mate with every long kick-out the game swung completely in the second.

Newbridge’s two Derry players, Paudie McGrogan and Conor Doherty, were at the heart of everything good from the winners in the second half. McGrogan shored up the defence and Doherty assumed control at midfield. Lavey got a bit over defensive in the third quarter thus starving their forwards of a supply of the long ball. It took them 18 minutes to get their first score and by that time Newbridge had hit five points.

There were periods late in the game when a revitalised Lavey threatened to score a goal but led by excellent wing back Sean Young the ‘Bridge stayed firm.

In that memorable first half both teams were similar in their approach, they would build from the back and hit brilliant long range points.

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Lavey suffered a pre-match set back when their reliable centre half Eamon McGill was unable to start. He did come on with 10 minutes remaining but did not make an impact. His replacement was James McGurk, the former Derry minor and U20 player.

Seasoned Lavey midfielder Kevin O’Neill and Mark Doherty exchanged points inside the opening three minutes. Ciaran Hendry, better known for his hurling skills, then set Niall Toner to put Lavey ahead but not for long as Michael Bateson fired over a great score from the left.

The scoring trend continued and with just 11 minutes gone a Conor Doherty free put the eventual winners at 0-5 to 0-4 in front and there had been nine different scorers.

Declan Hughes equalised from a ‘mark’ and quickly followed with a goal. He won a high ball to the right of the posts, lost possession, regained it and, from close range, shot low past James Gribbin for a 1-5 to 0-5 lead.

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Callum McGrogan closed the gap but at the other end Liam Murphy hit a point. Fintan Bradley and Conor Mulholland put Lavey five clear by the 25th minute until points from McGrogan and Doherty left just a goal between them.

The last score of the half fell to Lavey from a fine Patrick McGurk solo point. In the last play of the half Paudie McGrogan had a go for a point, he raise his hand in triumph, it looked as wide as the proverbial gate but one umpire raised the white flag. After consultation with the umpires and linesman it was given wide and nobody, not even Paudie, argued!

Newbridge looked the more positive team on the restart. Sean Young, Conor Doherty (f) and Conleth McGrogan pointed in the opening three minutes.

Lavey were sitting back too much and there was nothing they could do when half back Sean Young landed a monster point to level the game after 38 minutes. Coinleth McGrogan followed up with the lead point.

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On 49 minutes Toner pointed after a foul on Hugh McGurk but nine minutes from time another brilliant point from Young gave Newbridge a lead that they were never to lose. A solo point from Callum McGrogan doubled that lead.

Lavey had it all to do when full forward Odhran McGlone made it a three point game but they put in a strong finish. A Toner free left just two between the teams as the board showed three minutes added time. Lavey had a goal bound shot blocked on the line but they had left their effort much too late.

Newbridge scorers: Sean Young 0-3, Conor Doherty 0-2,1f, Paudie McGrogan, Callum McGrogan and Mark Doherty 0-2 each, Conleth McGrogan, Conor McGrogan, Shane McGrogan, Nathan Rocks, Michael Bateson and Odhran McGlone 0-1 each.

Lavey scorers: Declan Hughes 1-1, Niall Toner 0-4,3f, Patrick McGurk 0-2, Conor Mulholland, Ryan Mulholland, Fintan Bradley, Kevin O’Neill, Liam Murphy 0-1 each.

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Newbridge: James Gribbin, Declan McKeever, Conor McGrogan, Shane McGrogan, Sean Young, Paudie McGrogan, Conleth McGrogan, Conor Doherty, Nathan Rocks, Callum McGrogan, Mark McGrogan, Michael Bateson, Conor McAteer, Odhran McGlone, Mark Doherty. Subs Aidan McGlone for M Bateson (45), Danny Mulholland for M Doherty (51)

Lavey: Jack Scullion, Aidan Toner, Conor Mulholland, Sedgae Melaugh, Ryan Mulholland James McGurk, Jamie Duggan, Fintan Bradley, Kevin O’Neill, Rory McGill, Ciaran Hendry, Patrick McGurk, Liam Murphy, Declan Hughes, Niall Toner. (Subs) Dara McGurk for L Murphy (42), Hugh McGurk for James McGurk, (46) and Eamon McGill for K O’Neill (50)

Referee: Declan O’Connor (Dungiven)

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