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Enniskillen, Termon and Lavey into St Paul's semis

 

Close contest: Enniskillen Gaels’ Cal McAnespie surveys his options while Cargin’s Shane Gribbon gives chase
Close contest: Enniskillen Gaels’ Cal McAnespie surveys his options while Cargin’s Shane Gribbon gives chase
Declan Bogue

By Declan Bogue

Derry's Lavey have set up a semi-final meeting with 2018 winners Enniskillen Gaels in the St Paul's Ulster minor club Championship tournament in Belfast after they both came through challenges with relative ease over the weekend.

The other semi-final will consist of Down's Kilcoo, who beat Tyrone's Killyclogher the week before, and Donegal club Termon who simply demolished Monaghan champions Emyvale, a week after handing out a heavy beating to Silverbridge of Armagh.

This Termon team appear to be the strongest in the competition and they ran up an incredible 6-14 to Emyvale's 0-6 in the late game on Sunday.

Tervor Alcorn's lads went into half-time 1-6 to 0-1 up after jumping into a decent start, but the Emyvale challenge disintegrated after the break with a flood of goals.

Lavey were staffed by a host of familiar names, going back to their All-Ireland club win in 1991, showing that the production line is in full working order.

Sons of Seamus and Henry Downey, a complement of McGurks and Ollie Collins, ran out on a scoreline of 1-16 to 0-11 against Cavan champions, the amalgamation team of Drumloman Gaels, at Coláiste Feirste on Saturday.

After a slow start it took until halfway through the first half before Lavey opened their account, a Matthew Downey free, but they were soon on level terms.

While Matthew McGahern was leading the line well for the Cavan lads, he was the only one heavily scoring and the burden was on him at they went in at the break 0-6 apiece.

Jamie Duggan put Lavey in front for the first time early in the second half and their great strength and fitness - perhaps aided by the success they have also enjoyed at this level in hurling this season - began to tell.

Drumloman's scores dried up with nothing registered in the third quarter and Lavey had a chance to finish it with 12 minutes remaining after James McGurk was taken out of it just before attempting a shot on goal.

Matthew Downey put the spot kick wide and that gave them enough of a chink of light to nibble back the lead to leave just three in it with 10 minutes to go.

However, the last word was with Downey after he fetched a long, raking pass from Rory McGill as he sprung out of defence to drill past Drumloman goalkeeper Declan Goldrick.

On Sunday morning, the clash between Antrim champions Erin's Own Cargin and 2018 St Paul's tournament winners Enniskillen Gaels began tensely.

The sides traded scores as they got off to a nervous start but a gap was opened up on 23 minutes that the Fermanagh champions held on to until the close.

Ryan McDonnell made a surging run through the middle and played a give-go with Killian Corrigan before potting to the net to leave them 1-3 to 0-3 ahead at the break.

The Gaels management made a few positional changes but were helped by Conor Murphy's brilliant marking job on Cargin's senior player Pat Shivers.

Shortly after the restart Shay Conway played a hopeful looking ball in towards Conor Love, who was a star of the St Michael's Hogan Cup winning side in 2019.

Love was being marked by Sean Óg Quinn and Sean McAuley and while the three of them went up for the ball none of them gathered it, Love collected it on the first bounce and buried it beyond goalkeeper Shea Laverty.

The Enniskillen lads were not able to start Josh Horan, another Hogan Cup winner, as he makes his way back from injury, but he was sent on for the final quarter in a full-forward role.

With the game getting away from them, a Sean Laverty kickout was gobbled up by Gael's forward Ross Bogue. He sent it on to James O'Donnell in front of goal and he squared unselfishly for Horan to palm into the net. The full-time score was 3-6 to 0-8 in favour of Enniskillen, but with a slight black mark as corner-back Jack Tierney had to be stretchered off.

Lavey meet Enniskillen on Sunday while the Kilcoo v Termon game takes place on December 26, with the final on New Year's Day.

In the Conor McGurk Cup, the scheduled game on Friday evening between Antrim and Longford was not played, Longford sending notice that they would not be travelling.

Fermanagh played Down on Saturday and were beaten 0-31 to 0-5.

Down were back out in action on Sunday in the Kehoe Cup and produced an impressive performance as they pushed Offaly hard, before going down 2-18 to 1-24.

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