Lavey edge out Termon to claim Ulster title

St Paul’s FonaCAB Ulster Minor Football Tournament

Lavey (Derry) 0-09-0-08 Termon (Donegal)

From Kevin Herron at Shaws Road

Lavey held their nerve to clinch the St Pauls FonaCAB Ulster Minor Football Tournament after coming out on top 0-09-0-08 against Termon in this afternoon’s final at the Shaw’s Road.

The Derry champions were in the ascendancy for the majority of the game and never fell behind – but they were pegged back four times in the opening half by Termon with Ryan McFadden in inspired form from the placed ball.

Player of the tournament Enda Downey received the Anne Marie Donnelly Memorial Cup from Anne Marie’s neice Holly after the game

Jamie Duggan gave his side a bright start to the second period though they failed to convert three gilt-edged goals chances – with Calum Downey, Segdae Melaugh and Cormac Collins all failing to finish to the net.

Termon only managed a solitary point from play throughout the sixty minutes as two Aaron Reid free’s kept them in contention. It wouldn’t be enough to prevent Lavey though as they became the eighth Derry outfit to lift the coveted Ulster minor title and with it the Jimmy McConville Cup.

Lavey came into the game as slight favourites after their four-point win over Eniskillen Gaels before Christmas, while Termon booked their place in today’s decider with a hard fought win over Kilcoo on St Stephen’s Day.

It was Lavey who hit the front on the 5th minute as James McGurk gathered Ryan McGill’s pass and steered the ball over the bar. But Termon hit back through a Ryan McFadden free after Jack Alcorn was felled.

Calum Downey evaded some heavy traffic and conjured up a lovely point to restore his sides advantage- though persistence paid off for Ryan McFadden who saw two shots drop short before turning provider for Adam McIlwaine to level matters.

Termon’s Marty Steele is sent flying by Lavey’s Rory McGill during Sunday’s fonaCAB Ulster final at St Paul’s

James McGurk nudged his side infront for the third time after some sterling work from Matthew Downey, however Termon replied once more with Ryan McFadden converting his second free to make 0-03 apiece with little over ten minutes of the half remaining.

Lavey hit the front for the fourth time through Matthew Downey’s converted free and the corner-forward stretched his sides lead after brother Calum was caught around the neck.

McFadden responded for the Donegal champions through the placed ball and a minute into additional time played a quick pass to Mark Gallagher who was tripped and awarded a free. Midfielder McFadden dually converted to level at 0-05 apiece at the break and bring his personal tally to 0-04.

Lavey’s Calum Downey punches the air in celebration after scoring a point early in the second half

Lavey began the second-half brighter and edged ahead again through Jamie Duggan whose shot caught in the wind and sailed over the bar.

Duggan doubled his account sixty-seconds later, laying the ball off before receiving it back and producing a marvellous score to make it 0-07-0-05.

A goal should have followed on the 36th minute as Segdae Melaugh collected a high ball and laid it to Calum Downey whose shot was bravely smothered by Emmett Maguire in the Termon goals.

Ryan McFadden would close the deficit with his fifth placed ball of the afternoon in response to Duggan’s early scores but it was Lavey who were more productive and direct.

Enda Downey assisted in cousin Calum doubling the lead again with a fine score which was immediately responded to; Cormac Collins was guilty of tugging back Conor Black and referee Gavin Finnegan awarded a free- which was converted by substitute Aaron Reid.

It could have been game over if Lavey had have converted either of two goal chances that arrived a few minutes apart.

First, Segdae Melaugh tried to bustle his way through only to see his low drive blocked to safety by Termon full-back Jamie Grant. Then with five minutes remaining the ball dropped to Cormac Collins who shot high and wide.

The Derry side would claim their insurance score on the 58th minute as Patrick McGurk curled the ball over to give his side a 0-09-0-07 lead.

Termon could only muster a point in response through Aaron Reid’s free two minutes in added time and in the aftermath Lavey’s game management saw them emerge victorious by the narrowest of margins to clinch their first ever Ulster Minor triumph.

After the game Captain Cormac Collins collected the trophy from Belfast Lord Major Danny Baker and Sean Walsh of FonaCAB.  

Termon goalkeeper Emmett Maguire keeps his team in the game as he makes a brilliant block to deny Lavey’s Matthew Downey a certain goal

Lavey: J Scullion, Joe Duggan, S O’Neill, S Melaugh, N Duggan, R Farrell, R McGill, C Collins, Jamie Duggan (0-02), P McGurk (0-01), J McGurk (0-02), R McGill, C Downey (0-02), E Downey, M Downey (0-02f).

Termon: E Maguire, M Treaty, J Grant, M Toye, C Gallagher, M Steele, E Coleman, J Alcorn, R McFadden (0-05f), B McGettigan, S McDaid, L McGarvey, M Gallagher, A McElwaine (0-01), C Cassidy. Subs: C Black for L McGarvey (18); S Black for A McElwaine (23); A Reid (0-02f) for E Coleman (37); C McFadden for S McDaid (58); L McGarvey for M Gallagher 58).

Referee: Gavin Finnegan (An Dun)

The Downey cousins Calum, Enda and Matthew celebrate their club’s win

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