By Michael McMullan
LAVEY are taking nothing for granted ahead of Saturday’s clash with Newbridge (Owenbeg, 4pm) insists manager Gary Cushnahan.
Sunday’s win over Swatragh sealed second place behind Glen and the tie of the round this weekend against a Newbridge side with a similar age profile.
“They have been fantastic all year and for the best part of the season they were leading the league,” Cushnahan said of Saturday’s opponents.
“They turned us over up in Newbridge and beat us by two or three points. We are well aware and won’t be taking anything for granted at this stage.
“Once you get into the knock-out stages, then it is anybody’s game and Newbridge are a great team with lots of talent and an experienced management team over them as well. We’ll hit the reset button this week and go again.”
Lavey’s league ended on a sour note with relegation to Division Two after a penalty shoot-out play-off defeat to Ballinascreen.
Their performances since suggest they’ve drawn a line under it. After beating Coleraine, they put in a creditable performance in the second half against Glen to claw it back to as close as two points after leaving themselves too much to do.
“We played well against Bellaghy and showed what we could do,” added Cushnahan, who also mentioned their hard-fought win at Ballinascreen.
Niall Toner hit 2-4 in their win over Swatragh with Ryan Mulholland getting forward from wing-back to kick four points.
It was the result they needed after being stung by a late Dungiven surge after a Liam Murphy inspired comeback from six points down had Lavey in a winning position going into injury time.
“You could argue that the game shouldn’t have been played, but the conditions were the same for both teams,” Cushnahan said of their Dungiven defeat.
“A couple of decisions we made ourselves backfired on us and ultimately cost us the game.
“Every day is a school day and we learned from it. We worked hard on the training pitch this week and fortunately it came into play today (Sunday).”