By Niall Gartland
LAVEY got off to the best possible start in the Cavan Club Championship as they knocked five goals past Castlerahan in a very impressive opening day win – but there’s certainly no danger of complacency seeping into their preparations for this evening’s round two clash against Laragh United.
Not only are they neighbours and rivals, but Lavey were taught a chastening lesson when they were well-beaten by Laragh in a Division Two semi-final only a few short weeks ago.
Manager Colin Malone says it was the kick up the you-know-what that Lavey needed, and their championship opener against Castlerahan also coincided with the return of important forwards Karl Duke and Shane Tierney, so they’re back on the right path.
Malone said: “We got a brave hammering in the league against Laragh, and that gave us the kick in the backside we needed. The boys have knuckled down in the last number of years and are buying into the things we’re trying to do as a management team, and it all came together well against Castlerahan.
“Laragh completely deserved that victory over us. They were very, very good and we were the exact opposite. But football’s a funny thing. We’ve now been drawn against them in the second round of the championship and there should be no problem getting our lads up for the game after what happened in the league semi-final.”
In the last couple of months, four points has been enough for Cavan senior teams to qualify for the quarter-finals of the championship, so victory would also mean that Lavey will likely advance to the last eight with two games to spare. That’s another big motivating factor for the team.
“We have that rivalry with Laragh, but if we do manage to get another win, we’d be unlucky not to qualify for a quarter-final, and it takes you away from the possibility of relegation as well.
“There’s a lot to play for, and it’s in Breffni Park as well which is great. As I say, our boys are mad to put things right from the league semi-final. It’d be nice to get the win and to be sitting with four points after two games.”
Lavey got up and running with a 5-5 to 2-11 victory over Castlerahan on Saturday evening. They got their goals at the right time, and it helped that two of their key forwards have returned from injury.
“Shane Tierney and Karl Duke are back. They’d been missing most of the year, and they’re good players who can create goal chances. We also had Gerry Smith driving forward from midfield. It was a good start and we’ll take it as we still have a couple of lads out injured. Danny Cusack, who was on the Cavan panel this year, and Paul Gilcreest, who was on the Cavan panel last year, weren’t able to play, but we’d be hopeful that Paul will be able to play some part against Laragh,” said Malone.