A 55th minute goal from Darren Jordan killed off Kingscourt's second-half rally and propelled Lavey to a surprise opening round win in the senior football championship this afternoon.
Played in the soaking rain at Kingspan Breffni Park, Kevin McDonnell's side thoroughly deserved their victory having never trailed the holders once ace forward Chris Conroy sent in the game's first goal in the opening stages.
From there, the New Inns men grew with belief and soared towards a remarkable eight-point half-time lead with Shane Tierney, Finbar Jordan and Gerard Smith pointing the way for them, while Joe Dillon kept Kingscourt on life support at the other end.
Dillon and Barry Reilly combined for an unanswered 0-4 in the opening five minutes of the second-half to put the Stars back into contention and they looked set to pull off the comeback when sub Sean Burke hit the net for them but Jordan's strike with five minutes to go made sure of a winning start for Lavey.
Conroy had the would-be winners off to a flyer in this one, fisting past Kingscourt 'keeper James Farrelly after two minutes much to the delight of the Lavey contingent in the stands.
Dillon pointed from his full-forward station in response for the champions but it didn't stop McDonnell's men from getting into their rhythm early on, with Conroy (free) and a brace from livewire Tierney putting them five to the good as the game grew 10 minutes old.
Cavan senior Smith extended it to six prior to Dillon grabbing his team's next two scores, but the favourites looked to be in some real trouble as their opponents continued their assault on goal towards the town end.
Finbar Jordan, Darren Jordan and Smith (a superby executed 50 metre free) raised white flags to make it a seven-point game as Kingscourt - without the services of Padraig Faulkner and facing into a stiff breeze - failed to get an accurate response, racking up their fifth wide of the half instead.
A Peter Corrigan free finally halted the Meath border men's drought prior to Finbar Jordan cancelling it out after some patient Lavey build-up play and Tierney (free) closing the half at 1-9 to 0-4, leaving the champions with plenty of food for thought heading into the dressing rooms.
Within five minutes of the restart, Bernie Murray's side had registered their entire first-half tally thanks to three frees from marksman Reilly being backed up by a fisted point by Dillon to narrow their deficit to four.
Conroy shot an excellent free into the breeze at the far end prior to Kingscourt losing veteran defender Thomas Wakely to a black card, handing Ciaran Gorman his introduction in the 43rd minute.
As the conditions for both sides worsened, close to 10 scoreless minutes went by for the Stars whose purple patch at the beginning of the second-half looked to have come and gone before Burke turned in Reilly's lofted free which was dropped towards the edge of the small square.
What was once an eight-point deficit had now been reduced to two for the town side and they looked the more likely heading into the final stretch.
However, after holding their opponents' attack over the ensuing seven minutes, Lavey landed a hammer blow of their own five minutes from time which saw Smith pulling off some brilliant work to send Darren Jordan through and the wing forward finished coolly past Farrelly into the corner of the net.
Back where they started just after half-time, Murray's charges needed another goal to try and rescue a result but instead only managed points from Christy McGowan and Barry Tully which left them three short come the final whistle.
Lavey: Conor Martin; Darren Monaghan, Fergal Smith, Joey Jordan; Stephen Jordan, Mark Brady, Gerard Smith (0-2, 1f); Ray Cullivan, Paul Gilchreest; Darren Jordan (1-1), Finbar Jordan (0-2), Darragh Conaty; Shane Tierney (0-3, 1f), Karl Duke, Chris Conroy (1-2, 2f). Sub: Dean Rutherford for C Conroy (60mins).
Kingscourt: James Farrelly; Cathal McKeown, Colm Smith, Thomas Wakely; Barry Tully (0-1), Alan Clarke, Noel McIntyre; Barry Reilly (0-3, 3f), Terry Reilly; Daryl Martin, Christy McGowan (0-1), Keith McCabe; Philip Tinnelly, Joe Dillon (0-4), Peter Corrigan (0-1, 1f). Subs: Sean Burke (1-0) for D Martin (36mins), Ciaran Gorman for T Wakely (41, b/c), Seanie Farrelly for Gorman (60).
Ref: Padraig Sheridan (Ballymachugh)Tweet