Chris all set for tough challenge in big showdown

Chris Lavery
Chris Lavery

Chris Lavery, who played an instrumental role in Lurgan Celtic’s victory over local rivals Dollingstown on Saturday, will now change his focus to this Sunday’s Armagh Intermediate Championship final when his St. Paul’s side face Grange at the Athletic Grounds.

The dual player who is still only 23 and is known for his blistering turn of pace will be heading back to his former Club Dungannon Swifts in January but before that he could be celebrating a unique GAA double. Celtic boss Colin Malone used Lavery’s pace down the left flank at Knockramer Park last Saturday to take the pressure off his defence who were defending a one goal lead for a long period, and on Sunday Shane McConville’s St. Paul’s side could offer him a similar role.

Chris is happy to fit into whatever role he was given.

“In the semi-final I was selected to play in midfield but the idea was for me to sweep just in behind the midfield sector. Shane has the trust of the players so whatever position I am given I will be content.”

Lavery took a break from gaelic for a period to concentrate on the Glenavon youth team, he then had a spell with Oxford Sunnyside before eventually making a name for himself in the Irish League with Dungannon Swifts.

The Hoops player added. “I have been training flat out with St. Paul’s. Winning the championship would be something special.

“The effort our management team, the club’s committee and the supporters have put in this season has been enormous. Shane McConville leaves nothing to chance, he covers all the angles and it would be fantastic to reward him by bringing the cup back to Lurgan.”

The Saints player drew back from revealing what tactics his manager used to motivate his players who were struggling at half-time during their semi-final against Forkhill.

“Maybe that is a question which Shane would be better answering, but I can say he certainly gave us the impedes to go out and win the game.”

With Celtic’s new boss Colin Malone moving his side in the right direction, Chris believes his team manager will be behind his efforts to win a Championship medal with St. Paul’s.

“Collie knows playing in Sunday’s final means a lot to me. I know I will have his support, and the best wishes of my fellow players at Lurgan Celtic.”

With St. Paul’s carrying the underdogs tag, Chris believes the Taghnevan side won’t be found wanting.

“To be honest about it Grange are a very useful side, if we can play to our potential I think we are in with a shout. We have the belief in our own ability, it will be a tough encounter but we have played in several hard games this season, so it’s all about determination at this stage”