Lavey continued their impressive form in the senior championship tonight by downing 13-man Mullahoran to advance into the competition's semi-finals.
Under lights at Kingspan Breffni Park, Kevin McDonnell's team definitely shone brightest in this quarter-final contest, dominating for large portions around the centre, and although there were strong performances all over from the New Inns men it was Ray Cullivan's that stood separate from the rest.
Along with countless trademark fetches at midfield, the ex-Cavan senior was at the heart of so much of Lavey's good play on the night, supplying the likes of Shane Tierney and Karl Duke up front as they moved their side into a lead which wouldn't be surrendered past the 20th minute.
Mullahoran's first touch let them down on too many occasions on the soaking wet surface and their opponents punished them for it, with their front men registering the scores that helped keep Lavey in control of the contest and they made sure to get over the finish line, entering into uncharted territory in the process.
Enda O'Reilly drew first blood for the Dreadnoughts inside the opening minute, rifling over from close range to ensure his side the initial lead.
Lavey were in the ascendancy by the seventh minute however, thanks to points from Tierney and midfielder Paul Gilchreest and they'd double their advantage right on the quarter hour mark after Darren Jordan cut in from the wing and looped over.
Mullahoran were made wait 16 minutes from their opener to double their tally, with Niall McGahern being threaded through and punching over Conor Martin's crossbar with the opportunity of a goal on.
Raymond Lynch brought the teams level two minutes later but it was the New Inns outfit that ruled the rest of the half, hitting their opponents for five unanswered scores which threatened to shut out the 2012 champions.
Tierney's second of the night was backed up by a Duke free and when Cullivan found Lavey's number 13 inside again he turned on his burners to rush away from Matthew Hynes and usher the black and whites four in front.
Stephen Jordan smacked the upright for the would-be winners in the meantime and it looked as though half-time couldn't come quick enough for Aidan McCarron's charges, as Duke and Cullivan sailed over two more to send Lavey in with the 0-8 to 0-3 advantage at the halfway stage.
McCarron had sent on Peter Paul Galligan before half-time to try and thwart Cullivan's influence and introduced veteran Philip Brady to his full-forward in the opening minutes of the second-half.
An O'Reilly free and Paddy Brady point - off the back of a strong work by Galligan around the centre - looked to have provided Mullahoran with the perfect restart but their counterparts from down the N3 simply weren't willing to give an inch here.
A Conroy point was backed up by Cullivan's booting over a left-footed free and when the former shot over a placed ball of his own Lavey would be six to the good approaching the final quarter.
Mullahoran fashioned back-to-back points from Shane Sheils and marksman O'Reilly to keep in contention for the closing 10.
However, there was a turning point in the space of two minutes which saw Conroy land an exceptional free off the ground from some 45 metres out prior to Paddy Brady receiving a black card from referee Michael Lee.
Duke sent over Lavey's last score with five minutes to go and from there McDonnell's men dug in and made sure to see out the victory, with their opponents becoming their own worst enemies in the closing stages.
Defenders Chris Prior and Dermot Sheridan were both red carded as Mullahoran chased the game into injury-time and Lavey held out for a long-awaited berth in the last four race for Oliver Plunkett.
Lavey: Conor Martin; Darren Monaghan, Fergal Smith, Joey Jordan; Stephen Jordan, Aaron Smith, Gerard Smith; Ray Cullivan (0-2, 1f), Paul Gilcreest (0-1); Darren Jordan (0-1), Finbar Jordan, Darragh Conaty; Shane Tierney (0-3), Karl Duke (0-3, 1f), Chris Conroy (0-3, 2f).
Mullahoran: Dominic Crudden; Seanie Smith, Daniel O'Reilly, Matthew Hynes; Dermot Sheridan, Chris Prior, Tadgh McGahern; Killian Brady, Paul Brady (0-1); Michael Brady, Paddy Brady, Tomas Nannery; Enda O'Reilly (0-3, 1f), Niall McGahern (0-1), Raymond Lynch (0-1). Subs: Peter Paul Galligan, Philip Brady (0-1, 1f), Shane O'Reilly, Shane Shields (0-1), Fionnan O'Reilly (0-1)
Ref: Michael Lee (Drumalee)Tweet