Aug 102016

The Harps senior hurlers exited the SHC for 2016 on Tuesday evening when they lost out to Portlaoise by two points. Just like the drawn game, there was very little to separate the sides but unfortunately for our lads it was Portlaoise who had their noses in front at the final whistle.


Played under lights in O Moore Park, again it was Portlaoise who got off to the brighter start, opening up a three point lead with five minutes played. Two points from play by John Brophy in as many minutes ensured The Harps stayed in touch before another pointed Portlaoise free. The Harps then began to show what they are capable of as Lanigan pointed from a placed ball and Kieran Freeman hit a brace of points from play. Points continued to be traded by both teams as fussy refereeing began to cost The Harps dearly. Brian Dunne flashed over two quick fire points from play but frees were now keeping Portlaoise in the game as the deadly accurate Aaron Dunphy wasn’t missing anything. A Portlaoise free was sandwiched in between two good scores from play by Lanigan and Saunders in the run up to half time to leave The Harps ahead by the minimum at the break on a score line of The Harps 0-10 Portlaoise 0-9.


It was a case of deja-vu in the second half as The Harps continued to work good scores from play only for indiscipline and some very harsh calls to undo the good work. Eoin Clancy and Lanigan scores were cancelled out by another two Portlaoise free’s before John Brophy restored a two point lead with an excellent score.   Three on the trot for Portlaoise (0-2 f) gave them the lead ten minutes into the second half only for that man John Brophy to hit a brace from play to restore a slender lead for The Harps.   With the second half heading for the final ten minutes, Portlaoise levelled the contest with a good point from play. When Eoin Clancy was hauled down inside the square, a penalty was awarded and the question in the stand was whether to go for goal or take the point. Credit to Michael Lanigan who had the courage to go for the jugular only to see his rasping shot come back off the post. Both sides swapped points as Lanigan converted a 65’ to level the game once more but alas this was to be The Harps final score. Portlaoise had the bit between their teeth now and hit two points to break The Harps players hearts as the final whistle sounded and left the scoreline at The Harps 0-16 Portlaoise 0-18.


This was a cruel way for our seniors to exit the championship but their efforts could not be faulted on the night. All focus now turns to the relegation play-off with Abbeyleix and once again supporters are urged to turn up in force for this vital game.


The Harps:

1.Peter Walsh.

2.Gavin Dunne.

3.Pakie Flynn.

4.Tommy Moore.

5.Conor Dunne.

6.John Prior.

7.Conor Brophy.

8.Michael Lanigan.

9.Shane Phelan.

10.Richie Saunders.

11.Brian Dunne.

12.Brian Clancy.

13.Kieran Freeman.

14.John Brophy.

15.Eoin Clancy.

Aug 072016

The Harps senior hurlers kept their championship hopes alive for 2016 when they played out a thrilling draw
with Portlaoise last Saturday. Played in O Moore Park with a strong wind blowing towards the town end,
Portlaoise opted to play with the breeze in the first half and quickly opened up a commanding lead hitting a
quick fire 1-4 in the opening ten minutes. The sole Harps reply in this period was a converted free by
Michael Lanigan as The Harps supporters began to worry in the stand. To their credit however, each Harps
player put in a trojan effort to get themselves back into this game and when John Brophy finished to the net
from close range after a great run by younger brother Conor, The Harps were right back in this game.
Another Lanigan free had the deficit reduced to one point as Portlaoise seemed shocked by the fight back.
Portlaoise hit a brace of points from play to give themselves a bit of breathing space but Lanigan was in
deadly form as he pointed twice, one from a 40 meter free and a spectacular point from the right wing that
curled inside the right post. With the half time break looming the sides both tacked on another point apiece
(Lanigan 0-1f) to leave the half time score at Portlaoise 1-9 The Harps 1-8.

If The Harps were depending on the wind to win it for them in the second period they were in for a rude
awakening as there was nothing between the sides in a pulsating second half. Nearly like clock work the
sides would trade points with never more than a single score to seperate them. With the wind at their backs
The Harps did find scores from play that bit easier to come by as Lanigan began to show he is just as
accurate from open play with a string of scores from the left wing. Portlaoise to their credit were also
giving their all and with young Aaron Bergin deadly accurate from frees they refused to let The Harps take
the initiative. As the second half crept on John Brophy scored an excellent point even as he was being
impeded and Conor Dunne then pointed from distance after fielding a Portlaoise puck out to level the
game. With time running out The Harps appeared to take the lead when it matters most as the excellent
Eoin Clancy fed the ball out to Lanigan who slotted over the bar to finally nudge The Harps in front. The
drama was far from over however, as Portlaoise won a free 50 yards out which they converted to restore
parity. Indeed the very last chance would fall to Portlaoise as they missed a glorious opportunity to send
The Harps packing. All would have to agree that a draw was a fair result in the end as the both sides finished
with 1-17 apiece and have to do it all again this Tuesday (9th) at 8 p.m in O Moore Park. All supporters are
urged to attend and get behind our hurlers.

The Harps:
1.Peter Walsh.
2.Tommy Moore.
3.Pakie Flynn.
4.Aaron Dunne.
5.Barry Dunne.
6.Conor Dunne.
7.Gavin Dunne.
8.Michael Lanigan.
9.Shane Phelan.
10.John Prior.
11.Brian Dunne.
12.Conor Brophy.
13.Eoin Clancy.
14.John Brophy.
15.Kieran Freeman.

Subs used: Richie Saunders, Brian Clancy, Pat Walsh.

Aug 072016

The Harps junior hurlers lost out to Castletown in an exciting second round match last Friday.  Played on a
warm evening in Errill, there was little to seperate the sides throughout in this ding-dong contest.
Castletown hit the ground running and had their opening score from a free in the third minute. The Harps
responded quickly when Albert Townsend won a free and Ross Young made no mistake from 30 yards out.
Further free’s were slotted over by both sides before Castletwon got the first major of the game to open up
a three point lead. The Harps full forward line were threatening however, and when Townsend fed the in-
running Niall Brophy he made no mistake from close range to restore parity. With no quarter being given
by either sides, Danny Delahunty landed a long range free but just as The Harps began to get on top
Castletown hit them with their second goal. With half time approaching Darren Maher made a great run
through the heart of the Castletown defence and finished in style to leave the sides all square at half time on
a score line of The Harps 2-5 Castletown 2-5.

The second half would play out much like the first with neither side able gain the upper hand. The Harps
defence were particularly outstanding in this game as scores from play were proving hard to come by. Niall
Brophy and David Doheny added points from play but each time Castletown replied with points of their
own. When Darren Maher ghosted in for his second goal of the game The Harps opened up a two point
lead with just five minutes remaining. Championship favourites Castletown had other ideas however, as the
ever-green Paul Cuddy gave Liam Dunphy no chance in goals with a blistering shot to put them one point
ahead. The Harps threw everything at the Castletown defence in search of an equaliser but Castletown hit
the last score of the game to run out winners by two points on a score line of The Harps 3-8 Castletown 3-

This was a valiant effort from our juniors who can hold their heads high in defeat. It is knock out hurling
from here on however, so every player is urged to continue their efforts in training.

The Harps:

1.Liam Dunphy.
2.Jack Saunders.
3.Fintan Deegan.
4.Sean Cahill.
5.Ciaran Costigan.
6.Dan Delahunty.
7.Cathal Phelan.
8.Rory Moore.
9.Eoin O Sullivan
10.Darren Maher.
11.Brian Farrell.
12.Ross Young.
13.John Dunne.
14.Albert Townsend.
15.Niall Brophy.

Subs used: David Doheny, Conor Deegan, Shane Brophy.

Jul 302016

The Harps Junior footballers lost their opening championship game against Ballylinan last Thursday evening. Played in damp conditions in Crettyard, The Harps were down a number of key players but still gave a good account of themselves on the night. Ballylinan won the toss and decided to play with the breeze at their backs in the opening half, and duly went on to open up a three point lead. It was taking our lads time to get to grips with their opponents but Niall Brophy got The Harps opening score after 15 minutes with a good point from play.   Moments later the sides traded points as John Finnegan pointed a free for The Harps, but shortly after a Ballylinan forward ghosted through for the games only goal. The Harps were now faced with a daunting task, but their response was encouraging as Niall Brophy hit his second point from play. Luck abandoned The Harps as a fisted effort from a long ball rolled agonisingly along the goal line but the umpires waved play on. At half time The Harps trailed 1-6 to 0-3.


The second half saw The Harps throw everything at their fancied opponents and early scores from John Finnegan and Michael Dooley had the game back in the melting pot. The lack of match practice began to show however, as with The Harps dominating possession, scoring chances were wasted. A brace of points for Ballylinan stretched their lead once again as The Harps went in search of goals to drag themselves back into this game.   Once again however luck was not on our side, as two efforts for goal would hit the post. Ballylinan would then enjoy their own spell of dominance as Harps players began to tire. A late string of scores for Ballylinan put a one-sided look to the score board but our footballers can be proud of their efforts on the night, and with a number of players returning to the fold over the coming weeks they might have a say in this championship yet.


Ballylinan 1-13 The Harps 0-7.


The Harps:


1.Paul Shortall.

2.Freddie Townsend.

3.James Shortall.

4.John Dunne.

5.Shane Brophy.

6.Rory Moore.

7.Diarmuid Irwin.

8.John Finnegan.

9.Conor Dunne.

10.Ger Alley.

11.Niall Brophy.

12.Conor Brophy.

13.Jack Saunders.

14.Mark White.

15.Michael Dooley.


Jul 262016

The Harps senior hurlers suffered defeat in their first round championship game against local rivals Ballinakill on Sunday last.   Played in O Moore Park in perfect hurling conditions, The Harps were unable to break down a tight Ballinakill rear-guard for much of this game and their half time tally of two pointed free’s had our hurlers under fierce pressure at the break. After a slow start Ballinakill hit a string of scores to take up a three point lead. A pointed free by Mick Lanigan got The Harps off the mark, and he converted a second three minutes later, but a series of efforts from play would sail wide time and again. With six points now between the sides with half time approaching, disaster struck when Ballinakill struck for a goal to leave the gap at nine points at half time on a score line of The Harps 0-2 to Ballinakill 1-8.


To their credit, The Harps were a more competitive team in the second half, as they threw everything at Ballinakill in search of an avenue to get back into this game. Richie Saunders, John Brophy and Brian Dunne all pointed from play as Mick Lanigan remained steady on the free’s. Cha Dwyer was proving impressive from placed balls however, and The Harps were really going to need goals to really push Ballinakill. With the gap narrowed to five points with ten minutes to go there was still hope, but The Harps did not score for the remainder of the game as Ballinakill hit some fine scores to win out on a score line of Ballinakill 1-15 to The Harps 0-8.


This was a disappointing day out for our hurlers, but they will go back to the drawing board and try to devise a way to beat Portlaoise who they will play in the second round on Saturday 6th August. (6.00 p.m. in O Moore Park). All support for this game is greatly appreciated.



The Harps:


1.Peter Walsh.

2.Gavin Dunne.

3.Pakie Flynn.

4.Tommy Moore.

5.Barry Dunne.

6.John Prior.

7.Conor Dunne.

8.Kieran Freeman.

9.Shane Phelan.

10.Richie Saunders.

11.John Brophy.

12.Conor Brophy.

13.Michael Lanigan.

14.Brian Dunne.

15.Eoin Clancy.


Subs used: Aaron Dunne, Brian Clancy.

Jul 242016

The Harps Junior hurlers got their championship off to a great start with a hard fought win over Ballypickas last Saturday.   Mountrath G.A.A hosted this game and had their pitch in fine condition, and with a perfect evening for hurling this game got off to a flying start. The Harps opened their account with a good score from play by Niall Brophy but Ballypickas were quick to reply with a pointed free. The challenges were hard hitting throughout and further frees were converted by both sides, with Ross Young in deadly form as The Harps main marksman. Niall Brophy looked to have given The Harps some breathing space when he showed great composure to finish off a good move to the back of the net. Ballypickas had other ideas however, and a long ball in over the top of The Harps defence was finished to the net to leave the sides level once again. The remaining ten minutes of the first half saw a flurry of scores for both sides as Clancy, Farrell, Deegan and Townsend all pointed for The Harps before half time to leave The Harps ahead by the minimum at half time on a score line of The Harps 1-11 Ballypickas 1-10.


The second half was another lively 30 minutes of hurling, but The Harps experience of hurling in a higher division in the league slowly started to tell as the lead was built on throughout. Ballypickas were relying on scores from frees to keep them in the game while The Harps had a bigger spread of players scoring from play.   Indeed, wing back Ciaran Costigan got in on the act with 40 minutes played, sending over a fine point from distance. With the slight breeze behind them, Danny Delahunty and Ross Young sent over long range frees to increase the lead as Ballypickas began to lose their discipline. Excellent scores from play by Clancy, Farrell and Brophy had The Harps firmly in control with the second half drawing to a close.   Ballypickas needed a goal to get back into this game but with The Harps defence in a mean mood they were denied time and again. Fittingly, Ross Young closed out the game’s scoring with a last free to leave The Harps winners on a scoreline of The Harps 1-21 Ballypickas 1-13.


This was a really encouraging display from our Juniors who were missing a number of key players on the day. With other good hurlers to come back into the mix competition for places will be heating up over the coming weeks.




The Harps:

1.Liam Dunphy.

2.Jack Saunders.

3.John Dunne.

4.Cathal Phelan.

5.Ciaran Costigan.(0-1)

6.Daniel Delahunty.(0-1 free)

7.Darren Maher.

8.Rory Moore.

9.Eoin Sullivan.

10.Ross Young.(0-9,0-7 frees)

11.Brian Farrell.(0-2)

12.Brian Clancy. (0-3)

13.Conor Deegan.(0-1)

14.Albert Townsend.(0-1)

15.Niall Brophy.(1-2)



Jul 232016
The Harps U6 Hurling Team of 2016

The Harps U6 Hurling Team of 2016

Well done to our U6, U8 and U13 Hurlers who all performed brilliantly in their respective games this morning, Saturday July 23rd. First up was our U6s who played their first game of the season against Camross. All players thoroughly enjoyed the day and great credit goes to the coaches for all their hard work.
Our two U8 teams were unbeaten in all their games this morning showing excellent skill and determination throughout. Once again our U8 coaches deserve a special mention with these group of players certain to be stars of the future.

The Harps U13 Hurling Team of 2016

The Harps U13 Hurling Team of 2016

Finally our U13s were playing in the renowned Lisdowney 7-a-Side Tournament this morning. They beat Kilkenny teams Mullinavat and Glenmore to qualify for the Cup Quarter Finals in a fortnights time. Excellent performances for the lads with some great scores and team play.  Well done to all. Keep up the excellent work!