The Harps footballers recorded their second win of their 2015 league campaign, holding off a stern challenge from Castletown-Slieve Bloom. The game was played with a strong wind blowing down the Slieve Bloom pitch and The Harps opted to start with the wind at our backs. Our lads got off to a quick fire start hitting early scores from Jim Campion and Shane Donoghue while Castletown-Slieve Bloom who struggled against the wind were forced to carry the ball forward where it was turned over time and again. Castletown-Slieve Bloom did manage three first half points, but further pointed free’s from Campion and an excellent long range scores from Ger Alley and Shane Donoghue kept The Harps in front. With half time approaching The Harps produced the move of the game when Ger Alley delivered a defence splitting pass to Darren Maher who beat his man before finishing to the net to leave the half time score at The Harps 1-08 to Castletown-Slieve Bloom 0-03.
Facing into the strong wind in the second half it was The Harps turn to be put under pressure and a couple of early Castletown-Slieve Bloom scores ate away at the lead. Full back James Shortall was outstanding in this half while Seamus Clancy commanded the centre in front of him. Castletown-Slieve Bloom began to panic at this stage and go for goals but some vital saves from Kevin Donoghue in goal denied them until Castletown-Slieve Bloom were awarded a penalty with 10 minutes to go. The first effort was saved but the referee judged Steven Thomas (sporting a trendy new beard) to be too close when the penalty was taken and Castletown-Slieve Bloom made no mistake on the retake to leave just two points between the sides. The Harps needed to respond and the hard working Niall Brophy took responsibility kicking a great point after carrying the ball from 40 yards out. With time almost up Jim Campion converted a close in free to give The Harps the insurance point and a deserved 4 point win for The Harps. Full time score: The Harps 1-10 V 1-06 Castletown-Slieve Bloom.
The Harps now top the division 4 table after the game with a 25pts scoring difference. Graiguecullen are a close second with a 21pts scoring difference.
Team: 1.Kevin Donoghue; 2.Steven Thomas; 3.James Shortall; 4.John Dunne; 5.Shane Brophy; 6.Seamus Clancy; 7.James Larkin; 8.Niall Brophy; 9.Ger Alley; 10.Shane Donoghue; 11.Paul Shortall; 12.David Doheny; 13.James Campion; 14.Mark White; 15.Darren Maher.
Subs: Michael Dooley for Mark White (50 mins).
The Harps will face Mountmellick at home in their next game on April 21st at 7pm.
Reporting by: John Dunne.