A strong Ballyroan-Abbey side overcame a battling Harps side in this league match played last Saturday. Played in Durrow in perfect conditions, The Harps welcomed table toppers Ballyroan-Abbey knowing that a strong performance would be needed to get a win.
Both sides traded points in the opening minutes with Ballyroan-Abbey taking a 0-03 to 0-02 lead by the 6th minute with our scores coming from a Jim Campion free and a long range effort from David Doheny. The opposition began to get on top as two further points from play stretched the lead with a Niall Brophy point in answer for The Harps. Ballyroan-Abbey were then awarded a controversial goal with The Harps players convinced the ball did not cross the goal line, but with the score awarded The Harps really needed a response. A penalty awarded in the 28th minute gave the home side a glimmer of hope, and a cool finish by Jim Campion reduced the deficit to 4 points. There was still time for more scores in this half however and it was Ballyroan-Abbey that hit 1-01 from play before the break to leave The Harps trailing 2-08 to 1-03.
When Ballyroan opened the second half with two points from play it began to look ominous for The Harps, but our lads dug in and hit 3 points from play on the trot with Jim Campion, Darren Maher and Pat Walsh hitting a point each. Ballyroan-Abbey’s superior fitness began to tell as The Harps struggled with their running game. Scores were traded as Jim Campion, David Doheny, Ger Alley and Cormac McCann kept the home side in touch along with some fine saves from Kevin Donoghue in goal. The Harps needed a goal to shake this game up, but were caught on the counter with just two minutes to go as Ballyroan-Abbey goaled from play. On the stroke of full time Ballyroan-Abbey added the last point of the game to leave the score at Ballyroan-Abbey 3-14 to The Harps 1-09.
The score line may have been a bit harsh on The Harps, but our footballers now know the challenge ahead of them if they are to bring home silverware this year. Friday, May 29th sees The Harps travel to The Rock for a 7.30pm throw-in.
The Harps: 1.Kevin Donoghue; 2.Steven Thomas; 3.James Shortall; 4.John Dunne; 5.Shane Brophy; 6.Pat Walshe; 7.Seamus Clancy; 8.Shane Donoghue; 9.John Finnegan; 10.David Doheny; 11.Niall Brophy; 12.Darren Maher; 13.James Campion; 14.Ger Alley; 15.Mark White.
Subs:Cormac McCann for Mark White (52 mins); Conor McCann for Ger Alley (53 mins).