Castletown-Slieve Bloom footballers traveled to Durrow GAA Grounds on Tuesday evening, April 15th for this second round tie in Division 4 Football. A glorious sunny evening welcomed both teams onto the pitch with a persistent breeze behind the Harps for the opening half.
The Harps used the wind advantage quite well in the first half with Alan O Connell opening the home-side’s account with a point from play. Mark White, Darren Maher and Pat Walsh floated over three points in a row – all from play – on the 10th, 11th and 12th minute respectively.
The Harps were dealt a blow in the 16th minute when James Shortall went down injured and had to be replaced by Freddie Townsend. The Harps would next score in the 22nd and 23rd minute when John Finnegan scored two points, one from play and the other a free. It took CSB until the 25th minute to open their scoring account, but when they did they grabbed a major score. John Finnegan extended the Harps lead with a pointed free on the stroke of half time: The Harps 1-06 v 1-00 CSB.
CSB burst into life for the opening stages of the second half and drove hard at The Harps and in the space of five minutes scored 1-03 to level the game with the wind advantage now behind the visitors. The Harps began to settle after that purple patch for CSB, but still gave away a free to allow CSB take a brief lead 2-04 to 1-06.
The Harps began to tighten up in defence shutting down the CSB flow and worked the ball down the field with Lee Campion and John Finnegan linking up well. The Harps rediscovered their work rate and were rewarded with two frees which John Finnegan converted. CSB though refused to roll over and leveled the score once more with a point from play on the 46th minute.
Darren Maher put the home-side ahead on the 49th minute when he ran on to a beautifully placed pass to kick a fine point from play against the wind from a tight angle. That score lifted the Harps. Shane McCann was most unfortunate to pick up an ankle injury moments later and was replaced by Daniel Dunne. The last ten minutes were fruitful for the Harps with John Finnegan scoring three further points, two of which were frees. Full Time: The Harps 1-12 v 2-05 Castletown-Slieve Bloom.
Managements Thoughts: Speaking to theharpsgaa.com after the match a member of the management team felt that The Harps worked very hard throughout most of the game, but a slow start to the second half could have cost us the two points. Praise was heaped on the team for coming back and the battling qualities shown to grind out the result.
The Harps: 1 – Ger Alley; 2 – Stephen Thomas; 3 – James Shortall (Freddie Townsend on 16th minute); 4 – John Dunne; 5 – Conor Brophy; 6 – Pat Walsh; 7 – Shane McCann (Daniel Dunne on 49th minute); 8 – John Finnegan; 9 – Niall Brophy; 10 – Darren Maher; 11 – Albert Townsend; 12 – Lee Campion; 13 – Alan O Connell; 14 – Mark White; 15 – Shane Brophy.