The Harps footballers welcomed Crettyard to Durrow GAA grounds on Wednesday evening (May 28th) for this the eighth round of the Division 4 Football League. The game was played in perfect conditions under clear blue sky and the only fly in the ointment was the angle of the setting sun which created an inconvenience to the home side in the first half. The visitors started the strongest, determined to make their imprint on the game and they duly did with three rapid fire points in the opening five minutes. The Harps took time to settle and after alot of build-up play they earned a free from 25 metres out in the 8th minute which was converted by James Campion.
Photo: Pat Walsh calls for Ger Alley to place the kickout in his area…
The score settled the Harps greatly and moments later John Finnegan kicked a long range ball straight over the black spot to secure the home side’s second point. Although the resultant kick-out was won by Crettyard, Steven Thomas was quick to clear ball up field and good teamwork involving Albert Townsend and Bernard Geraghty found Darren Maher unmarked on the edge of the square who fisted home the ball to the net to put the Harps ahead, 1-02 to 0-03 after just 13 minutes. The Harps tightened their grip on the game and apart from a 17th minute point from play by Crettyard the home side totally controlled the game for the remainder of the first half.
James Campion scored three points, two from play on the 16th and 19th minutes followed up by a 22nd minute free but the best was still to come for the Harps men before half time. Alan O’Connell made an inspiring run from corner back, up along the wing, seeing off the challenge of two Crettyard men before being dragged down in the square to earn the home-side a penalty. James Campion opted to take the spot kick and piled it low and hard past the Crettyard keeper to raise the second green flag of the night (see video below). The Harps were on a crest of a wave moments later when Mark White found space on the edge of the square to grab the home-side’s third goal of the night before half time. Half Time: The Harps 3-06 V 0-04 Crettyard.
The second half began with a bang that reminded the Harps there was a second half to be fought for as Crettyard blazed in a goal followed by a point from play to reduce the margin to 7pts. The reminder was duly noted by the Harps men as they regained control of proceedings once more. James Campion was scorer in chief with a further two points from play and a free kick to regain the 10pt lead once more. Crettyard grabbed back a fine point from play, but it would be their last score of the game as Steven Thomas and company closed up shop in defence snuffing out every avenue Crettyard approached. Pat Walsh got his name on the scoresheet when he kicked over a huge long range point in the 40th minute.
With the Harps in a commanding position, Gabby Irwin with his selectors Dave Finnegan and Tommy Walsh made substitutions to rest some players who had ran their hearts out for the evening. Alan O’Connell was replaced by Shane Keown in the 44th minute. The game began to slow up somewhat as the evening heat and hard work rate of the Harps began to take it’s toll, but not before Albert Townsend and John Finnegan both raised white flags in the 47th and 54th minute respectively. Mark Kelly replaced the scorer-in-chief James Campion in the 65th minute followed by Daniel Dunne on for Shane Donohue in the 69th minute. The referee soon after sounded the full time whistle and The Harps won on a scoreline of 3-12 to 1-06.
Up Next: The footballers have just one night off as they will travel to Kilcotton to play Borris-Kilcotton on Friday night (May 30th) at 7.45pm. League Table: http://laoisgaa.ie/league/76855/2014_a_c_f_l4
Managements Thoughts: Manager Gabby Irwin was delighted with the win and praised the workrate of the team. “It serves to show how we can be a decent team when we do the simple things right – but the lads will have to turn around and face it all again in two nights time which is going to be a tough, tough encounter for them.”
The Harps: 1 – Ger Alley; 2 – Stephen Thomas; 3 – James Shortall; 4 – Alan O’Connell; 5 – Shane Brophy; 6 – Pat Walsh; 7 – Niall Brophy; 8 – Shane Donaghue; 9 – John Finnegan; 10 – James Campion; 11 – Albert Townsend; 12 – Bernard Geraghty; 13 – Darren Maher; 14 – Mark White; 15 – David Doheny.