The Harps Junior hurlers travelled to Shanahoe this evening to take on Castletown in their opening championship match. It was a damp and breezy evening but that did not take from the performances in the game that was about to take place. The Harps opted to play with the breeze and down the slight hill on the Shanahoe field that was in top condition for the night that was in it.
The Harps started brightly with a point from play by Niall Brophy in the opening minute – indeed Niall Brophy was on good form throughout the night and scored another point a minute later. In the sixth minute Ross Young pointed are free from a tight angle to put the Harps three in front – much to the delight of the following crowd. In the ninth minute Niall Brophy scored another monster point from well back out in the field to put The Harps four clear in front. Indeed things got even better for The Harps a minute later when Connor Deegan received a beautiful pass in behind the Castletown defence to shoot the sliothar to the net and raise a green flag.
— TheHarpsGAA (@TheHarpsGAA) July 21, 2017
Castletown finally got on the scoresheet after 11 minutes when they scored from a placed ball. Indeed Ross Young was sharp on frees all night and when he got on his second free and converted it in the 13th minute The Harps were seven clear in front. Niall Brophy was next to score with a beautiful point in the sixteenth minute from well out the field. In the 19th minute Ross Young added another free to put The Harps nine points clear in front and in the 23rd minute the Castletown goalkeeper pulled off a master save from a Conor Deegan rasper shot which was surely goal bound but ended up over the bar to put The Harps 1-08 to 0-01 in front.
Ross Young was not only free taker on the night as he was able to score from play with a fantastic score to put The Harps 1-09 to 0-01 in front late in this first half. Castletown though on the stroke of half-time scored a point from a free to leave ten points between the sides at half time. The Harps 1-09 v 0-02 Castletown. The second half started with Castletown scoring a point from the free to bring themselves back in to the game a bit, however Ross Young also converted a free to restore the half time difference.
There was no scores for around 10 minutes as Castletown battled hard to creak down The Harps defence, but time and time again Cathal Phelan and company cleared ball to deny them any chance. Halfway through the second half Castletown scored another point for my free to reduce the deficit to 9 points once again before a little bit of a disaster struck for The Harps in the 16th minute when a Castletown long ball slipped through the hand of Liam Dunphy and into The Harps net – the wet conditions taking their toll. This gave Castletown renewed hope of salvaging something from the game. The Harps 1-10 v 1-04 Castletown.
In the 22nd minute Castletown edged a little closer when they scored another point for free however Ross Young cancelled that point out in the 24th minute with another free. A minute later Castletown scored another point from the free to leave five between the sides. Castletown were pushing hard to rescue the game and in the 27th minute scored yet another point from the free to leave just four between the sides with three minutes left to go. However The Harps kept their noses in front and Ross Young scored another free right on the last minute of the game to put five between the sides once more.
— TheHarpsGAA (@TheHarpsGAA) July 21, 2017
There was five minutes of added time played however neither side were able to add further to the scores they had already accumulated and so it finished The Harps 1–12 to 1–07. Overall The Harps played very well tonight with some fantastic scores from Niall Brophy, Ross Young and Conor Deegan. The Harps played some very clever hurling at times with some great passes and stylish play. The management will be pleased with how they performed as they prepare for next game in approximately two weeks time. The Harps must await results elsewhere to see who their opposition will be.
The Harps: 1 – Liam Dunphy; 2 – Rory Doyle; 3 – Cathal Phelan; 4 – Jack McEvoy; 5 – David Doheny; 6 – Daniel Delahunty; 7 – Shane Fitzpatrick; 8 – Rory Moore; 9 – Eoin Sullivan; 10 – Darren Maher; 11 – Ross Young; 12 – Johnny Doyle; 13 – John Lawless; 14 – Niall Brophy; 15 – Conor Deegan.
Scorers: Ross Young 0-07 (0-06f); Niall Brophy 0-04; Conor Deegan 1-01.