The Harps senior hurlers got their league campaign off to a winning start with a comfortable win over local rivals Ballinakill. Played in Durrow, a downpour of rain before the match made the conditions difficult but The Harps were off the mark quickly as Mick sticks Lanigan slotted an early free. Ballinakill responded immediately with a point of their own before a long range effort from Conor Dunne split the posts. Further pointed frees by Lanigan and a second from play for Conor Dunne gave The Harps a three point lead, but a crucial save from the ever reliable Kevin Galvin was needed to hold onto the lead. With 20 minutes played The Harps delivered a hammer blow to Ballinakill as Barry Dunne off loaded the ball to Richie Saunders who blasted to the net. When the same player pointed from play a minute later it looked like The Harps were in total control, but Ballinakill managed to get the last three points of the half to leave the half time score as The Harps 1-06 Ballinakill 0-06.
The Harps saved their best hurling for the opening 20 minutes of the second half as they shut down the Ballinakill attack while blitzing the visitors with seven points on the trot. Eoin Clancy (0-02), Shane Fitzpatrick and Mick Lanigan (0-04, 1f) were the men to punish the men in maroon, but it was the team work on display by The Harps which was most encouraging, as players put their bodies on the line time and time again. Ballinakill efforts were rewarded with a brace of points with 10 minutes left and when an excellent strike by Eamon Jackman from a last minute free went all the way to the net. Final score – The Harps 1-14 to Ballinakill 1-08.
While this was an impressive display by The Harps, Ballinakill were missing a lot of key players and will be a different proposition come championship. Best for The Harps on the day were Kevin Galvin, Ciaran Costigan, captain John Prior, Shane Donoghue and Eoin Clancy.
The Harps Senior Hurlers next play Clough-Ballacolla in Ballacolla next Saturday, April 9th at 6.30pm. The Club hope that a big travelling support will attend and cheer the lads on.
Harps: 1.Kevin Galvin; 2.Tommy Moore; 3.Pakie Flynn; 4.Aaron Dunne; 5.Barry Dunne; 6.John Prior; 7.Ciaran Costigan; 8.Conor Dunne; 9.Kieran Freeman; 10.Shane Donoghue; 11.Richie Saunders; 12.Pat Walsh; 13.Darren Maher; 14.Eoin Clancy; 15.Mick Lanigan.
Subs used: Shane Fitz, Conor Deegan.