The Harps senior hurlers were knocked out of the race for championship honours last Saturday in Portlaoise as their efforts came up short against Clough/Ballacolla. This was a much improved performance from the first day out, but in the end C/B were able to spring Stephen Maher and Stephen Bergin from the bench when the game was in the mix to guide them home. The Harps opened the scoring with an excellent point from play by Eoin Clancy to get them going. Further efforts from out the field tailed agonisingly wide and C/B hit 3 points on the trot to take the lead. Michael Lanigan hit back with a converted free for The Harps before wing back John Prior sent over a huge point from distance. C/B were wasting chances of their own but still managed a six point lead heading into half time but John Brophy had the last say of the first half as his efforts were rewarded with a wonderful point from out near the sideline.
C/B pushed the lead out to six points moments after the restart and The Harps had a mountain to climb. To their credit, the lads fought like dogs to get back into this game and pointed free’s from Lanigan and Eoin Clancy’s second from play had the arrears reduced to three. The game was in the melting pot at this stage but unfortunately for The Harps chances were missed and some very harsh referee decisions went against us. The introduction of Picky Maher and Stephen Dunphy for the opposition tipped things in their balance as both players hit 0-3 each. A good point from play by Gavin Dunne and two more converted free’s by Lanigan finished out The Harps scoring to leave the final tally at The Harps 0-11 Clough/Ballacolla 0-19.
While it is always disappointing to be knocked out of the championship, our senior hurlers have arguably their most important game of the year ahead of them as they face Castletown in the relegation decider. The club would urge as many people as possible to come along and support the lads in this vital fixture in O’Moore Park, Portlaoise on Saturday, August 29th at 7.15pm.
The Harps: 1.Kevin Galvin; 2.Shane Phelan; 3.Pakie Flynn; 4.Aaron Dunne; 5.John Prior; 6.Conor Dunne; 7.Gavin Dunne; 8.Barry Dunne; 9.Ronan Delahunty; 10.Shane Donoghue; 11.Brian Dunne; 12.Mick Lanigan; 13.Kieran Freeman; 14.John Brophy; 15.Eoin Clancy.
Subs: Pat Walsh for Shane Donoghue (half time); Richie Saunders for Barry Dunne (half time).