Our senior hurlers lost out to a strong Borris-Kilcotton side last Saturday evening in O Moore Park in the first round of the senior championship. Playing with a strong wind in their favour in the opening half The Harps got off to a promising start as wing back John Prior opened the scoring in the first minute with a long range point from play. Within seconds Brian Dunne sent over another point from play and it looked like The Harps meant business. Borris-Kilcotton worked a good point of their own in the third minute, but The Harps were on top at this point and hit three points on the trot with a point from Pat Walsh and 0-02 (0-01f, 0-01 sideline) from the accurate Michael Lanigan.
Borris-Kilcotton stayed in touch with two points of their own as they started to up the tempo. A second point for Brian Dunne was cancelled out with a Borris-Kilcotton free but Kieran Freeman on his senior championship debut fired over from play to push the lead back to three points half way through the half. This was as good as it got for The Harps unfortunately as any mistakes were punished and Borris-Kilcotton hit four points on the trot to briefly take the lead before Lanigan gained parity with a pointed free.
With 5 minutes to go in the half The Harps really needed a few scores to settle themselves but they were rocked by a 25th minute Borris-Kilcotton goal. Sensing weakness the opposition sent over another two points in as many minutes but The Harps hit back with two Lanigan free’s to leave a goal between the teams at half time: The Harps 0-10 v 1-10 Borris-Kilcotton.
Facing into a stiff wind in the second half The Harps had a mountain to climb but managed to open the second half scoring with a good Eoin Clancy point to give them hope. Borris-Kilcotton hit a quick brace of points but Kieran Freeman was playing well and sent over his second point from play to keep The Harps in the hunt. Unfortunately Borris-Kilcotton were proving to be the better team and started to send over points from all angles stretching their lead to ten points with 20 minutes gone in the second half. The Harps were trying to work goal chances to get themselves back into the game but still the Borris-Kilcotton dominance continued as further points flew over.
The Harps main source of scores were free’s and Lanigan continued to strike them well, even into the strong wind. Disaster struck then with five minutes to go as Borris-Kilcotton goaled for the second time with PJ Scully giving Kevin Galvin no chance with a close range finish. With only pride to play for The Harps managed to hit a brace of points with another Lanigan free and a third from play by Freeman to close the scoring for the day.
This was a tough day out for our senior team, one of those horrible days when things just didn’t go right. Great credit must go to some of the younger players with Kieran Freeman, Richie Suanders and Aaron Dunne doing extremely well on their senior championship debuts. Shane Fitzpatrick was also introduced in the second half and these young players will only get better. The panel will have to knuckle down and focus now as they drew neighbours Clough/Ballacolla in the next round.
The Harps: 1. Kevin Galvin; 2. Shane Phelan; 3. Conor Dunne; 4. Aaron Dunne; 5. John Prior; 6. Gavin Dunne; 7. Tommy Moore; 8. Barry Dunne; 9. Kieran Freeman; 10. Shane Donoghue; 11. Brian Dunne; 12. Eoin Clancy; 13. Richie Saunders; 14. Pat Walsh; 15. Michael Lanigan.
Subs: Ronan Delahunty for Tommy Moore (41 mins); Ross Young for John Prior (50 mins); Shane Fitzpatrick for Shane Donoghue (55 mins).