The Harps Senior Hurlers started their championship campaign with a comfortable ten point victory over Shanahoe/Ballypickas on Friday evening. Played in Rathdowney on a nice evening for hurling, The Harps started with the breeze at their backs but endured a nervous opening 5 minutes.
Indeed it was S/B who opened the scoring with a point before a long range effort from Shane Fitzpatrick settled The Harps. With the early jitters gone, The Harps hit 1-04 without reply as their purple patch threatened to end the game as a contest. Two long range frees by Mick Lanigan pushed our lads ahead before smart play by Ciaran Comerford set up John Brophy to goal from close range.
Ciaran then added a point from play before another free was slotted by Lanigan. Credit to S/B though who refused to wilt and hit 5 points themselves to get right back into the game with Lanigan and Brophy tagging further points for The Harps. A tough task was to become a mountain to climb for S/B however when their wing forward received a straight red card for an off the ball incident.
Another Comerford point and a goal from Richie Saunders after some sublime skill from John Brophy, gave the scoreboard a far better look at half time, reading The Harps 2-09 S/B 0-07.
Scores were traded freely as the second half started with Lanigan continuing to punish any indiscipline as The Harps began to dominate. Eoin Clancy and Richie Saunders sent over fine scores from play while in defence Podge Delaney was hoovering up every loose ball as the spare man. The industrious work of midfielders David Doheny and Ronan Delahunty was rewarded with a point apiece from play as the game neared the final whistle.
It was left to Eoin Clancy to finish off the scoring however and it is great to see Eoin back after an unlucky run of injuries. The final whistle sounded to leave the score standing at The Harps 2-19 S/B 0-15. This was a very encouraging display by The Harps who have worked extremely hard in training all year. The fitness and work-rate were exemplary and if they can become more disciplined in the tackle they will be a tough team to beat.
The Harps: 1.Ross Young. 2.Shane Phelan. 3.Conor Dunne. 4.Tommy Moore. 5.Shane Fitzpatrick. 6.Padraig Delaney. 7.Daniel Comerford. 8.David Doheny. 9.Ronan Delahunty. 10.Darren Maher. 11.Richie Saunders. 12.Mick Lanigan. 13.Conor Deegan. 14.John Brophy. 15.Ciaran Comerford.