The Harps senior hurlers proved too strong for Abbeyleix in this Palmer Cup tie played in Durrow last Saturday evening. Played on a heavy February sod not conducive to fast, open hurling The Harps nevertheless played some good hurling to run out worthy winners. Perhaps the most impressive aspect to the game was limiting Abbeyleix to just five points in over sixty minutes of hurling, all of these scores coming from placed balls.
The game started evenly with the sides trading early scores but The Harps moved up the gears after the opening 10 minutes to open up a lead with Pat Walsh, Michael Lanigan and Eoin Clancy posting good points from play. The Harps defence were hunting in packs and closed down the Abbeyleix attack very quickly, but were guilty of some indiscipline at times as a string of frees kept Abbeyleix in the hunt. An excellent long range point from wing back John Prior was the last score of the first half and left The Harps ahead on a 0-09 to 0-05 score line.
In the second half The Harps defensive dominance continued as Abbeyleix could find no way to penetrate a mean home defence. With Michael Lanigan accurate as usual on frees and John Brophy and Shane Donoghue chipping in with good points from play The Harps began to pull away. With 10 minutes to go, a great run by Pat Walsh through the heart of the Abbeyleix defence paid off when his pass to Greg Aylward was finished to the net. With the game over as a contest a couple of Lanigan frees finished out the scoring to leave The Harps ahead at the final whistle on a deserved 1-11 to 0-05 scoreline.
The Harps: 1.Kevin Galvin; 2.Shane Phelan; 3.Pakie Flynn; 4.Tommy Moore; 5.John Prior; 6.Conor Dunne; 7.Barry Dunne; 8.Richie Saunders; 9.Kieran Freeman; 10.Shane Donoghue; 11.John Brophy; 12.Pat Walsh; 13.Conor Brophy; 14.Michael Lanigan; 15.Eoin Clancy.
Subs used: Greg Aylward, Conor Deegan, Aaron Dunne.