The Harps GAA continued their unbeaten run in the league this evening with an impressive victory over Colt at Raheen. A cool evening with a slight breeze that blew in favour of the visitors set the scene for the first half. Colt were quickest out of the blocks and had a pointed free in the opening 40 seconds. Colt followed up with a fine sideline cut less than a minute later as the Harps struggled to find their feet in the game.
It took four minutes for The Harps to open their account when Michael Lanigan fired over a long range point, however Colt were awarded a free from the resulting puckout and duly obliged to keep their two points advantage over their visitors. Indeed the early stages of this match were dotted with frees as both teams tackled hard and Michael Lanigan was no stranger to raising the white flag again in the seventh minute to cut the gap to one point.
With less than ten minutes on the clock The Harps stamped their authority on proceedings and fired a great goal from the stick of John Brophy after some clever play by the Harps half-forward line. Colt responded to the goal with a point from play, but Eoin Clancy replied moments later with a fine point from a tight angle. In what was a flurry of scores, Colt managed a point before Eoin Clancy had the ball in the back of the Colt net again following a great pass from Boggy: 2-04 to 0-05.
Clonad then hit a purple patch in the middle of the first half, a point from play was quickly followed by a goal from a 40-yard free that seemed to float through a sea of hurls and dropped into the top corner of the net with little Peter Walsh could do about it. This gave Colt a shot in the arm and they battled hard to capitalise on their luck, but it was in vein as the next seven minutes proved fruitless for both sides until Pat Walshe broke the score drought in the twenty third minute to push The Harps two points in front once more.
The closing stages saw The Harps fire over three further points from Michael Lanigan – one from play and one from a free before Eoin Clancy’s point from play to leave The Harps five points up going into the break: 2-08 to 1-06.
The second half’s opening five minutes saw both sides trade two points each – John Brophy’s and Michael Lanigan’s points from play were either side of two frees for Colt. An injury in the thirty-sixth minute forced Pat Walshe off the be replaced by Ciaran Comerford and from there on The Harps turned the screw and piled on the scores. Comerford was barely on the field ten seconds before he had the white flag raised – which was surely special for him playing in his first senior hurling league game.
Michael Lanigan floated over a ’65 in the thirty-ninth minute before Comerford had the umpire reaching for the white flag again moments later with a fine point from a tight angle. The Harps were now 2-13 to 1-08 ahead. The Harps management then looked to the bench to freshen things up and Gavin Dunne was replaced by Padraig Delaney. Podge, like Comerford was barely on the field of play when he too had the umpire raising a white flag, much to the delight of the visiting crowd.
Midway through the second half, Ronan Delahunty was replaced by Johnny Doyle as The Harps defence were immense in keeping Colt scoreless throughout this important period of the game. Podge Delaney showed that his transition to senior hurling is seamless when he blasted a cracker of a goal in the forty-sixth minute. The Harps were now well out in front with a 3-14 to 1-08 lead. Understandably the game then slowed up a bit and the next three scores were frees from Michael Lanigan as The Harps management introduced two further subs: Danny Delahunty for Ross Young and Conor Deegan for Eoin Clancy.
The final five minutes of play saw Michael Lanigan and Richie Saunders point from play either-side of a Colt point from play to leave the full-time score: 3-19 to 1-09. Overall The Harps management will be quite happy with the result that sees them top the table with three wins from three. Colt proved a physical team and gave this Harps team a strong test despite what the final scoreline read.
Next up for this Harps team is a match at home against Borris-Kilcotton on June 2nd at 7.30pm in Durrow.
The Harps: 1 – Peter Walsh; 2 – Ross Young; position 3 – Packie Flynn; 4 – Tommy Moore; 5 – John Prior; 6 – Conor Dunne; 7 – Conor Brophy; 8 – Shane Phelan; 9 – Michael Lanigan; 10 – Richie Saunders;11 – Pat Walshe; 12 – Gavin Dunne; 13 – Eoin Clancy; 14 – Ronan Delahunty; 15 – John Brophy. Subs: 06mins 2nd half off: Pat Walshe on: Ciaran Comerford; 13mins 2nd half off: Gavin Dunne on: Padraig Delaney; 16mins 2nd half off: Ronan Delahunty on: Johnny Doyle; 20mins 2nd half off: Ross Young on: Daniel Delahunty; 23mins 2nd half off: Eoin Clancy on: Conor Deegan.
Scorers: Michael Lanigan 0-10 (0-07f); Eoin Clancy 1-03; John Brophy and Padraig Delaney 1-01 each; Ciaran Comerford 0-02; Pat Walshe and Richie Saunders 0-01 each.