The Harps welcomed Colt to Durrow on Wednesday evening, June 17th for their fifth round game of the Division 1 Hurling League. A mild and rather cloudy evening coupled with a light breeze created perfect conditions for hurling in front of a sizeable crowd watching on. Referee Micheal Cleere got proceedings underway at 7.45pm and Brian Dunne opened the homeside’s scoring account inside two minutes with a point from play. Michael Lanigan added a pointed free two minutes later to put The Harps 0-02 to 0-00 ahead.
Colt got their scoring account open in the fifth with a pointed free and the resulting puckout by Kevin Galvin found Eoin Clancy who flicked the ball to Michael Lanigan to grab The Harp’s third point. Colt began to settle and hit a purple patch over the coming five minutes hitting three-in-a-row well worked points from play to take a temporary lead. Brian Dunne drifted back towards midfield to find some space and was rewarded with two great points from play either side of a Colt free to leave the sides level at 0-05 a piece after the first quarter.
The second quarter of the half consisted entirely of frees as both sides drove wides aimlessly. A late challenge on Eoin Clancy in the sixteenth minute gave Michael “Sticks” Lanigan the opportunity to point his second free of the night in which he duly obliged. The Colt wing forward Chris Murray picked up a yellow card for his chop across Clancy. Michael Lanigan added another on the twenty-second minute to stretch the lead further to two points, however Colt managed to draw level before half time with two of their own frees. Half-time – The Harps 0-07 v 0-07 Colt.
The half-time talk to both teams must have been special as the second half began with a renewed hunger and pace with scores a plenty. Eoin Clancy was the first to strike with a fine point from play out on the wing after collecting a good pass from Barry Dunne. However, the Colt response was met with hard tackling from The Harps defence and referee Michael Cleere didn’t hesitate in awarding the visitors a free which was converted to keep the sides level. Brian Dunne caught some wonderful ball in the middle of the park throughout the evening and in this instance turned his man to cut the Colt defence open – but his rasper of a shot floated just inches over the bar.
Sensing danger, Colt upped their ante and fired over two points from play to take the narrowest of leads once again. The Harps though were determined to put any aspirations Colt had to bed early in this second half and clicked up a gear. The next six minutes saw The Harps produce some wonderful points from play, the highlight of these was Michael Lanigan’s excellently taken sideline cut that floated over despite the difficult angle. Brian Dunne, Richie Saunders and Pat Walshe claimed the other three points of that spell to end the third quarter.
Colt tried hard to get back in the game going into the final quarter. They tested the Harps defence and could only muster a single point from a free in the forty-seventh minute which inevitably was their last score of the night. It was all one-way traffic from there-on with The Harps’ Michael Lanigan pointing two frees and grabbing a point from play followed by a Brian Dunne point from play before Ronan Delahunty was introduced in the 53rd minute replacing Kieran Freeman. Ronan Delahunty made a huge impression following his introduction, grabbing a point from play.
Conor Brophy followed on with a point from play of his own with only a few minutes remaining when Shane Phelan’s clearance down the wing found Brophy in space. Ronan Delahunty was to the fore moments later blasting a rocket of a shot to the net much to the delight of the home crowd when Pat Walshe’s hard tackling paid off. Not content with his 1-01 haul, Delahunty signed off on a good win for The Harps with another point from play to leave the full time score at: The Harps 1-20 v 0-11 Colt.
Following the drawn game with Camross, The Harps now have three points on the table from their opening five games. A match away to Castletown next Thursday, June 25th (at a venue yet to be decided) and a match at home to Rathdowney-Errill on July 1st are the remaining ties in this ACHL Division 1 for The Harps and with a bit of luck the momentum of the last two weeks will continue.
1 – Kevin Galvin, 2 – Shane Phelan, 3 – Packie Flynn, 4 – Aaron Dunne, 5 – David Doheny, 6 – Gavin Dunne, 7 – Tommy Moore, 8 – Kieran Freeman, 9 – Barry Dunne, 10 – Eoin Clancy, 11 – Brian Dunne, 12 – Pat Walshe, 13 – Richie Saunders, 14 – Michael Lanigan, 15 – Conor Brophy.
Subs: Ronan Delahunty for Kieran Freeman (53min).
Scorers: Michael Lanigan 0-08 (0-06f), Brian Dunne 0-06, Ronan Delahunty 1-02, Eoin Clancy, Richie Saunders, Pat Walshe and Conor Brophy 0-01 each.