Ballyfin travelled to Durrow GAA grounds on Thursday night (May 29th) to play The Harps in this fourth round game of the Division 1A Hurling League. An overcast but calm evening presented perfect conditions for hurling on the dry sod. The Harps, who had a six week break, were slow to get into the game as Ballyfin took the initiative to score first with a point after four minutes. Ballyfin extended their lead two minutes later with another fine point from play. The Harps then began to settle and Eoin Clancy fired over a point from play to open the home-side’s account. Shane Donoghue levelled the game with a free moments later. The Harps then went in front with a point by Brian Dunne but Ballyfin brought the sides level once more with a pointed free.
The next ten minutes saw The Harps take complete control of the game as Shane Donoghue pointed a free which was followed by a goal for Brian Dunne from the resulting puckout. A few near wides followed for the Harps over the coming minutes before Sean Bourke pointed from play on the 20th minute when Ross Young was most unfortunate to pick up an injury and was replaced by Greg Aylward. The following five minutes both sides traded points, Eoin Clancy from play and Shane Donoghues free either side of Ballyfin points from play brought the score to 1-07 to 0-05 with five minutes of the half remaining. Shane Donoghue (see video below) scored three further points before half time, one from play and two frees (one of which was a disputed goal – pictured above) to leave the scoreline reading 1-10 to 0-05 at the short whistle.
In the opening five minutes of the second half both teams traded points with Brian Clancy from play for the home-side and Ballyfin firing over a free. The Harps then upped a gear and dominated the following ten minutes with Brian Clancy firing over a point from play, Brian Dunne grabbing a goal and Sean Bourke landing a huge point from play. Ballyfin refused to throw in the towel to their credit and over the following five minutes landed three unanswered points of which one was a free. Shane Donoghue and Brian replied with two quick fire scores from play – one point and one goal. With ten minutes remaining the management made two substitutions to rest some tired legs. Brian Dunne was replaced by Eoin O’Sullivan while Conor Brophy was replaced by Niall Donoghue.
The following ten minutes were totally dominated by The Harps who reeled over a haul of five points and a goal. Shane Donoghue fired over a free followed by four points from play which were scored by Pat Walsh, Greg Aylward, Brian Clancy and Brian Galvin as Ballyfin seemed to run out of steam. In the dying minutes of the game Tadgh Sullivan pulled mid-air on a ball to plant it to the back of the net to leave the full time score reading: The Harps 4-19 V 0-09 Ballyfin. The victory ensures The Harps remain at the top of Division 1A having won all four games so far. The League table as it stands can be viewed here: http://laoisgaa.ie/league/76563/2014_a_c_h_l1_a
Up Next: The Harps will face Rosenalis in the fifth round of the league at Durrow GAA grounds on Friday, 6th June at 7.45pm.
Managements Thoughts: The management team were happy with the victory and the teams work-rate on the night. “The Harps had a long lay-off since the last competitive game and there was a fear they could struggle to find their form from earlier rounds in the league – but in fairness, after five minutes out there they discovered form and hurled well which is good to see.”
The Harps: 1 – Kevin Galvin; 2 – Shane Phelan; 3 – Brian Galvin; 4 – John Prior; 5 – Ronan Delahunty; 6 – Ross Young; 7 – Conor Brophy; 8 – Barry Dunne; 9 – Shane Donaghue; 10 – Sean Bourke; 11 – Pat Walshe; 12 – Eoin Clancy; 13 – Tadgh Sullivan; 14 – Brian Dunne; 15 – Brian Clancy.
Substitutions: 20 minutes – off: Ross Young on: Greg Aylward; 50 minutes – off: Brian Dunne on: Eoin O Sullivan; 51 minutes – off: Conor Brophy on: Niall Donoghue.