July 24th V Ballylinan: Played in wet conditions in the immaculate Crettyard G.A.A grounds, our footballers lost out by 4 points to a strong Ballylinan outfit. Ballylinan got off to a blistering start, indeed right from the throw in they worked the ball through The Harps defence before finishing the ball to the corner of the net giving Kevin Donoghue no chance in goals. The Harps were reeling and Ballylinan hit a further two points before The Harps opened their scoring with a fine point from play by Jim Campion. This settle our lads and they came thundering into the game.
The strong running of Ballylinan was still causing problems but The Harps defence managed to pressure the opposition into kicking wide after wide. Kevin Donoghue also pulled off some fine saves to keep The Harps in the game. At the other end some clever attacking moves resulted in points from play for Niall Brophy and a converted free by Jim Campion. The Harps were given a huge boost when the lively Michael Dooley latched on to a breaking ball around the square and finished neatly to the corner of the net to leave The Harps trailing by three points at half time, 1-06 to 1-03.
The second half was another very close 30 minutes of football with the teams trading scores throughout. Try as they might to break away, Ballylinan were held in check by a resolute Harps defence. Accurate kicking from Jim Campion had narrowed the gap and when centre-back Tommy Moore kicked the score of the game, a mighty point from way out on the right wing, the gap was down to one. The Harps were dealt a blow when reliable corner back Steven Thomas limped off injured, and a few basic mistakes cost The Harps dearly in this period. Ballylinan started to convert their chances and opened a three point lead. With time running out The Harps went in search of a goal but it was not to be as Ballylinan finished the scoring with a late point to leave the final score at Ballylinan 1-11, The Harps 1-07.
This was a good effort from our lads who gave their best on the night. They do no have much time to lick their wounds however, as the draw pits them against Stradbally this Thursday (30th July), to be played in Crettyard at 7.30. All support is greatly appreciated.
The Harps: 1.Kevin Donoghue; 2.Steven Thomas; 3.James Shortall; 4.John Dunne; 5.Joe Murphy; 6.Tommy Moore; 7.Diarmuid Irwin; 8.John Finnegan; 9.Ger Alley; 10.David Doheny; 11.Niall Brophy; 12.Cormac McCann; 13.Michael Dooley; 14.Seamus Clancy; 15.Jim Campion. Subs: Shane Phelan for Ger Alley; Ronan Delahunty for Steven Thomas; Shane Donoghue for John Dunne; Mark White for Seamus Clancy.
July 30th V Stradbally: The Harps Junior footballers exited the championship last Thursday after losing to Stradbally in their second game. Played in Crettyard, this was a close encounter and there was nothing separating the teams in the opening 20 minutes. With the ever reliable Jim Campion accurate from free’s and from play the sides swapped scores in the opening minutes as both teams fought to put their stamp on the game. A fine point from play by Shane Donoghue was answered by a converted free for Stradbally.
In a low scoring game goals were going to be vital and Stradbally hit The Harps with two sucker punches just before half time when they netted twice in the space of a few minutes to leave the half-time score at Stradbally 2-04 to The Harps 0-04. There was no panic at half time as our players knew they were every bit as good as Stradbally and the second half started out just like the first 30 minutes as the teams exchanged scores with Jim Campion hitting some good scores. The Harps were clawing their way back into this game but while Stradbally had limited point taking ability, a high ball into their giant full-forward paid dividends as he caught, turned and crashed to the net to push their lead back out to 6 points.
To their credit, The Harps refused to throw in the towel and a few minutes later Michael Dooley was brought down when through on goal and Jim Campion made no mistake with his penalty kick. The next score would be vital and unfortunately another high ball into the Stradbally full-forward line resulted in another goal to push the deficit back to 6 points once again. With time almost up The Harps launched attack after attack but luck was not on their side and Stradbally ended the scoring with the final point of the match.
A disappointing end for our footballers who were missing some key players for both championship games. Great credit must go to Gabby Irwin and Dave Finnegan who really tried to drive the team on this year but it wasn’t to be.
The Harps: 1.Kevin Donoghue; 2.Cormac McCann; 3.James Shortall; 4.John Dunne; 5.Joe Murphy; 6.Tommy Moore; 7.Diarmuid Irwin; 8.John Finnegan; 9.Shane Donoghue; 10.David Doheny; 11.Niall Brophy; 12.Lee Campion; 13.Michael Dooley; 14.Ger Alley; 15.Jim Campion.