Jul 282017

The Harps Junior C hurlers travelled to Shanahoe this evening to face Rosenallis in the Championship Semi-Final after seeing off Castletown (5pts win) and Graiguecullen (3pts win) in the opening round and the quarter-finals respectively. Rosenallis on the other hand made their way via wins over Camross (9pts win) and Clough-Ballacolla (31pts win) to make it to the last four.

Rosenallis started brightly with the wind in their sails and had three points up within five minutes – two of those from placed balls. Evan Deegan opened The Harps account after six minutes with a pointed free and this was quickly followed by a point from play by James Larkin from the middle of the field to give The Harps supporters who travelled in large numbers something to shout about.

Evan Deegan and Albert Townsend followed Larkin’s lead and popped over two further fine points from play to put The Harp’s noses in front with ten minutes on the clock. Rosenallis though were not lying down and came fighting back and equalised two minutes later with a long range wind assisted point from play. Rosenallis were beginning to take control of the game using the wind advantage to bypass the Harps half-back line and when a high ball dropped short responsibility fell to Emmett Fitzpatrick to get in a block to ward off a goal chance resulting in a 65 which Rosenallis converted half way through the first period.

Padraig Henderson made positional changes following that converted 65 to counter Rosenallis’ attack and The Harps worked hard to ensure they stayed scoreless for the next ten minutes. Rosenallis though to their credit worked hard to break down the Harps defence but could only muster three scores in the remainder of the half, one free and two well earned points from play. The Harps tried hard to engineer scores for themselves but found the Rosenallis defence equally as tough with a wind behind them. So at half time it was Rosenallis 0-08 v 0-04 The Harps.

The Harps opened the scoring in the second half with a converted free from Evan Deegan. Both sides traded frees over the next two minutes, Deegan – again the scorer in chief from placed balls. With the first ten minutes of the second half almost over, Henderson called on the services of Collie Dunphy and Ronan Quinn who replaced Kevin Madden and Emmett Dunne respectively eitherside of a Tom Dillon point. However, Rosenallis were winning frees around the Harps 45 line and converting them to keep their noses in front at 0-10 to 0-07.

The changes seemed to give the Harps a boost and they scored the next two points over the following five minutes – one a 65 and the other a free which Evan Deegan converted with confidence. The Harps were playing well with some good passes being strung together but as sure as the saying goes – a game can change in a minute – a horrible minute came to pass for The Harps. Firstly, a fine bit of defending from Shane Brophy seen a Rosenallis wide waved for a 65 which was converted. Then the resulting puckout was lost by The Harps in midfield allowing Rosenallis to capitalise and make a storming run along the wing, pass clinically to an unmarked player who gave Justin Brophy no chance and rattle the net.

Suddenly with just over ten minutes left, The Harps were five points down and had a massive battle on their hands. The Harps responded with another Evan Deegan free four minutes later. The Harps battled hard for scores that just wouldn’t come – credit to Rosenallis who worked very hard to resist a determined Harps attacking sextet. With five minutes left, both sides traded points but with the clock ticking down the Harps went hunting for goals that never materialised and at the final whistle it stood The Harps 0-11 v 1-12 Rosenallis.

The Harps will undoubtedly be dissapointed but they can hold their heads high on a fine battling display. Indeed this team showed plenty of courage, fight and passion throughout their campaign which all the Harps supporters are proud of. 

The Harps: Justin Brophy, Diarmuid Irwin, Shane Brophy, Emmett Fitzpatrick, Joe Ryan, Sean Cahill, Emmett Dunne, James Larkin, Freddie Townsend, Tom Dillon, Brian Farrell, Kevin Madden, Evan Deegan, Albert Townsend, Alan O’Connell.

Scorers: Evan Deegan 0-08 (0-07f); James Larkin, Tom Dillon and Albert Townsend 0-01 each.

Jul 212017

Castletown sideline cut defended by The Harps

The Harps Junior hurlers travelled to Shanahoe  this evening to take on Castletown in their opening championship match. It was a damp and breezy evening but that did not take from the performances in the game that was about to take place. The Harps opted to play with the breeze and down the slight hill on the Shanahoe field that was in top condition for the night that was in it.

The Harps started brightly with a point from play by Niall Brophy in the opening minute – indeed Niall Brophy was on good form throughout the night and scored another point a minute later. In the sixth minute Ross Young pointed are free from a tight angle to put the Harps three in front – much to the delight of the following crowd. In the ninth minute Niall Brophy scored another monster point from well back out in the field to put The Harps four clear in front. Indeed things got even better for The Harps a minute later when Connor Deegan received a beautiful pass in behind the Castletown defence to shoot the sliothar to the net and raise a green flag.

Castletown finally got on the scoresheet after 11 minutes when they scored from a placed ball. Indeed Ross Young was sharp on frees all night and when he got on his second free and converted it in the 13th minute The Harps were seven clear in front. Niall Brophy was next to score with a beautiful point in the sixteenth minute from well out the field. In the 19th minute Ross Young added another free to put The Harps nine points clear in front and in the 23rd minute the Castletown goalkeeper pulled off a master save from a Conor Deegan rasper shot which was surely goal bound but ended up over the bar to put The Harps 1-08 to 0-01 in front.

Ross Young was not only free taker on the night as he was able to score from play with a fantastic score to put The Harps 1-09 to 0-01 in front late in this first half. Castletown though on the stroke of half-time scored a point from a free to leave ten points between the sides at half time. The Harps 1-09 v 0-02 Castletown. The second half started with Castletown scoring a point from the free to bring themselves back in to the game a bit, however Ross Young also converted a free to restore the half time difference.

There was no scores for around 10 minutes as Castletown battled hard to creak down The Harps defence, but time and time again Cathal Phelan and company cleared ball to deny them any chance. Halfway through the second half Castletown scored another point for my free to reduce the deficit to 9 points once again before a little bit of a disaster struck for The Harps in the 16th minute when a Castletown long ball slipped through the hand of Liam Dunphy and into The Harps net – the wet conditions taking their toll. This gave Castletown renewed hope of salvaging something from the game. The Harps 1-10 v 1-04 Castletown.

In the 22nd minute Castletown edged a little closer when they scored another point for free however Ross Young cancelled that point out in the 24th minute with another free. A minute later Castletown scored another point from the free to leave five between the sides. Castletown were pushing hard to rescue the game and in the 27th minute scored yet another point from the free to leave just four between the sides with three minutes left to go. However The Harps kept their noses in front and Ross Young scored another free right on the last minute of the game to put five between the sides once more.

There was five minutes of added time played however neither side were able to add further to the scores they had already accumulated and so it finished The Harps 1–12 to 1–07. Overall The Harps played very well tonight with some fantastic scores from Niall Brophy, Ross Young and Conor Deegan. The Harps played some very clever hurling at times with some great passes and stylish play. The management will be pleased with how they performed as they prepare for next game in approximately two weeks time. The Harps must await results elsewhere to see who their opposition will be.

The Harps: 1 – Liam Dunphy; 2 – Rory Doyle; 3 – Cathal Phelan; 4 – Jack McEvoy; 5 – David Doheny; 6 – Daniel Delahunty; 7 – Shane Fitzpatrick; 8 – Rory Moore; 9 – Eoin Sullivan; 10 – Darren Maher; 11 – Ross Young; 12 – Johnny Doyle; 13 – John Lawless; 14 – Niall Brophy; 15 – Conor Deegan.

Scorers: Ross Young 0-07 (0-06f); Niall Brophy 0-04; Conor Deegan 1-01.

Jul 192017

The Junior C hurlers welcomed Graiguecullen to Durrow this evening for the championship quarter final following the host’s opening round win against Castletown. The visitors Graiguecullen meanwhile had accounted for Ballypickas in their opening round and like The Harps they also had five points to spare in their win. It was a cool but sunny evening following a spell of rain with a brisk northwesterly blowing which the visitors opted to play with in the opening half.

Straight from the throw-in Graiguecullen won a free which was converted by the keeper – making it one of the quickest points ever scored in Junior C hurling, and while there was a nice crowd in attendance unfortunately there was nobody from the Guinness Book of Records to verify that one. Clearly buoyed on by their lightning fast start the Graiguecullen forward unit responded positively with a point from play moments later. 0-02 to 0-00 after two minutes.

 The home side settled though and in the third minute Freddie Townsend popped over a fine point to give the home crowd something to cheer. It would though be ten minutes before the next score would be registered as both teams looked to stamp their authority on proceedings and shape the game going forward. However, both sides were guilty of hitting wides when rare scoring opportunities presented themselves. Graiguecullen claimed the third point of the night from a placed ball before another scoreless drought ensued. 

Graiguecullen though could thank their goalkeeper for pulling off a great save in the nineteenth minute when Alan O’Connell pulled the trigger for what was a sure goal. Evan Deegan fired over a free in the 20th minute to cut the visitors lead to the minimum before Brian Farrell scored another beauty of a point to level the game in the 23rd. Farrell landed that point of the night from midfield following Joe Ryan’s long burst out of defence and had to work the ball back to Farrell who made no mistake.

With half time approaching, The Harps were beginning to get on top in this quarter final and in the 27th minute Kevin Madden was on hand to pounce and drill the ball to the net following a scramble in the square. Graiguecullen were behind for the first time in the game and went hunting for a reply and they cut the deficit to two on the stroke of half time with a fine long range point from play. Half time: The Harps 1-03 v 0-04 Graiguecullen.

The second half opened with The Harps smashing a superb goal from the stick of Albert Townsend in the thirty third minute – Albert made a fine run cutting through the Graiguecullen defence and burying the ball low and hard into the net leaving the Graiguecullen keeper no chance. Whatever Henno said to the lads at half time certainly worked as The Harps put the foot on the gas and clocked up further scores – Tom Dillon and Evan Deegan all landing points from out the field to push the home side seven points in front by the 36th minute.

The management looked to the line in the 37th minute and introduced Diarmuid Irwin for Joe Ryan. Graiguecullen to their credit arrested the slide and in the fortieth minute scored a fine long range effort. 2-05 to 0-05. Following Albert Townsend’s point from play in the 45th minute the management made their second substitution of the night introducing Shane Keown for Tom Dillon. Graiguecullen responded two minutes later with a pointed free to leave six between the sides again.

A facial injury to Emmett Fitzpatrick forced him off temporarily as a blood sub in the 51st minute. Graiguecullen to their credit kept fighting despite their six point shortfall and a clock careering towards the finish and The Harps proved strong to breakdown in the closing stages with all back lines and midfield alike keeping the men from the southeast of the county at bay. In the 55th minute, Evan Deegan landed a free from out on the wing to grab what was surely the insurance point.

But, Graiguecullen stuck to their task and were duly rewarded in the 58th minute with a goal that was all too similar to the Harps opening green flag almost an hour earlier. The Harps introduced further subs with Tomas Woods and Chris Dalton replacing Albert Townsend and Alan O’Connell respectively.  The subs almost had goals each in the injury time spell – Dalton’s rasper went inches wide and almost took the head off the umpire in the process while Tomas Woods was unlucky not to have a green flag following Freddie Townsend’s pin-point pass.

Graiguecullen were refusing to give up and throughout the five minutes of added time they hunted in packs seeking a goal but the Harps defence was resilient. In the 64th minute the visitors won a free in front of goal and their keeper made the trek up to have a go – but the Harps defence deflected it over for a point leaving just a goal between the sides. However, there was no time left for Graiguecullen as the referee sounded the long whistle in the 65th minute and The Harps march on to the semi finals. Full time: The Harps 2-07 v 1-07 Graiguecullen.

The Harps now enter the draw along with the other quarter final winners: Rosenallis, Clonaslee and Mountmellick-or-Clonad.

The Harps:


















Jul 132017

The Junior Hurlers opened their Championship 2017 campaign this evening against a strong Castletown side who made the short trip to Durrow with a Quarter Final place up for grabs. Despite it being the middle of July, it was a notably cool and breezy evening and Castletown would be the beneficiaries of that breeze in the first half. However, it was The Harps who started brightly with Kevin Madden raising a green flag for the home side within a minute. Castletown struggled in the opening minutes and Freddie Townsend and Joe Ryan added further points – all inside the first three minutes. 

Castletown though soon settled and their quick ball work around their forward line resulted in a point from play. A few moments later a rare Harps defensive error saw an unfortunate own goal conceded by the home side which gave the impetus for the visitors to hit a strong purple patch. The visitors went on to dominate the scoreboard with seven unanswered points (three frees) following an Evan Deegan ’65 in the thirteenth minute.

The Harps were certainly on the back foot for much of this first half despite their intensive start. Castletown crowded the middle of the field winning ball. The Harps managed a few attacks but these proved fruitless as the wides tally clocked up – compounded by wides from placed ball. The Harps eventually managed to convert a free on the stroke of half time to trail by four. The Harps 1-04 v 1-08 Castletown.

Whatever Conor Murphy said at half time must have been special because the Harps went out in the second half and fought and died for every ball. In the opening ten minutes Evan Deegan and Albert Townsend shared three points between them to cut the deficit to the minimum. Castletown got rare opportunities but when they did Sean Cahill and Shane Brophy were on hand to deny the Noresiders time and time again with Emmett Fitzpatrick and Rory Doyle driving out of defence setting up the next wave of attack.

The middle third of the second half saw the best hurling of the game from The Harps as Tom Dillon fired over the equaliser much to the delight of the home support. A break in play midway through the half allowed the management the chance to bring in a fresh pair of legs and Diarmuid Irwin was introduced in place of Joe Ryan. The score of the night then came via William Dillon who cleared a ball for Brian Farrell to double on to send it 80 yards over the bar generating raptures from the home support. The Harps were back in front and taking the game to Castletown who hadn’t scored since the 27th minute.

Evan Deegan put The Harps two in front in the 48th minute with a fine long range point from play out on the left wing. Moments later, Alan O’Connell was unlucky not to raise a green flag when his hard won effort whizzed inches over the bar to put the scoreboard reading The Harps 1-11 to 1-08 Castletown heading into the last ten minutes. A pointed free from Tom Dillon and an Evan Deegan point from play put the Harps further ahead as the clock began to wind down. Chris Dalton was introduced for Emmett Dunne who marshalled the wing back position well throughout. 

The final six minutes saw Castletown drop in ball around The Harps twenty one line as they tried and tried for goals that the home-side were in no mood to give up, so it finished The Harps 1-13 v 1-08 Castletown. The Harps will now play Graiguecullen in the quarter finals at 7.30pm on Wednesday, July 19th at a venue yet to be confirmed.

The Harps: 1 – Justin Brophy, 2 – William Dillon, 3 – Shane Brophy, 4 – Emmett Fitzpatrick, 5 – Rory Doyle, 6 – Sean Cahill, 7 – Emmett Dunne, 8 – Freddie Townsend, 9 – Brian Farrell, 10 – Evan Deegan, 11 – Tom Dillon, 12 – Joe Ryan, 13 – Alan O Connell, 14 – Albert Townsend, 15 – Kevin Madden. 

Scorers: Evan Deegan 0-06 (0-01f, 0-01 ’65); Kevin Madden 1-00; Tom Dillon 0-02 (0-01f); Joe Ryan 0-01; Freddie Townsend 0-01; Albert Townsend 0-01; Brian Farrell 0-01; Alan O Connell 0-01.

Jul 242016

The Harps Junior hurlers got their championship off to a great start with a hard fought win over Ballypickas last Saturday.   Mountrath G.A.A hosted this game and had their pitch in fine condition, and with a perfect evening for hurling this game got off to a flying start. The Harps opened their account with a good score from play by Niall Brophy but Ballypickas were quick to reply with a pointed free. The challenges were hard hitting throughout and further frees were converted by both sides, with Ross Young in deadly form as The Harps main marksman. Niall Brophy looked to have given The Harps some breathing space when he showed great composure to finish off a good move to the back of the net. Ballypickas had other ideas however, and a long ball in over the top of The Harps defence was finished to the net to leave the sides level once again. The remaining ten minutes of the first half saw a flurry of scores for both sides as Clancy, Farrell, Deegan and Townsend all pointed for The Harps before half time to leave The Harps ahead by the minimum at half time on a score line of The Harps 1-11 Ballypickas 1-10.


The second half was another lively 30 minutes of hurling, but The Harps experience of hurling in a higher division in the league slowly started to tell as the lead was built on throughout. Ballypickas were relying on scores from frees to keep them in the game while The Harps had a bigger spread of players scoring from play.   Indeed, wing back Ciaran Costigan got in on the act with 40 minutes played, sending over a fine point from distance. With the slight breeze behind them, Danny Delahunty and Ross Young sent over long range frees to increase the lead as Ballypickas began to lose their discipline. Excellent scores from play by Clancy, Farrell and Brophy had The Harps firmly in control with the second half drawing to a close.   Ballypickas needed a goal to get back into this game but with The Harps defence in a mean mood they were denied time and again. Fittingly, Ross Young closed out the game’s scoring with a last free to leave The Harps winners on a scoreline of The Harps 1-21 Ballypickas 1-13.


This was a really encouraging display from our Juniors who were missing a number of key players on the day. With other good hurlers to come back into the mix competition for places will be heating up over the coming weeks.




The Harps:

1.Liam Dunphy.

2.Jack Saunders.

3.John Dunne.

4.Cathal Phelan.

5.Ciaran Costigan.(0-1)

6.Daniel Delahunty.(0-1 free)

7.Darren Maher.

8.Rory Moore.

9.Eoin Sullivan.

10.Ross Young.(0-9,0-7 frees)

11.Brian Farrell.(0-2)

12.Brian Clancy. (0-3)

13.Conor Deegan.(0-1)

14.Albert Townsend.(0-1)

15.Niall Brophy.(1-2)



Jun 132016

Clough/Ballacolla proved too strong for The Harps junior hurlers in last weeks ACHL Division 2 match. Played in Durrow in ideal hurling conditions, a blistering start for the visitors had The Harps on the back foot from the start as C/B raced into a five point lead. A good score from play by Ross Young got The Harps off the mark, and further converted frees from Young and Conor Deegan kept The Harps in the game. When C/B goaled midway through the half it spelled trouble for the homeside, but The Harps put the shoulder to the wheel as further scores from Conor Brophy and Ross Young kept them in touch as the half time whistle sounded.

The Harps were going to need goals to win this game, and the game sprang into life when a shot from a tight angle by Ross Young finished up in the net. The game intensified as C/B grabbed a third goal of their own to push the lead out to 6 points again, but a string of points from play by Niall Brophy, John Dunne and Conor Brophy gave The Harps hope. With five minutes left Justin Brophy pulled off a great save in the goals only for a C/B forward to react the fastest to pull first time and send the ball crashing to the net.

The scoreline was a bit harsh on the home side who will rue the concession of a few soft goals. With a tough last game away to Trumera, our junior hurlers need a win to avoid relegation to Division 3 of the league.

The Harps: 1.Justin Brophy; 2.Sean Cahill; 3.Tommy Moore; 4.Shane Brophy; 5.Danny Delahunty; 6.Brian Farrell; 7.Shane Fitzpatrick; 8.Rory Moore; 9.Conor Brophy; 10.John Dunne; 11.Ross Young; 12.Darren Maher; 13.Conor Deegan; 14.Albert Townsend; 15.Niall Brophy.

Subs used: Ciaran Costigan, Niall Donoghue, Cathal Phelan.

Mar 232016

The Harps junior hurlers lost out to a strong Rathdowney/Errill side in their opening league game last Sunday.  Played in the Durrow pitch in ideal hurling conditions, The Harps were the better team in the first 30 minutes of hurling.  Scores were evenly traded throughout the opening half, with some great points from play by Ross Young, Shane Fitzpatrick and Conor Deegan edging The Harps in front.  The Harps backs were defending tenaciously and with Conor Deegan accurate on free-taking duty The Harps began to boss the game.  When a long range free from Dan Delahunty landed on the edge of the small square, Niall Brophy managed to bustle the ball over the line for a goal to leave the half time score as The Harps 1-09 to R-E 0-09.

The opening ten minutes of the second half was where this match was ultimately lost for The Harps, as some bad luck saw them conceding three goals.  An excellent score from a tight angle from Niall Brophy and further converted frees from Deegan ensured The Harps were still in the hunt, but they were always going to need goals to get back into this game and unfortunately they never materialised.  The Harps did manage to cut the deficit to six points, but with time almost up R/E goaled again to but the result beyond doubt. This was still a good effort from a young team where the score line was a harsh reflection on the game.  The end score line was The Harps 1-16 R/E 4-16.

The Harps junior hurlers play away to Park-Rathineska at 6.30pm on Sunday, April 3rd in the second round.

The Harps: 1.Peter Walsh, 2.Cathal Phelan, 3.Sean Cahill, 4.Shane Brophy, 5.Ciaran Costigan, 6.Dan Delahunty, 7.David Doheny, 8.Rory Moore, 9.Darren Maher, 10.Conor Brophy, 11.Ross Young, 12.Shane Fitzpatrick, 13.Niall Brophy, 14.John Dunne, 15.Conor Deegan.
Subs used: Liam Dunphy, Donncha Quinn.

Apr 192015

HarpsJH-v-Abbeyleix-ACHL4-2015On Sunday, April 19th The Harps Junior Hurlers welcomed Abbeyleix to Durrow for this second round tie of the Division 4 league. A fine sunny morning was plagued by a stern cool breeze across the pitch which benefited neither team. Abbeyleix opened the scoring with a pointed free which was quickly responded to by The Harps’ Conor Deegan. Abbeyleix went on to score the following three points from play before Brian Farrell grabbed a well taken point back for the home-side. Abbeyleix were settling better in the game with their young players looking lively and grabbed another point from play.

Conor Deegan floated over a long range free for the Harps to close the gap to two points, but this would be as close as The Harps would get to the visitors in this contest. The remaining fifteen minutes of the first half was all one-way traffic as Abbeyleix drove over five points from play and a ’65 with a solitary point from the Harps in that period coming from a free by Danny Delahunty. Half Time: The Harps 0-04 V 0-11 Abbeyleix.

The second half started off in similar fashion with Abbeyleix piling on the pressure. Niall Donaghue was introduced at half time for Niall Mullins and some positional changes were made to try and stem the Abbeyleix tide. Abbeyleix though weren’t reading that script and drove over six points from play and a free – all unanswered. Justin Brophy was moved back out onto the half forward line and instantly had an effect when he placed Denis Lennon for three in a row points from play.

Abbeyleix responded with a point of their own, but The Harps were alive and kicking and two rapid fire goals from Denis Lennon and Rory Doyle on the 48th and 49th minute gave the home-side some hope as the margin was now down to six points – The Harps 2-07 v 0-19 Abbeyleix. The last ten minutes of the game saw the Harps go in search of further green flags, and even though they hit the net the effort was ruled out by the umpire and the referee.

This decision seemed to give Abbeyleix renewed resolve and they finished out the game with three further points and seal the win for the visitors. Full back Tom Dillon picked up a nasty injury just before the full time whistle and was replaced by Niall Mullins for the dying seconds of the game. The full time score read: The Harps 2-07 V 0-22 Abbeyleix. This second loss for the Junior Hurlers sees them rooted to the bottom of Division 4 and will need a win against Colt to kick-start their league campaign. The game against Colt will be in Raheen on Saturday 2nd May at 7pm.

The Harps:  GK: Liam Dunphy; RFB: William Dillon; FB: Tom Dillon; LFB: Jack Saunders; RHB: Padraig Spencer; CB: Danny Delahunty; LHB: Donnacha Quinn; MF: Eoin O Sullivan; MF: Brian Farrell; RHF: Conor Deegan; CF: Johnny Doyle; LHF: Rory Doyle; RFF: Justin Brophy; FF: Niall Mullins; LFF: Denis Lennon.

Scorers: Denis Lennon 1-03; Rory Doyle 1-00; Conor Deegan 0-02 (0-01f); Brian Farrell 0-01 and Danny Delahunty 0-01f.

Subs Used: Niall Donaghue on for Niall Mullins (30min); Niall Mullins on for Tom Dillon (59min).

Apr 062015
Referee Ciaran Bowe didn't look too fazed after being held up by Cows Crossing!

Referee Ciaran Bowe didn’t look too fazed after being held up by Cows Crossing!

A youthful Junior Harps hurling side sprinkled with a few seasoned campaigners travelled to Ballinakill to open their ACHL4 campaign against local rivals Ballinakill. A fine morning for hurling was on offer from the weather Gods as a gentle breeze and a little sunshine shone down on the pitch. The game was delayed as the referee arrived late, no doubt he was caught up in one of the many “cows crossing” zones that pepper the rural roads to Ballinakill!

The game began with the Harps in flying form, popping over frees and points from play inside the opening ten minutes from the stick of Conor Deegan. Ballinakill could only grab a sole point from play in that opening third to leave the scoreboard reading 0-05 to 0-01. The next ten minutes however saw Ballinakill claw their way back into the game with three unanswered points (1 free) to bring the gap to the narrowest of margins. Danny Delahunty extended the Harps lead to two with a long range free against the wind. However, disaster struck at the end of this middle third when Ballinakill landed a ’65 into Liam Dunphy’s net to take a lead for the first time.

Harps warm up ahead of their ACHL4 opener.

Harps warm up ahead of their ACHL4 opener.

The final third of the first half saw both teams battle hard to impose themselves in the game. Ballinakill added three further unanswered points (1 free) after their major to extend their lead to four points. Credit to the Harps though as they stormed back into the game with a free followed by a smashing goal from Conor Deegan to put the game back on level terms at 1-07 apiece. Ballinakill using the slight wind advantage popped over two further points from play before Conor Deegan landed a free to leave the sides with the minimum separating them at the short whistle. Half Time: The Harps 1-08 v 1-09 Ballinakill.

The second half continued with the same tempo as the latter end of the first half with The Harps and Ballinakill trading scores in the opening seven minutes. Manager Liam Clancy then called Rory Doyle ashore and brought on James Larkin to freshen his side up. Conor Deegan scored two points from three in a dominant spell from the Harps, with the other point from Darren Maher to give the Harps a two point lead midway through the second half. Ballinakill pointed two frees while Conor Deegan scored one for the Harps to leave the slimmest of margins between the sides going into the final ten minutes of the game.

Liam Clancy once more looked to his bench to freshen up things and introduced Michael Larkin and Denis Lennon while calling Niall Donohue and Tadgh Fitzpatrick ashore. Disaster struck though moments later as Ballinakill added a second goal to go two points up with the clock bearing down. Moments later Ballinakill were reduced to fourteen men as midfielder Daniel Bergin picked up his second yellow card. Conor Deegan pointed the resulting free, but The Harps could not take advantage of the numerical advantage in the closing moments that saw Ballinakill finish strongly scoring a free and a long range point from play to grind out the win. Full time score: Ballinakill 2-15 V 1-15 The Harps.

The Harps: position 1 – Liam Dunphy; position 2 – Liam Dillon; position 3 – Tom Dillon; position 4 – Niall Donohue; position 5 – Jack McEvoy; position 6 – Rory Doyle; position 7 – Danny Delahunty; position 8 – Brian Farrell; position 9 – Darren Maher; position 10 – Shane Brophy; position 11 – Justin Brophy; position 12 – Tadgh Fitzpatrick; position 13 – Eoin O Sullivan; position 14 – Johnny Doyle; position 15 – Conor Deegan.

Subs Used: 40mins off: Rory Doyle on: James Larkin; 53mins off: Niall Donoghue on: Michael Larkin; 53mins Tadgh Fitzpatrick on: Denis Lennon.

Scorers: Conor Deegan 1-12 (0-10f); Danny Delahunty 0-01f; Tadgh Fitzpatrick 0-01; Darren Maher 0-01.

The Harps will face Abbeyleix in their next game on April 19th at 12noon in Durrow GAA Grounds.

Jan 242015

HarpsJHBvClarinbridge24012015aA little bit of Club history was written today as the first Harps side to compete in Leinster Championship Hurling took to the all-weather pitch at Heywood Community School in Ballinakill. A fine, but cool afternoon greeted both sides onto the sublime field to mark the start of what was the second Leinster Semi-Final Junior B Hurling game – O’Loughlin Gaels, Kilkenny had beaten Kilmore of Wexord in the 1pm encounter. A good vocal support from both sides was present encouraging their respective teams on in what was a very sporting game of hurling.

The Harps Junior B hurlers narrowly lost out to Clarinbridge of Galway as two goals in the space of two minutes in the first half proved costly as The Harps ran out of time in this exciting semi-final. Clarinbridge got off to a strong start stringing four points together in the first four minutes before Colm Dunphy opened The Harps account with a pointed free in the 6th minute. The Galway side responded strongly shooting 2-02 from play with the lively Colm Dunphy and Shane Fitzpatrick sending over a point each to keep The Harps in the game. The Harps management changed things up introducing Aaron Dunne and Tommy Dillon for William Dillon and Brian Farrell respectively. Switching Shane Fitzpatrick back as a spare defender also worked well as The Harps for to grips with the Clarinbridge forwards. A well worked point from play by Albert Townsend closed out the half which left Clarinbridge with a 2-06 to 0-04 lead.

HarpsJHBvClarinbridge24012015bA lively start to the second half for The Harps was essential if they were to stay in touch and 0-2(0-1f) from Colm Dunphy and a long range free sent over the bar by Ciaran Costigan cut the lead to 4 points. Clarinbridge pointed from play but at this stage The Harps were now the dominant team and an excellent point from play by the hard working Darren Maher was followed by a pointed Shane Fitzpatrick free to move The Harps closer. The scores were flying over at this stage as Clainbridge again pointed from play only for Shane Fitzpatrick to send over another two frees.

The game was really in the melting pot at this stage and the next score would be crucial. To their credit Clarinbridge strung together some great attacking play to fire over from play to give them a four point lead. The Harps were going to need a goal to win this but it was not to be as wave after wave of attacks were repelled by the rock solid Clarinbridge full back line. The impressive David Doheny launched over a super point from wing back but unfortunately this was to be the last score of the game for The Harps. A pointed free in the 31st minute for Clarinbridge gave them a very hard fought four point win.

Great credit must go to both sides for serving up such an entertaining game at this time of the year and it bodes well for The Harps Junior team for the coming year. Best on the day for The Harps were Justin Brophy, Cathal Phelan, Shane Fitzpatrick, Darren Maher, Colm Dunphy.

The Harps: 1 – Justin Brophy; 2 – Niall Donoghue; 3 – William Dillon; 4 – Cathal Phelan; 5 – David Doheny; 6 – Ciaran Costigan; 7 – James Larkin; 8 – Rory Moore; 9 – Darren Maher; 10 – Freddie Townsend; 11 – Brian Farrell; 12 – Shane Fitzpatrick; 13 – Colm Dunphy; 14 – Albert Townsend; 15 – Eoin O Sullivan.

Subs used: Aaron Dunne for William Dillon (10 mins); Tommy Dillon for Brian Farrell (27 mins); Donnacha Quinn for Freddie Townsend (40mins); Liam Dunphy for Albert Townsend (59mins).

Management Team: Padraig Henderson, David O’Shaughnessy and Justin Brophy.

Management’s Thoughts: Speaking to theharpsgaa.com after the game the management team felt that The Harps could have won this game owing for a slow start that cost the side dearly. They paid credit to the referee – John Healy of Clare County who was fantastic on the day adding to the sporting occasion. Clarinbridge were also highly praised for being very sporting opponents and thanked them for accepting the invitation back to The Castle Arms Hotel for refreshments following the game despite their 2.5hr long trek ahead of them. The management team wished Clarinbridge well in the final next Saturday.