The Harps Junior A Hurlers welcome Castletown to Durrow this Friday evening, August 3rd for a 7.30pm in the second round of the Championship. All support welcome to cheer the lads on in this vital game. The weather looks set to be fine and dry making for a keenly contested encounter.
The Harps welcomed Abbeyleix to Durrow for this first round of the Junior A Hurling Championship. It was a fine evening for hurling with temperatures into the mid-20s accompanied with calm conditions under a cloudy sky. However, the ongoing drought conditions meant a very hard playing surface for both teams.
Abbeyleix were quickest of the mark and registered their first point from a free in the first minute and it took a further five minutes for another score in a low-scoring first half. That score came for The Harps from the stick of Conor Brophy who commanded the midfield along side Danny Delahunty.
In the mid-part of this first half, both teams traded points from placed ball with Brian Clancy on target for the homeside. In the twenty-first minute the first green flag of the game was raised when Garth Singh broke through the Abbeyleix defence and blasted to the net. Abbeyleix responded with two pointed frees before half time to leave the score at just 1-02 to 0-04 at the short whistle with both sides guilty of some wayward shooting.
The second half opened strong for The Harps with a point from play by Fionn Whelan who was causing the Abbeyleix defence all sorts of trouble. Indeed, Niall Brophy pointed moments later from play, however referee Anthony Costigan over-ruled his umpire and scratched the score. Abbeyleix scored a point from play in the third minute, as the tempo of the game increased and accuracy improved. The next five minutes proved prosperous for The Harps as they hit four unanswered points in a row – Conor Brophy getting a brace (one from a free, one from play) and Brian Clancy and Niall Brophy pointing from play to give The Harps a five point lead heading into the middle of the second half.
Abbeyleix got two points from play to keep in touch and at this stage, an injured Pauric Dunne was replaced by Evan Deegan mid way through this second half. In the forty-seventh minute The Harps got a much needed boost when Niall Brophy scored a cracker of a goal to open up a six point lead. Even Deegan followed up with a long range point from the resulting puckout and Abbeyleix looked destined to receive a hiding. However, credit to Abbeyleix as they battled back hard and scored 2-01 in the last ten minutes, however it wasn’t enough as an Evan Deegan free and two points from play by Eoghan Doheny and Garth Singh made for a three point winning margin at the full time whistle: The Harps 2-11 v 2-08 Abbeyleix.
The Harps will find out on Monday morning, who, where and when they will play the second round of the Championship.
1 – Justin Brophy; 2 – Eoin Sullivan; 3 – Sean Cahill; 4 – Ciaran Costigan; 5 – John Dunne; 6 – Daniel Delahunty; 7 – Cathal Phelan; 8 – Conor Brophy; 9 – Eoghan Doheny; 10 – Brian Clancy; 11 – Rory Moore; 12 – Pauric Dunne; 13 – Garth Singh; 14 – Fionn Whelan; 15 – Niall Brophy. Subs: Evan Deegan for Pauric Dunne (injured) 47mins.
The Harps Junior A hurlers, plying their trade in Division 2 of the league welcomed Clough-Ballacolla to Durrow on Thursday night last in the sixth round of the league. Clough-Ballacolla who are top of the table came to Durrow with four wins and a draw against opposition elsewhere in this division. The Harps on the other hand had picked up two wins against Castletown and Shanahoe were needing a win here to have any chance of making the league semi-final.
It was a fine evening with light winds making conditions ideal for hurling, and indeed a thriller of a game ensued from the throw-in. After six minutes, both sides were level at 0-03 a piece with Gareth Singh, Eoghan Doheny and Ross Young all pointing from play as both sides were impeccable in their long range shooting efforts. Over the following eight minutes, Clough-Ballacolla added three further points from play, but Ross Young kept the home side in it with a ’65 and two frees converted to see out the first quarter.
The Harps then seemed to switch off for the next twelve minutes as Clough-Ballacolla scored at will in a very intense purple patch that yielded 3-06 for the visitors putting the homeside 15 points in arrears – the scoreline: The Harps 0-06 v 3-12 Clough-Ballacolla with just four minutes remaining in the half. The Harps management though encouraged the team to ignore the scoreboard and battle hard, and indeed The Harps did. In the 26th minute, Eoghan Doheny carved out a beautiful goal from play that lifted the homeside’s morale. From the resulting puck-out The Harps went on the attack again and when Garth Singh was pulled down on the edge of the square, Ross Young buried the ball to the net to continue the comeback. Half time: The Harps 2-06 v 3-12 Clough-Ballacolla.
In the second half The Harps continued their comeback, firstly with a pointed Ross Young free, then Garth Singh and Pauric Dunne both raised green flags followed by a Shane Donoghue point from play to leave the homeside just a point in arrears with only five minutes gone in the half! (The Harps 4-08 v 3-12 Clough-Ballacolla). Following that score, the management introduced Michael Lanigan for Rory Moore. Clough-Ballacolla scored a point from play soon after as they sought to stave off this strong Harps comeback, however the resulting long range puckout was worked to Garth Singh who was pulled down on the edge of the square and up stepped Ross Young to plant the ball to the net and give the homeside the lead – The Harps 5-08 v 3-13 Clough-Ballacolla.
— TheHarpsGAA (@TheHarpsGAA) June 14, 2018
Clough-Ballacolla replied with a point from play before Ciaran Costigan replaced Darren Maher for the homeside. Ross Young continued to dominate the scoresheet with a ’65 in the forty fourth minute as the game entered a nip-and-tuck phase. Eoghan Doheny, Ross Young and Michael Lanigan all pointed from play over the next ten minutes whilst Clough-Ballacolla managed just two points from play in this period giving the homeside support great hope of grabbing a win as the clock wound down with a two point lead. However, Clough-Ballacolla staged a massive comeback and with two minutes of normal time remaining, they grabbed a goal and scored two further points from play to go back in front.
On the stroke of full time, Michael Lanigan won a free on the edge of the square, however his shot went agonisingly over the bar by inches to leave two between the sides again. Into injury time Clough-Ballacolla grabbed three unanswered points from play to run out five point winners on a scoreline of The Harps 5-13 v 4-21 Clough-Ballacolla. Overall, The Harps can be proud of their hard work in clawing back a fifteen point deficit and going two points in front, however they will be equally disappointed in losing this tie after such an incredible turnaround. The Harps travel to Trumera next Wednesday, June 20th for a 7.30pm throw-in as this Division 2 League enters it’s final round.
The Harps: 1 – Liam Dunphy; 2 – Cathal Phelan; 3 – Sean Cahill; 4 – Eoin Sullivan; 5 – Conor Brophy; 6 – Daniel Delahunty; 7 – John Dunne; 8 – Padraig Dunne; 9 – Brian Clancy; 10 – Ross Young; 11 – Rory Moore; 12 – Eoghan Doheny; 13 – Garth Singh; 14 – Shane Donohue; 15 – Darren Maher.
Subs: 38mins off: Rory Moore – on: Michael Lanigan; 43mins off: Darren Maher – on: Ciaran Costigan.
Scorers: Ross Young 2-07 (2-05f); Eoghan Doheny 1-02; Garth Singh 1-01; Padraig Dunne 1-00; Michael Lanigan 0-02 (0-01f); Shane Donohue 0-01.
The Harps Junior A Hurlers welcomed Slieve Bloom to Durrow on Saturday evening for a 6.30pm throw-in of this second round fixture in the Laois GAA Division 2 hurling league. It was a calm evening but a slow moving shower moved in overhead just as the game got underway making for very heavy underfoot conditions.
The Harps started brightly with Kieran Freeman opening the home-side’s scoring account with a well taken point from play in the first minute. However, Slieve Bloom took control of the game for much of the first half following up with two points from play, followed by three converted frees and a ’65 to command a five point lead after twenty two minutes. The Harps to their credit battled hard, however and Niall Brophy popped over a fine point before half time to leave the scoreboard reading Slieve Bloom 0-06 v 0-02 The Harps.
In the opening minute of the second half, disaster struck for The Harps when Slieve Bloom cut through the defence and blasted to the net to raise the first green flag of the game. Credit though to The Harps who refused to throw in the towel and gave Slieve Bloom plenty of it in this second half. Evan Deegan pointed a free and followed up with a point from play to reduce the deficit to six, however Slieve Bloom clawed back a point from play eight minutes in. Justin Brophy in goals, launched a long puckout down on the Slieve Bloom halfback line which was won by Niall Brophy who rounded several players in defence before offloading to Evan Deegan who fired home to the net to give The Harps real hope of a comeback. 1-04 to 1-07.
Slieve Bloom though didn’t let the conceded goal set them back, and replied with a converted free and a point from play to nudge five points clear once more. It was real nip-and-tuck stuff for the remainder of the second half with The Harps battling hard to catch Slieve Bloom who seemed capable of keeping a three or four point margin clear of their competitors. Shane Donohue fired over two excellent long range points from play either side of an Evan Deegan free whilst Slieve Bloom popped over two of their own from play as both teams gave it their all.
Midway through the second half, Niall Brophy was replaced by Ciaran Costigan as manager Liam Clancy looked to freshen things up on the field. Then in the final ten minutes, Kieran Freeman scored a point from play and took over free taking duties when Evan Deegan was replaced by Johnny Doyle to convert The Harps ninth point of the game. Slieve Bloom kept the four point advantage with a free and a point from play in the closing stages to leave the full time score at Slieve Bloom 1-13 v 1-09 The Harps. Credit though to The Harps who worked hard throughout and probably deserved a little more than the scoreline suggests. The Harps travel to Mountmellick next Friday night for a 6.45pm throw-in.
The Harps: 1 – Justin Brophy; 2 – Eoghan Doheny; 3 – Sean Cahill; 4 – Cathal Phelan; 5 – Conor Brophy; 6 – Daniel Delahunty; 7 – Shane Donohue; 8 – Eoin Sullivan; 9 – Rory Moore; 10 – Darren Maher; 11 – Kieran Freeman; 12 – Brian Clancy; 13 – Evan Deegan; 14 – Fionn Whelan; 15 – Niall Brophy.
Subs: 44mins – off: Niall Brophy on: Ciaran Costigan; 53mins – off: Evan Deegan on: Johnny Doyle.
The Harps Scorers: Evan Deegan 1-03 (0-2f); Kieran Freeman 0-03 (0-1f); Shane Donohue 0-02; Niall Brophy 0-01.
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.
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.
— TheHarpsGAA (@TheHarpsGAA) July 21, 2017
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.
— TheHarpsGAA (@TheHarpsGAA) July 21, 2017
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.
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 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.
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.
6.Daniel Delahunty.(0-1 free)
10.Ross Young.(0-9,0-7 frees)
12.Brian Clancy. (0-3)
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.