Jan 222015

Harps-Clarinbridge-PROMOThe Harps Junior B Hurler’s success last year in winning both the league and championship in Laois means that the team now have an opportunity to compete for Leinster and All-Ireland glory. The Killeedy Tournament, set up to cater for all Junior B County Champions is now in it’s ninth year and the Leinster section takes place this Saturday, January 24th 2015.

Kilkenny’s O’Loughlin Gaels will face Wexford’s Kilmore at 1pm in the first Leinster Semi-Final to be followed at 3pm by The Harps of Laois and Clarinbridge of Galway in the second Leinster Semi-Final. Both games will take place on the All-Weather Hurling pitch at Heywood C.S. in Ballinakill, Co. Laois. Admission is €10 with ample parking and canteen facilities available on-site.

The Harps GAA Club wish the Junior B’s every success and appeal to all supporters of the club to make their way to Ballinakill this Saturday to support the team.

Aug 142014

Harps-JuniorB-Champions-2014The Junior B hurlers faced Rathdowney-Errill at O’Moore Park on Wednesday night, August 13th in the County Final. A mostly cloudy, mild and dry evening made conditions good for hurling which was followed by a vocal crowd in attendance.

Rathdowney-Errill started strong in the opening minutes while the Harps took time to find their rhythm. Rathdowney-Errill opened the scoring stakes with a point from play and minutes later added another following a goal-mouth scramble – much to the relief of the Harps following.

The Harps began to settle and take hold of the game when Colm Dunphy was redeployed to midfield and after 8 minutes were duly rewarded when Albert Townsend flicked over a nice point. Moments later, his brother, and team captain Freddie gave The Harps a huge boost when he collected a pass back out along the 45 line and made a great run through the RE defence to blast past Damien Madden into the net.

The goal rattled Rathdowney-Errill who gave up three frees over the coming five minutes – all of which were converted by Shane Tyrell. The Harps were now in the driving seat and continued to push on when Albert Townsend pointed from play to leave the scoreline at 1-05 to 0-02 after seventeen minutes.

Rathdowney-Errill at this point made changes and began to get back into the game. The Harps under pressure gave a series of soft frees that were punished. In the lead-up to half time, RE had clawed back four points from frees to leave just two between the sides. These were followed up by Denis Lennon who grabbed a beauty of a point for the Harps – his effort could have easily found the net to put a three-point cushion between the sides again. Rathdowney-Errill would have the last say of the first half as they converted another placed ball to leave the Half Time score: The Harps 1-06 V 0-07 Rathdowney-Errill.

The second half started brightly for the Harps when Denis Lennon landed a huge point from under the stand. The bright start was quickly quelled though when Rathdowney-Errill added two quick-fire points from play after alot of fussing by the Harps defence. Shane Tyrell replied with an important point from a placed ball in an attempt to halt the RE momentum.

Rathdowney-Errill though were clearly on top and with the Harps defence at 6s and 7s, the inevitable happened – Chris Browne found himself with room to pull on a loose ball to strike for goal. Rathdowney-Errill were now in front by a single point. Credit though to the Harps, they stormed straight back down the field and landed an important reply through Colm Dunphy who raised the white flag to level the score.

Rathdowney-Errill continued to apply pressure and minutes later landed another point from a placed ball following Colm Dunphy’s tackle who picked up a yellow card. Rathdowney-Errill added two further points from frees as the Harps continued to be at 6s and 7s. With thirteen minutes remaining, the Harps made changes with Willie Dillon replacing Shane Fitzpatrick.

The Harps began to settle once more and after stringing a few passes together, Colm Dunphy took a well placed pass to run through the RE defence and blast a fine goal to draw the game again. The goal settle the Harps and minutes later had their noses back in front when Shane Tyrell landed another free… 2-10 to 1-12.

The last ten minutes of the second half saw both sides drive a few wides and as players tired, stoppages became common. In the 27th minute The Harps extended their lead to a dangerous two point margin when Shane Tyrell landed a huge free from the middle of the field. Into injury time, RE got a free from around 25 yards out and looked set to go for goal, however their effort floated over the bar to reduce the Harps lead to just the minimum once more.

Injury time seemed to last an eternity, the tired Harps men packed in behind the ball and fired every ball back out down the field. In the 33rd minute The Harps got a free in what surely would be the final puck of the game, the free was converted by Shane Tyrell. Referee Eoin Scully played another minute of injury time and The Harps held on for the victory after a very exciting finish. The full time score: The Harps 2-12 V 1-13 Rathdowney-Errill.

Harps: 1 – David Shaughnessy; 2 – Niall Donoghue; 3 – Cathal Phelan; 4 – James Larkin; 5 – David Doheny; 6 – Ciaran Costigan; 7 – William Dillon; 8 – Rory Moore; 9 – Darren Maher; 10 – Shane Tyrell; 11 – Rory Doyle; 12 – Freddie Townsend; 13 – Colm Dunphy; 14 – Albert Townsend; 15 – Denis Lennon.

Subs: off: Shane Fitzpatrick on: William Dillon after 48 minutes; off: Brian Farrell on: Rory Doyle after 57 minutes.

Title Photo: The Harps Junior B Hurling Team 2014.

Jul 132014

2014-JuniorB-Hurling-League-WinThe Harps Junior Bs met Borris-Kilcotton in the Division 5 Hurling League Final on Sunday, July 6th as part of a double-header in Rathdowney which served as a curtain raiser to the Senior Final later that evening. The Junior Bs have had a fantastic run under the stewardship of Justin Brophy, David O’Shaughnessy and Padraig Henderson reaching this final unbeaten.

The Harps were quickest off the mark with Colm Dunphy raising the white flag for the table-toppers. Borris-Kilcotton though were quick to respond when Niall Jones found space to pop over his first of the night. Jones followed up with another point to give the Borris-Kilcotton men a slim lead. With wind advantage for the first half, The Harps used this well to launch long ball after long ball into the forward line and it began to pay off when Shane Tyrell and Eoin O’Sullivan both pointed to put the Harps back in front after the first quarter.

Borris-Kilcotton got a boost in the sixteenth minute when some calamity in the Harps defence allowed a sideline free from the stick of Damian Kelly to somehow make it to the net. This goal seemed to stir a sleeping giant in The Harps as they roared back into the game scoring points at ease with some well taken scores, most notably Albert Townsends over-the-shoulder pop and Shane Fitzpatrick’s long-range post-splitter to bring the half time scoreline: The Harps 0-10 V 1-04 Borris-Kilcotton.

The second half was a game of defence for the Harps, playing against the wind now meant that Borris-Kilcotton would launch high ball down – and great credit to the back line they hooked and harried gallantly denying Borris-Kilcotton much scoring opportunity. At the other end, the breeze made life equally as difficult for the forwards but Shane Tyrell soldiered well and matched Borris-Kilcotton’s four second half points to ensure a victory for the Harps. Final Score: The Harps 0-14 v 1-08 Borris-Kilcotton.

Scorers: The Harps: Shane Tyrell 0-07 (0-05f), Colm Dunphy 0-02, Eoin O’ Sullivan, Albert Townsend, Shane Fitzpatrick, Rory Moore and Fred Townsend 0-01 each. Borris-in-Ossory/Kilcotton: Damien Kelly 1-01f, Eoin Fitzpatrick 0-03, Niall Jones 0-02, Michael Bowe and Jonathan Dwyer 0-01 each.

The Harps: Justin Brophy, Niall Donohue, Aaron Dunne, Cathal Phelan, Ciaran Costigan, Shane Fitzapatrick, David Doheny, Rory Moore, Darren Maher, Shane Tyrell, Brian Farrell, Fred Townsend, Colm Dunphy, Albert Townsend, Eoin O’Sullivan. Subs: Rory Doyle for Darren Maher, Shane Brophy for Eoin O’Sullivan, James Larkin for Brian Farrell.

Borris-in-Ossory/Kilcotton: Danny Brennan, Brian Comerford, Tom Kelly, Denis Coss (yellow card), Ciarán Sweeney, Ronan Kelly (captain), DJ Kelly, Jonathan Dwyer, Damien Kelly, Trevor Abbott, Niall Jones, Stephen Campion, Garry Dollard, Tony Doran, Michael Bowe. Subs: Redmond Murray for Tony Doran, Barry Foyle for Brian Comerfrod, Colm Fitzpatrick for Michael Bowe, Eoin Fitzpatrick for Damien Kelly.

Referee: James Maher (Rathdowney).

Photo: Peter O’Neill presents the trophy to The Harps captain Fred Townsend. Picture: Alf Harvey/hrphoto.ie

Apr 272014

20140427_182249The Harps Junior Hurlers welcomed Ballypickas to Durrow GAA grounds in the third round of the Division 5 hurling league. Clear blue sky with a light breeze made it a perfect evening for hurling. The light breeze favoured Ballypickas in the opening half, but the Harps did not seem to allow this disadvantage to affect their game. It was Ballypickas who scored first with a point from a placed ball. Three minutes later the Harps’ Rory Doyle opened the home sides account with a fine point from play. Hot on the heels of that came two rapid fire scores from Shane Tyrell (point) and Freddie Townsend (goal) both from play. Freddie Townsend followed up with another point from play three minutes later to stamp his intent on the evenings proceedings.

The following fifteen minutes was a dominant spell for free takers, Ballypickas fired over one of their own with the Harps’ Shane Tyrell chipping over three to leave the score at 1-06 to 0-02 with half time approaching. Freddie Townsend and Rory Doyle added two further points from play to leave the half time score The Harps 1-08 V 0-02 Ballypickas. At half time the Harps made a substitution with James Larkin being replaced by David Doheny.

Shane Tyrell points for The Harps on the 20th minute in the first half to the appreciation of Gerry Brophy.

The second half got underway with Ballypickas scoring a point from play. Shane Tyrell pointed a free moments later and was followed up with two rapid fire points by Freddie Townsend, both from play. Ballypickas responded with a point from play but Danny Delahunty who had replaced Darren Maher as a blood sub earlier in the game popped over a point to keep the Harps well in front. Freddie Townsend added to his evening’s tally with another point from play mid-way through the second half. Following that score Padraig Spencer replaced David O Shoughnessy who had given a solid performance at centre back all evening.

20140427_182616Ballypickas began to claw their way back into the game with two points from play and after Shane Tyrell popped over a 65 for the homeside Ballypickas grabbed a goal to cut the deficit to 8 points, The Harps 1-14 to 1-06 with ten minutes remaining as Colm Dunphy replaced Niall Mullins. The Harps pushed on to close out the game with two frees converted by Shane Tyrell and two points from play by Colm Dunphy and Donnacha Quinn. Shane Fitzpatrick was brought on for Donnacha Quinn with just a few minutes remaining on the clock.

The final score: The Harps 1-18 V 1-06 Ballypickas. The Harps are now top of Division 5 with three wins from three games played and a scoring advantage of +26 points.

The Harps: 1 – Justin Brophy; 2 – Niall Donoghue; 3 – Cathal Phelan; 4 – Aaron Dunne; 5 – James Larkin; 6 – David O Shaughnessy; 7 – Ciaran Costigan; 8 – Donnacha Quinn; 9  – Rory Moore; 10 – Shane Tyrell; 11 – Niall Mullins; 12 – Darren Maher; 13 – Eoin O Sullivan; 14 – Freddie Townsend; 15 – Rory Doyle.

Mar 042014

LaoisGAA-LaoisShoppingCentreThe draw for the 2014 Hurling Championships were made tonight (Tuesday March 4th) in Portlaoise and the following fixtures are sure to whet the appetite of both players and fans alike come high summer…

Laois Shopping Centre Senior Hurling Championship (Games to be played weekend of 19-26 July)

The Harps v Clough Ballacolla

Laois Shopping Centre Intermediate Hurling Championship (Games to be played weekend of 18-25 July)

Clonad v The Harps

Laois Shopping Centre Junior B Hurling Championship

Portlaoise v Clough Ballacolla (winner v The Harps)

Laois Shopping Centre Under-21 Hurling Championship

Clough Ballacolla v Castletown Slieve Bloom (winner v The Harps Gaels)

Laois Shopping Centre Minor Hurling Championship

The Harps Gaels v Castletown Slieve Bloom

Jul 192013

Well done to our Junior hurlers on defeating Clough/Ballacolla in the first round of the championship on Tuesday evening last. This team comprised of majority of youth with a sprinkling of experience. Played in excellent conditions the Harps found themselves slightly behind at half time. Great credit is due to their effort and desire to win in the second half as they produced some excellent hurling to run out comfortable winners in the end with a  margin of 5 points. They now take on Clonad in the quarter final on Tuesday July 23rd.