Feb 032016

The next few Saturdays see The Harps Senior Hurlers commence their 2016 season with games fixed as follows:

  • Saturday, February 13th – 3.30pm – The Harps V Castletown in CASTLETOWN
  • Saturday, February 20th – 3.30pm – The Harps V Abbeyleix in DURROW
  • Saturday, March 12th – 4pm – The Harps v Camross in DURROW

Please do come out and support the team under new management of David Cuddy.

Sep 102015

The Harps footballers proved far too strong for The Rock in this Junior football championship relegation play off.  Played in The Heath GAA grounds, The Harps started against a strong wind but still began to build a steady lead.  First half goals from Ger Alley and Mark White, and some steady defending at the other end had The Harps in total control.  With Pat Walsh dominant at midfield and Sean Burke marshalling the defence at centre-back, The Harps played some excellent football.  Points from Pat Walsh, Jim Campion and Niall Brophy pushed the lead out to 7 points at half time, 2-6 to 0-5.

The second half was all one way traffic as The Harps dominance was only added to by the strong wind.  Points flew over from all angles as Darren Maher, John Finnegan and Pat Walsh all helped to stretch the lead.  Darren Maher finished to the net from close range to kill any hope The Rock may have had, and when Jim Campion converted from the penalty spot the game was really over as a contest.  The Harps were enjoying themselves now, and some excellent points from Ger Alley, Pat Walsh and Cormac McCann finished out the scoring to leave the score board reading The Harps 4-14 The Rock 0-8.

Great credit must go to Gabby Irwin and Dave Finnegan for the effort they have put in this year.  The players will realise an improved effort in training is required next year to push on and win this championship.

The Harps.
1.Kevin Donoghue; 2.Stephen Thomas; 3.James Shortall; 4.John Dunne; 5.Shane Brophy; 6.Sean Burke; 7.Diarmuid Irwin; 8.John Finnegan; 9.Pat Walshe; 10.Darren Maher; 11.Niall Donoghue; 12.Cormac McCann; 13.Jim Campion; 14.Ger Alley; 15.Mark White.

Subs: Robert Freeman for Shane Brophy; Donnacha Quinn for Niall Brophy.

Sep 102015

The Harps senior hurling team remain in the senior hurling championship for another year after they produced their best performance of the year to see off Castletown in the relegation decider.  With both teams understandably a bit nervous at the start, the first ten minutes was littered with mistakes by both sides as they traded scores.  The Harps had that bit more experience in their ranks however, and 15 minutes into the half John Brophy and Brian Dunne combined to set up Eoin Clancy for a goal which transformed The Harps.  The shackles seemed to come off and scores flew over from all angles as John Brophy, Barry Dunne, Richie Saunders and Brian Dunne all added points.  The half time whistle couldn’t come soon enough for Castletown, as they just about hung on when trailing by 8 points.

Harps players and supporters alike were expecting a big backlash from a proud Castletown team, but The Harps team were matching their opposition for work rate and determination.  The game reached a pivotal moment inside the opening ten minutes of the second half when Castletown were awarded a penalty.  Paddy Mullaney was brought up to take it but his rasping shot flew just over the bar, to the relief of The Harps contingent.  The Harps extended their lead with good points from Richie Saunders and Gavin Dunne, and when Mick Lanigan fielded brilliantly inside the square, he had only one thing on his mind as he blasted to the net to end the game as a contest.  Credit is due to Castletown who never gave up, but The Harps were not for easing up either as wing back John Prior got in on the scoring act, sending over a massive point from distance.  The final whistle sounded shortly after to leave a full time scoreline of The Harps 2-17 Casltetown 0-10.

Great credit must go to players, management and supporters alike as the club never lost focus after the disappointment of exiting the championship proper.  We showed in this game that our flagship team are well capable of hurling to a high standard, and maybe with a bit more luck next year we can make inroads in the championship.

The Harps: 1.Kevin Galvin; 2.Shane Phelan; 3.Pakie Flynn; 4.Aaron Dunne; 5.John Prior; 6.Conor Dunne; 7.Gavin Dunne; 8.Kieran Freeman; 9.Barry Dunne; 10.Mick Lanigan; 11.Brian Dunne; 12.John Brophy; 13.Eoin Clancy; 14.Pat Walsh; 15.Richie Saunders.

Subs introduced: Tommy Moore for Barry Dunne; Ross Young for Gavin Dunne; Ronan Delahunty for Pat Walsh; Conor Brophy for Richie Saunders.

Aug 232015
File Photo

File Photo

The Harps senior hurlers were knocked out of the race for championship honours last Saturday in Portlaoise as their efforts came up short against Clough/Ballacolla. This was a much improved performance from the first day out, but in the end C/B were able to spring Stephen Maher and Stephen Bergin from the bench when the game was in the mix to guide them home. The Harps opened the scoring with an excellent point from play by Eoin Clancy to get them going. Further efforts from out the field tailed agonisingly wide and C/B hit 3 points on the trot to take the lead. Michael Lanigan hit back with a converted free for The Harps before wing back John Prior sent over a huge point from distance. C/B were wasting chances of their own but still managed a six point lead heading into half time but John Brophy had the last say of the first half as his efforts were rewarded with a wonderful point from out near the sideline.

C/B pushed the lead out to six points moments after the restart and The Harps had a mountain to climb. To their credit, the lads fought like dogs to get back into this game and pointed free’s from Lanigan and Eoin Clancy’s second from play had the arrears reduced to three. The game was in the melting pot at this stage but unfortunately for The Harps chances were missed and some very harsh referee decisions went against us. The introduction of Picky Maher and Stephen Dunphy for the opposition tipped things in their balance as both players hit 0-3 each. A good point from play by Gavin Dunne and two more converted free’s by Lanigan finished out The Harps scoring to leave the final tally at The Harps 0-11 Clough/Ballacolla 0-19.

While it is always disappointing to be knocked out of the championship, our senior hurlers have arguably their most important game of the year ahead of them as they face Castletown in the relegation decider. The club would urge as many people as possible to come along and support the lads in this vital fixture in O’Moore Park, Portlaoise on Saturday, August 29th at 7.15pm.

The Harps:  1.Kevin Galvin;  2.Shane Phelan;  3.Pakie Flynn;  4.Aaron Dunne;  5.John Prior;  6.Conor Dunne;  7.Gavin Dunne;  8.Barry Dunne;  9.Ronan Delahunty;  10.Shane Donoghue; 11.Brian Dunne; 12.Mick Lanigan;  13.Kieran Freeman;  14.John Brophy;  15.Eoin Clancy.

Subs:  Pat Walsh for Shane Donoghue (half time);  Richie Saunders for Barry Dunne (half time).

Jul 312015
File Photo

File Photo

Camross proved to be too strong for The Harps in this Intermediate hurling championship replay played in Rathdowney G.A.A grounds last Tuesday, July 28th. Like the first game, there was a strong wind blowing down the pitch and again The Harps had the wind advantage for the first half. The sides traded scores for much of the first half, but unfortunately for The Harps the radars were a bit off on the night as too many efforts were sent wide in the first half. A couple of brilliant saves from Peter Walsh in goal kept The Harps in the hunt but facing into a three point deficit and the wind into their faces for the second was going to be a huge challenge for The Harps.

With the wind at their backs Camross opened the second half scoring with a point from play. They were not about to let the game slip this time and dropped back a forward to midfield and The Harps struggled to get ball into their forwards. The Harps were going to need a couple of goals to get a result here but thy as they might the Camross defence held tight and the margin was increased as Camross sent over point after point. The Harps fought to the end but it just wasn’t their day as Camross finished strongly to leave the final score at Camross 0-17, The Harps 0-08.

The Harps: 1.Peter Walsh;  2.Cathal Phelan;  3.Sean Cahill;  4.Niall Donoghue;  5.David Doheny;  6.Dan Delahunty;  7.John Dunne;  8.Rory Moore;  9.Eoin O Sullivan;  10.Brian Clancy;  11.Brian Farrell;  12.Tadgh O Sullivan;  13.Conor Deegan;  14.Tommy Dillon;  15.Niall Brophy.

Subs: Liam Dunphy for Tommy Dillon; Ciaran Costigan for John Dunne; Darren Maher for Conor Deegan.

Jul 312015
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.
Jul 222015

The Harps Intermediates were out in the first round of championship last Sunday against Camross. Played in Rathdowney, The Harps won the coin toss and opted to play with a strong breeze at their backs in the opening half. This was not going to be a game of two contrasting halves however, as the teams traded scores for nearly the entirety of the match. The Harps relied on the free taking skills of Conor Deegan for much of the game, although to be fair The Harps forwards were being fouled any time they got into a threatening position. At the back the defence were holding out well and the teams went in at half time dead-locked, with the score board reading 0-8 each.

At half time The Harps knew that they needed to up the effort facing into the stiff breeze. The game continued in the same manner as the first half as very little separated the teams at any point. The only goal of the game was scored by Camross with ten minutes left and while this was a real sucker punch for our lads, they refused to yield and fought back into the game. A Conor Deegan free with normal time just up drew the sides level and supporters were in for a frantic finish. Camross launched attack after attack in search of a winner but the Harps defence held strong and when forward Conor Deegan came back to his own half to win a free out the ref blew the final whistle. A draw was the fairest result and both sides will fancy their chances in the replay. Full time score : The Harps 0-14 Camross 1-11.

A replay awaits both sides on Tuesday, July 28th in Rathdowney at 7.15pm.

With some players missing for The Harps on the day, competition for places should really drive this team on. Management appeal to all players to make a huge effort to make training, as The Harps are one of several teams capable of winning this championship.

The Harps: 1.Peter Walsh; 2.Cathal Phelan; 3.Sean Cahill; 4.Niall Donoghue; 5.David Doheny; 6.Dan Delahunty; 7.John Dunne; 8.Eoin O Sullivan; 9.Rory Moore; 10.Brian Clancy; 11.Brian Farrell; 12.Tadgh O Sullivan; 13.Niall Brophy; 14.Tommy Dillon; 15.Conor Deegan.

Jul 222015

Harps-Borris-Kilcotton-SHC-2015-aOur senior hurlers lost out to a strong Borris-Kilcotton side last Saturday evening in O Moore Park in the first round of the senior championship. Playing with a strong wind in their favour in the opening half The Harps got off to a promising start as wing back John Prior opened the scoring in the first minute with a long range point from play. Within seconds Brian Dunne sent over another point from play and it looked like The Harps meant business. Borris-Kilcotton worked a good point of their own in the third minute, but The Harps were on top at this point and hit three points on the trot with a point from Pat Walsh and 0-02 (0-01f, 0-01 sideline) from the accurate Michael Lanigan.

Borris-Kilcotton stayed in touch with two points of their own as they started to up the tempo. A second point for Brian Dunne was cancelled out with a Borris-Kilcotton free but Kieran Freeman on his senior championship debut fired over from play to push the lead back to three points half way through the half. This was as good as it got for The Harps unfortunately as any mistakes were punished and Borris-Kilcotton hit four points on the trot to briefly take the lead before Lanigan gained parity with a pointed free.

With 5 minutes to go in the half The Harps really needed a few scores to settle themselves but they were rocked by a 25th minute Borris-Kilcotton goal. Sensing weakness the opposition sent over another two points in as many minutes but The Harps hit back with two Lanigan free’s to leave a goal between the teams at half time: The Harps 0-10 v 1-10 Borris-Kilcotton.

Harps-Borris-Kilcotton-SHC-2015-bFacing into a stiff wind in the second half The Harps had a mountain to climb but managed to open the second half scoring with a good Eoin Clancy point to give them hope. Borris-Kilcotton hit a quick brace of points but Kieran Freeman was playing well and sent over his second point from play to keep The Harps in the hunt. Unfortunately Borris-Kilcotton were proving to be the better team and started to send over points from all angles stretching their lead to ten points with 20 minutes gone in the second half. The Harps were trying to work goal chances to get themselves back into the game but still the Borris-Kilcotton dominance continued as further points flew over.

The Harps main source of scores were free’s and Lanigan continued to strike them well, even into the strong wind. Disaster struck then with five minutes to go as Borris-Kilcotton goaled for the second time with PJ Scully giving Kevin Galvin no chance with a close range finish. With only pride to play for The Harps managed to hit a brace of points with another Lanigan free and a third from play by Freeman to close the scoring for the day.

This was a tough day out for our senior team, one of those horrible days when things just didn’t go right. Great credit must go to some of the younger players with Kieran Freeman, Richie Suanders and Aaron Dunne doing extremely well on their senior championship debuts. Shane Fitzpatrick was also introduced in the second half and these young players will only get better. The panel will have to knuckle down and focus now as they drew neighbours Clough/Ballacolla in the next round.

The Harps: 1. Kevin Galvin; 2. Shane Phelan; 3. Conor Dunne; 4. Aaron Dunne; 5. John Prior; 6. Gavin Dunne; 7. Tommy Moore; 8. Barry Dunne; 9. Kieran Freeman; 10. Shane Donoghue; 11. Brian Dunne; 12. Eoin Clancy; 13. Richie Saunders; 14. Pat Walsh; 15. Michael Lanigan.

Subs: Ronan Delahunty for Tommy Moore (41 mins); Ross Young for John Prior (50 mins); Shane Fitzpatrick for Shane Donoghue (55 mins).

Jul 052015

ACHL1-Harps-v-RathdowneyErrill-2015The Harps senior hurlers saved their best league performance for the last game as they earned a hard fought win over Rathdowney/Errill. Played in Durrow on a warm evening The Harps got off to the perfect start when Richie Saunders made a great high catch before laying off the ball to Conor Brophy who calmly finished to the net. Pat Walsh pointed from play a minute later before R/E opened their account with a point. Michael Lanigan gave the home support more to cheer about as he cut over a super line ball. R/E however were about to show that they are not reigning champions for nothing as they hit six points from play on the trot to take the lead by two points with the half almost finished. A free converted by Lanigan was followed by another R/E point to leave the half time score at The Harps 1-03 to R/E 0-08.

With the wind at their backs for the second half The Harps set the pace as Lanigan hit a good point from play. R/E sent over two further points from play but The Harps were about to enter their purple patch hitting 1-2 in a blistering 2 minute spell. Two points from Lanigan (1f) and a goal from Pat Walsh where Richie Saunders was once again instrumental gave The Harps a two point lead. Both sides were really going at it at this stage with some great hurling played out. R/E stopped the flow with a point of their own but another audacious side line cut from Lanigan kept the pressure on. Brian Dunne and Kieran Freeman(0-02) got in on the scoring with good scores from play but R/E kept the deficit to two points with a few scores of their own. With less than five minutes to go R/E had cut the lead to a single point and now the pressure really came on. The Harps showed great resolve however to hit the last four points of the game via Freeman, Ross Young and Lanigan (0-02,1f) to leave a final score line of The Harps 2-14 R/E 0-15.

This was a timely boost for our senior hurlers who are training very hard at the moment. With the championship just around the corner all supporters are urged to get behind the lads for the tough opening game against Borris/Kilcotton.

The Harps: 1 – Kevin Galvin, 2 – Shane Phelan, 3 – Packie Flynn, 4 – Aaron Dunne, 5 – John Prior, 6 – Gavin Dunne, 7 – Ross Young, 8 – Barry Dunne, 9 – Kieran Freeman, 10 – Shane Donoghue, 11 – Brian Dunne, 12 – Pat Walsh, 13 – Richie Saunders, 14 – Michael Lanigan, 15 – Conor Brophy.

Jun 272015

Harps-V-Castletown-ACHL1-2015aThe Harps senior hurlers second half fade out was to prove costly as Castletown claimed the points in this close encounter. Played in Mountrath GAA on their new pitch, The Harps were against a strong wind in the first half but managed to open the scoring with a fine point from distance by Eoin Clancy inside the opening minute. The Castletown response was swift as they levelled from play but a Michael Lanigan free nudged The Harps again but four points on the trot gave Castletown a three point lead by the 20th minute. The Harps however were about to hit their best form of the evening as three points in a row from Lanigan (0-02f) and Shane Donoghue brought them back level. The half ended with the best move of the game as a pin point pass from Kieran Freeman was fielded by Brian Dunne who fed the onrushing Pat Walsh who blasted to the net to give The Harps a 2 point half time lead, 1-05 to 0-06.

Harps-V-Castletown-ACHL1-2015bWith a two point cushion and a wind advantage to come, Harps supporters felt a win was on the cards. Castletown had other ideas however, as they upped the ante and drew level with two converted free’s into the wind. Another surging run from Pat Walsh was rewarded with a point from play but indiscipline was costing The Harps dearly as Castletown converted another free before hitting two points form play. Michael Lanigan and Eoin Clancy pointed from play to keep The Harps in the hunt but Castletown were refusing to yield as they hit another point from play. Two further efforts from play by Donoghue and Clancy were cancelled out by silly free’s given away which were converted to leave the sides dead-locked with 5 minutes to go. The sides traded free’s and the crowd was in for a close finish but unfortunately it was Castletown who closed the scoring with a fine point from the right wing to leave a scoreline of The Harps 1-11 Castletown 0-15.

A disappointing result for The Harps but lessons can be learned. The discipline will have to improve for the championship but they played some good hurling on the night. The Harps final game of the league is played on the 1st July in Durrow at 7.45 pm against Rathdowney-Errill.

The Harps:

1.Kevin Galvin, 2.Shane Phelan, 3.Packie Flynn, 4.Aaron Dunne, 5.John Prior, 6.Gavin Dunne, 7.Tommy Moore, 8.Kieran Freeman, 9.Barry Dunne, 10.Shane Donoghue, 11.Brian Dunne, 12.Pat Walsh, 13.Eoin Clancy, 14.Michael Lanigan, 15.Conor Brophy.

Subs: David Doheny for Tommy Moore (49 mins); Ronan Delahunty for Conor Brophy (49 mins).