Apr 292015

Harps-Football-ChatThe Harps footballers winning streak in the league came to an end last Tuesday when they lost out to a strong Graiguecullen side. Played in Graiguecullen in blustery conditions, The Harps would play against the elements in the opening half and right from the throw in it was clear this would be a step up in class from previous opposition. A couple of early scores for Graiguecullen from tight angles let The Harps know they were in for a tough game as Graiguecullen were creating space and finding each other well. A well struck free from John Finnegan opened The Harps account and with Ger Alley brought back to close down space in defence The Harps began to get to grips with their opponents, limiting Graiguecullen to just four more points in the half. On the brink of half time John Finnegan kicked a fine point from distance to reduce the deficit to four points, 0-06 to 0-02 in favour of Graiguecullen.

An early score for Graiguecullen let The Harps know that the wind would not win this game on it’s own, but our lads were about to enjoy their best period of the game. Strong running from Pat Walsh and Darren Maher was rewarded with a pointed free from the boot of John Finnegan and the only goal of the game came soon after when big Paul Shortall created trouble in the square and when the ball broke to Michael Dooley he made no mistake from close range. With the gap reduced to a single point, Graiguecullen responded well hitting two points from play in quick succession.

With the wind playing havoc The Harps were struggling to convert their chances whereas Graiguecullen were clinical, often from very tight angles. A great individual score from Pat Walsh together with a Finnegan free converted reduced the gap to two points with 5 minutes to go. The Harps sensed the win was there for them but some sloppy play resulted in turnovers in the middle third and Graiguecullen made us pay hitting 0-02 from play to extend their lead. It could have been worse too as a fine save from Kevin Donoghue kept us in the game. The Harps had a late chance for a goal but Pat Walsh was cynically taken down and from the resulting free Finnegan sent a rocket of a shot marginally wide to leave the final score at 0-12 to 1-06 in favour of Graiguecullen.

With some key players missing on the evening The Harps now know they are a match for every team in this division. We have St.Fintans at home in our next game (Wednesday, 6th May at 7:15pm in Durrow) and as ever all support is appreciated.

The Harps: 1.Kevin Donoghue; 2.Steven Thomas; 3.James Shortall; 4.John Dunne; 5.Shane Donoghue; 6.Seamus Clancy; 7.Shane McCann; 8.John Finnegan; 9.Shane Donoghue; 10.Niall Brophy; 11.Ger Alley; 12.Darren Maher; 13.Mark White; 14.Paul Shortall; 15.Michael Dooley.

Subs used: Pat Walsh for Shane McCann (black card, 15 mins); Diarmuid Irwin for Ger Alley (50 mins); David Doheny for Mark White (50 mins).

Apr 242015

ACHL2vPR-2015bAn under strength Harps intermediate team fought hard but couldn’t get the better of a determined Park-Rathineska side in the second round of the league last Thursday. Played in Durrow on a very warm evening, it was Park-Rathineska that opened the scoring with a point from play in the opening minute. A Greg Aylward free evened matters shortly after but with both defences on top scores were going to be hard to come by for the rest of the game. A soft free gavePark-Rathineska their second score but the only goal of the game would soon after go to The Harps when Greg Aylward’s penalty shot was deflected into the inner side-netting to give The Harps the lead. The home side were getting on top at this point in the game but some bad wides stopped them from extending that lead. A head injury to the Park-Rathineska goal keeper in the 15th minute halted our momentum and for the remainder of the half Park-Rathineska went up a gear to hit 4 points from play. The half time whistle saw Park-Rathineska ahead by two points, 0-06 to The Harps 1-01.

Again Park-Rathineska opened the second half scoring with a point from play quickly after the throw in. The Harps needed to respond and two points in as many minutes from Greg Aylward (0-01f) and a further point from play by Eoin O Sullivan had the sides level by the 42nd minute. This was as close as The Harps would get however, as a lack of discipline resulted in some needless frees conceded as Park-Rathineska went three points ahead. A fine score from Johnny Doyle, who was showing very well in the second half, was answered with two more Park-Rathineska points. The Harps needed a goal at this stage but some stout defending denied them time and again.

Greg Aylward pointed in the 31st minute to reduce the gap to three but the final whistle sounded to give Park-Rathineska a deserved win. A good effort from this Harps team, and perhaps a less lenient referee would have suited our younger and physically smaller team but Michael Ward did his best to let the game flow. Best on the day for The Harps were Peter Walsh, Shane Brophy, Johnny Doyle and Greg Aylward.

The Harps will play Camross in Camross on April 30th at 7.15pm.

The Harps: 1.Peter Walsh; 2.Sean Cahill; 3.Aaron Dunne; 4.Niall Donoghue; 5.David Doheny; 6.John Dunne; 7.Shane Brophy; 8.Rory Moore; 9.Conor Deegan; 10.Niall Brophy; 11.Brian Farrell; 12.Darren Maher; 13.Johnny Doyle; 14.Greg Aylward; 15.Eoin O Sullivan.

Subs Used: Michael Lanigan for Niall Brophy (45 mins); Rory Doyle for Eoin O Sullivan (45 mins); Liam Dunphy for Conor Deegan (55 mins).

Reporting by: Harps PRO.

Apr 232015

File Photo

The Harps footballers claimed their third win of the campaign as a strong first half showing paved the way for a comfortable win over Mountmellick. Played in Durrow on a warm evening, The Harps got off to a bright start when midfielder Pat Walsh pointed from play following a strong run through the Mountmellick defence. With The Harps dominating all over the field and stringing some lovely passes together they were rewarded when the lively James Campion hit 1-01 from play followed by a fine point from Shane Donoghue all in the space of two minutes. Tight marking in our own half was forcing Mountmellick to shoot from distance and under pressure which resulted in some bad wides. At the other end, The Harps tried to kill off the game but a combination of poor wides and going for goals when points were there for the taking meant we had to wait until the 22nd minute for our next score towering midfielder Pat Walsh blasted to the net. Mountmellick would register their only score of the first half, a pointed free, in the 25th minute. Young corner forward Shane Keown replied with a good point from a tight angle before James Campion all but ended the game as a contest when he coolly finished to the net after rounding the Mountmellick keeper to leave the half time score as The Harps 3-04, Mountmellick 0-01.

To their credit, the opposition never threw in the towel and battled gamely for the second 30 minutes. Indeed scores were traded point for point for the first 20 minutes of the second half as Mountmellick refused to yield. Poor wides and decision making meant The Harps would only score 0-04 in the second half with Campion (0-02,1f) and the Brophy brothers Niall and Shane also hitting good points. It was The Harps defence who produced the goods in this half as Mountmellick were denied the goals they so badly needed to get back into the game. Mountmellick were rewarded with two points on the trot late in the second half before their efforts for a goal finally bore fruit. On the stroke of full time corner back Steven Thomas pulled off a brilliant goal line clearance, but the ball broke to a Mountmellick player who made no mistake from close range. This was to be the last score of a sporting encounter, leaving a score line of The Harps 3-08, Mountmellick 1-06.

This was another good outing from our footballers which leaves them top of the table with three wins from three and a very healthy score difference. A huge challenge awaits The Harps in their next game on Tuesday 28th April at 7pm however as they face second place Graiguecullen who are putting up some huge scores. All support would be greatly appreciated!

The Harps: GK: Kevin Donoghue; RFB: Stephen Thomas; FB: James Shortall; LFB: John Dunne; RHB: Shane Brophy; CB: Seamus Clancy; LHB: Diarmuid Irwin; MF: Niall Brophy; MF: Pat Walsh; RHF: Mark White; CF: Ger Alley; LHF: Shane Donoghue; RFF: James Campion; FF: Paul Shortall; LFF: Shane Keown.

Subs: Michael Dooley for Shane Keown at half time.

Scores: James Campion 2-03 (0-01f); Pat Walshe 1-01; Shane Donaghue, Niall Brophy and Shane Brophy 0-01 each.

Reporting by: Harps PRO.

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 182015

Palmer-Cup-2015-Harps-v-BorrisKilcottonA fine sunny evening with a chilling east breeze greeted the two teams in Durrow on Saturday, April 18th. With a dry year so far the pitch in Durrow is firming up well and lent itself to a good game of hurling between The Harps and Borris-Kilcotton. In contrast to their previous few games this year so far, The Harps started poorly with Borris-Kilcotton firing over two points from play in as many minutes. Borris-Kilcotton stretched the lead to five points with a well taken goal moments later. Borris-Kilcotton increased their lead to six from a free in the fourth minute to compound the disastrous start for The Harps.

In the fifth minute The Harps finally opened their scoring account with a free fired over by Shane Donaghue. Brian Dunne followed up with a point from play to reduce the deficit, but Borris-Kilcotton were in no mood for allowing the Harps into the game and stretched their lead to six points once more with a free and a ’65. Peter Walsh was on hand to deny Borris-Kilcotton a sure goal in the tenth minute, his diving stretch was nothing short of brilliant. Discipline in the half back line was costing the Harps and another free was easily converted by the Borris-Kilcotton men to give them a seven point lead in the twelfth minute.

Eoin Clancy grabbed the Harps third point on the thirteenth minute as the Harps began to settle more into the game. Borris-Kilcotton restored their seven point lead though in the fourteenth minute with a well taken point from play. The Harps then hit a purple patch with Eoin Clancy and Brian Dunne scoring points from play. A rather unusual ten minute spell ensued with the battle of the freetakers to the fore as eight frees were converted – five of which were from The Harps’ Shane Donaghue who was deadly accurate all evening. Borris-Kilcotton picked up the other three converted frees in the spell. Conor Brophy continued the Harps’ revival with a point from play on the stroke of Half Time: The Harps 0-10 V 1-10 Borris-Kilcotton.

The second half saw the Harps continue their comeback with another Shane Donaghue free and a point from play by Barry Dunne before Borris-Kilcotton replied with a point from play of their own. The Harps then hit three unanswered points to take the lead for the first time in the match with Eoin Clancy, Brian Dunne and a free from Shane Donaghue all accurate. The Harps were driving at Borris-Kilcotton and asking alot of questions. At the midway point of the second half, some great passing by the Harps found Ronan Delahunty on the edge of the square where his ground stroke blasted it’s way to the roof of the net. The Harps 1-15 V 1-11 Borris-Kilcotton.

In fairness to Borris-Kilcotton they didn’t lie down and came storming back up the field and very nearly had a second goal but for the quick thinking Peter Walsh who knocked it over to conceed the minor score. Borris-Kilcotton came again looking for a goal, but the Harps full back line stood firm and all Borris-Kilcotton could get was a ’65 which they duly converted. The Harps’ manager Tommy Bawle looked to his bench to freshen things up introducing Brian Clancy for Conor Brophy and David Doheny in for Ross Young.

The next ten minutes were a very much tit-for-tat affair with three points each added by the two teams; two Shane Donaghue frees and an Eoin Clancy point for The Harps intersected by three Borris-Kilcotton points from play. In the final minutes of the game, a Borris-Kilcotton defender was given a red card and Shane Donaghue converted the resulting free to push the Harps three points ahead with the clock running down. Borris-Kilcotton tried hard to get an equalising goal to level the game, but the Harps defence stood firm and held on for the win. Full time: The Harps 1-19 V 1-16 Borris-Kilcotton.

The Harps – GK: Peter Walsh; RFB: Gavin Dunne; FB: Shane Phelan; LFB: Aaron Dunne; RHB: Ross Young; CB: Richie Saunders; LHB: John Prior; MF: Conor Brophy; MF: Barry Dunne; RHF: Shane Donoghue; CF: Brian Dunne; LHF: Pat Walsh; RFF: Eoin Clancy; FF: Ronan Delahunty; LFF: Shane Fitzpatrick.

Subs Used – 44mins: Brian Clancy for Conor Brophy; 47mins: David Doheny for Ross Young.

Scorers: Shane Donaghue 0-11 (0-11f); Eoin Clancy 0-04; Ronan Delahunty 1-00; Brian Dunne 0-02; Barry Dunne and Conor Brophy 0-01 each.

The Harps Senior Hurlers have a break for a few weeks before their next match against the same opposition in the league in O’Keefe Park, Borris-in-Ossory on May 17th.

Apr 162015

The Harps Intermediate hurlers got off to a great start in the league last Thursday with a 2-12 to 0-10 win over Mountmellick. Played in Mountmellick, with a strong wind blowing across the pitch, The Harps opened brightly with Greg Aylward, Niall Brophy and Shane Fitzpatrick pointing from play. With The Harps defence in a mean mood, Mountmellick relied on pointed free’s to keep them in contention. Midway through the first half the Mountmellick full back misread a long ball in and Tommy Dillon made no mistake, slipping in behind before unleashing an unstoppable shot to the roof of the net. This goal spurred The Harps on and with Conor Deegan and Brian Clancy dominating midfield our lads made it to half time with a deserved 5 point lead, 1-07 to 0-05.

With the wind starting to favour Mountmellick in the second half, it was going to take plenty of effort to get the win and our lads didn’t disappoint. With the defence totally on top, with Aaron Dunne, Niall Donoghue and Sean Cahill particularly impressive, The Harps began to extend their lead. Greg Aylward hit the free’s superbly, and bustling corner forward Tommy Dillon hit his second goal after putting the Mountmellick goal keeper under fierce pressure. Mountmellick went looking for goals to get themselves back into the game, but ball after ball was cleared back up the field.

A very encouraging display all in all, and with some strong hurlers missing on the day competition for places should spur this team on.

The Harps:
1.Peter Walsh; 2.Niall Donoghue; 3.Aaron Dunne; 4.Sean Cahill; 5.David Doheny; 6.John Dunne; 7.Shane Brophy; 8.Brian Clancy; 9.Conor Deegan; 10.Shane Fitzpatrick; 11.Brian Farrell; 12.Niall Brophy; 13.Eoin Sullivan; 14.Greg Aylward; 15.Tommy Dillon.

Subs: Rory Moore for Brian Farrell (50 mins); Niall Mullins for Eoin Sullivan. (51 mins).

Apr 152015

ACHL1-Harps-v-CBallacolla-2015-aOn Wednesday evening, April 15th in Durrow The Harps senior hurlers slumped to their second league defeat going down to neighbours Clough-Ballacolla on a 2-19 to 014 scoreline. Shane Fitzpatrick continued his fine form hitting the opening point from play from a tight angle. There was a worrying amount of space in front of The Harps goal and the Clough-Ballacolla response was emphatic hitting 2-02 from play before the 9th minute. Another sublime point from Fitzpatrick was answered with two Clough-Ballacolla points on the trot before Shane Donoghue opened his account with a pointed free. The Harps finally managed to hit two consecutive scores via Barry Dunne and Donoghue to edge back into the game, but it took a fine save from Peter Walsh to deny Clough-Ballacolla their third goal. Points were traded evenly for the remainder of the half with Shane Fitzpatrick bringing his tally to 0-04 while Brian Dunne pointed after an excellent catch to leave the half time score at Clough-Ballacolla 2-10 The Harps 0-10.

ACHL1-Harps-v-CBallacolla-2015-bThe Harps were going to need a good start to get back into this game but unfortunately Clough-Ballacolla were in a determined mood and hit the opening 5 points of the half, 0-03 from free’s, as our indiscipline was punished. With the gap pushed out to 11 points, it was worrying times for Harps supporters as a bad beating looked on the cards, but the players showed some resolve hitting 4 points in as many minutes with Shane Donoghue sending over two free’s and Eoin Clancy and Pat Walsh chipping in with a point each. This would be as close as The Harps would get, and both sides were reduced to 14 men when the referee harshly sent Conor Brophy and Stephen Bergin to the line. Clough-Ballacolla hit the last three scores, a pointed free and two from play, to close out a comfortable win for them.

A disappointing result for our hurlers, but the performances of some of the younger players certainly gives us something to build on. It’s Borris-Kilcotton in the Palmer Cup next and hopefully a badly needed win.

The Harps:
1.Peter Walsh; 2.Shane Phelan; 3.Gavin Dunne; 4.Aaron Dunne; 5.John Prior; 6.Richie Saunders; 7.Ross Young; 8.Ronan Delahunty; 9.Barry Dunne; 10.Shane Donoghue; 11.Brian Dunne; 12.Pat Walshe; 13.Tadgh Sullivan; 14.Eoin Clancy; 15.Shane Fitzpatrick.

Subs: Conor Brophy for Ross Young (40 mins); Niall Brophy for Tadgh Sullivan (50 mins)

Apr 132015
The Harps V Castletown-Slieve Bloom in last years Championship

The Harps V Castletown-Slieve Bloom in last years Championship

The Harps footballers recorded their second win of their 2015 league campaign, holding off a stern challenge from Castletown-Slieve Bloom. The game was played with a strong wind blowing down the Slieve Bloom pitch and The Harps opted to start with the wind at our backs. Our lads got off to a quick fire start hitting early scores from Jim Campion and Shane Donoghue while Castletown-Slieve Bloom who struggled against the wind were forced to carry the ball forward where it was turned over time and again. Castletown-Slieve Bloom did manage three first half points, but further pointed free’s from Campion and an excellent long range scores from Ger Alley and Shane Donoghue kept The Harps in front. With half time approaching The Harps produced the move of the game when Ger Alley delivered a defence splitting pass to Darren Maher who beat his man before finishing to the net to leave the half time score at The Harps 1-08 to Castletown-Slieve Bloom 0-03.

Facing into the strong wind in the second half it was The Harps turn to be put under pressure and a couple of early Castletown-Slieve Bloom scores ate away at the lead. Full back James Shortall was outstanding in this half while Seamus Clancy commanded the centre in front of him. Castletown-Slieve Bloom began to panic at this stage and go for goals but some vital saves from Kevin Donoghue in goal denied them until Castletown-Slieve Bloom were awarded a penalty with 10 minutes to go. The first effort was saved but the referee judged Steven Thomas (sporting a trendy new beard) to be too close when the penalty was taken and Castletown-Slieve Bloom made no mistake on the retake to leave just two points between the sides. The Harps needed to respond and the hard working Niall Brophy took responsibility kicking a great point after carrying the ball from 40 yards out. With time almost up Jim Campion converted a close in free to give The Harps the insurance point and a deserved 4 point win for The Harps. Full time score: The Harps 1-10 V 1-06 Castletown-Slieve Bloom.

The Harps now top the division 4 table after the game with a 25pts scoring difference. Graiguecullen are a close second with a 21pts scoring difference.

Team: 1.Kevin Donoghue; 2.Steven Thomas; 3.James Shortall; 4.John Dunne; 5.Shane Brophy; 6.Seamus Clancy; 7.James Larkin; 8.Niall Brophy; 9.Ger Alley; 10.Shane Donoghue; 11.Paul Shortall; 12.David Doheny; 13.James Campion; 14.Mark White; 15.Darren Maher.

Subs: Michael Dooley for Mark White (50 mins).

The Harps will face Mountmellick at home in their next game on April 21st at 7pm.

Reporting by: John Dunne.

Apr 062015

HarpsVBallyfin06042015The Harps Junior Footballers welcomed Ballyfin to Durrow GAA grounds for their first round ACFL Division 4 tie on Easter Monday. A beautiful sun-drenched day with hardly a breeze made for perfect match-day conditions in front of the small crowd in attendance.

The Harps were quickest out of the traps with Mark White popping over a point from play in the opening seconds. This was quickly followed up by a free from John Finnegan when he was fouled in midfield contesting the kickout from White’s opener. Ballyfin responded well and kicked some clever football over the coming minutes, but were never able to penetrate the Harps defence to setup a score. Mark White was to the fore again on ten minutes with another sweet point.

At the halfway point in the first half, The Harps were getting on top and Finnegan added another point, this time from play. Niall Brophy wasn’t intent on letting White and Finnegan take all the accolades and chipped in with a well kicked point after 19 minutes. Moments later, Ballyfin pulled off a magnificent save to deny Darren Maher a sure goal.

The final third of the opening half saw Mark White in a perfect position to receive a well worked pass from David Doheny to swing over his third point of the game in the 23rd minute to put the Harps 0-06 to 0-00 ahead. Ballyfin were desperately seeking an opening score and their break came in the 25th minute when a point from play was hard earned. David Doheny replied straight away when his effort floated over the Ballacolla end crossbar. Ballyfin though, had the last say in the opening half when they converted a free on the stroke of half time to leave the score at: The Harps 0-07 V 0-02 Ballyfin.

The second half saw Ballyfin start strongly, however a resilient Harps defence was giving nothing up easily and Ballyfin were left empty-handed with each attempt. The Harps soon settled and in the 33rd minute David Doheny had the Ballyfin net rocking with his pile-driver. Ballyfin tried without vain to score and even after a Shane McCann foul that earned a yellow card, the resultant free floated harmlessly wide. Niall Brophy turned on the style in the 40th and 41st minute with a brilliant point followed by an even better goal to put the game beyond doubt. The Harps now lead 2-08 to 0-02.

The resulting kickout saw Mark White grab another point. Tired legs at this point of the game was taken advantage of by the youthful David Doheny as he cut through the Ballyfin defence to grab his second white flag of the day. The Harps could do little wrong and the resulting kickout saw Mark White pass to Ger Alley who stuck the ball in the roof of the Ballyfin net. Points from David Doheny (2), Mark White and Paul Shortall and a free kick converted by Pat Walshe saw The Harps finish out the game with a consolation point for Ballyfin at the full-time whistle. The Harps 3-15 v 0-03 Ballyfin.

The Harps: position 1 – Kevin Donoghue; position 2 – Stephen Thomas; position 3 – James Shortall; position 4 – John Dunne; position 5 – Diarmuid Irwin; position 6 – Shane McCann; position 7 – Shane Brophy; position 8 – Pat Walsh; position 9 – John Finnegan; position 10 – Mark White; position 11 – Paul Shortall; position 12 – Darren Maher; position 13 – Niall Brophy; position 14 – Ger Alley; position 15 – David Doheny.

Scorers: David Doheny 1-04; Mark White 0-05; Niall Brophy 1-02; Ger Alley 1-00; John Finnegan 0-02 (0-01f); Paul Shortall 0-01; Pat Walshe 0-01f.

The Harps will play Castletown-Slieve Bloom in the second round to be played in Slieve Bloom GAA grounds on Saturday 11th April at 6.45pm.

The Division 4 Football table at present looks like this:


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.