A 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.