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.

Apr 062015

HarpsVBallinakill040415bThe Harps senior hurlers lost out to neighbours Ballinakill in the opening round of the league on Saturday, April 4th 2015. Credit to Ballinakill who had the pitch in very good condition and with fine weather both sides played out an entertaining match. Playing with a slight breeze behind them The Harps got off to a good start going five points up by the 10th minute with three pointed free’s from Shane Donoghue and a point apiece from play by Brian Dunne and Eoin Clancy. It looked at this stage like The Harps would romp to an easy win but Ballinakill were not going to go down without a fight however and stormed back into the match hitting 1-7 without reply to open up a 5 point lead nearing half time. A pointed free from Donoghue stopped the rot, but a four point deficit and facing the breeze in the second half left The Harps with a mountain to climb.

The Harps management changed things up at half time with Niall Brophy replacing Conor Brophy and Shane Fiztpatrick moving from corner forward to midfield. Again The Harps opened the half strongly hitting the first four points through Donoghue (0-2), Shane Fitzpatrick and John Brophy. Unfortunately we did not take full advantage in this period of dominance as two goal chances were missed before Ballinakill opened their second half account with a point form play. Both sides upped the ante now as scores were traded, strong tackles were put in and a local rivalry threatened to boil over. Referee Pat Moran issued two yellow cards and this seemed to cool matters somewhat and thankfully both sides focused on hurling. Another delightful point from John Brophy and a long range effort from Shane Fitzpatrick kept The Harps within touching distance but with Eamon Jackman reliable as ever on free-taking duty The Harps were struggling to level the game. With five minutes to play and a point separating the sides The Harps threw everything at Ballinakill but it was not to be on the day as Ballinakill wrapped up the league points with a further two pointed frees.

Not the start The Harps were hoping for, but there were certainly some very encouraging aspects to take from the game, most notably the performance of minor hurler Shane Fitzpatrick on his senior league debut. With Pakie Flynn, Ross Young and Richie Saunders all absent on the day there should be real competition for places over the coming weeks. Best on the day for The Harps were Shave Fitzpatrick, Aaron Dunne, Gavin Dunne and Shane Donoghue.

The Harps: 1 – Kevin Galvin; 2 – Shane Phelan; 3 – Gavin Dunne; 4 – Aaron Dunne; 5 – Barry Dunne;
6 – Conor Dunne; 7 – John Prior; 8 – Shane Donoghue; 9 – Conor Brophy; 10 – Ronan Delahunty; 11 – Brian Dunne; 12 – Pat Walsh; 13 – Shane Fitzpatrick; 14 – John Brophy; 15 – Eoin Clancy

Subs: Niall Brophy for Conor Brophy; David Doheny for John Prior.

The Harps Senior hurlers will welcome Clough-Ballacolla to Durrow GAA Grounds on April 15th at 7pm in the next round of the league. Other results elsewhere leaves the table looking like this after the first round of games took place:


Mar 192015

Harps-V-Portlaoise-14032015The Harps Senior hurlers got their competitive year underway last Saturday, losing out to a determined Portlaoise at Rathleague GAA grounds. This was to be a game of two halves with a strong wind blowing down the field. Portlaoise opened the scoring with a good point from play but wind assisted The Harps shot the next four points, one each from play by Brian Dunne and Ronan Delahunty and two free’s by Shane Donoghue. It would take Portlaoise 10 minutes to find the target again and when they pointed from play in the 13th minute The Harps responded strongly with three points on the trot courtesy of Shane Donoghue (0-02) and Brian Dunne. The Harps were hitting some bad wides at this stage of the game and a 3 point lead at half time (0-08 to 0-05) was going to have us under serious pressure in the second half.

Playing against the wind for the second half The Harps put in a strong opening 10 minutes trading a point apiece with Portlaoise as Shane Donoghue slotted another free. The legs started to tire at this stage however and The Harps would not register another score in the game. Portlaoise’s Joe Phelan blasted a 21 yard free to the back of The Harps net to set the home side on the way to a comfortable victory. On a heavy sod the lighter Harps players defended bravely but Portlaoise scored some impressive points from long range, gaining some degree of revenge for last years championship loss to The Harps.

It is early days yet for our hurlers but Saturday’s match showed there is plenty of work to do before the league commences in April. Best on the day for The Harps were Richie Saunders, Ronan Delahunty and Shane Donoghue.

The Harps: 1.Kevin Galvin; 2.Shane Phelan; 3.Barry Dunne; 4.Aaron Dunne; 5.Gavin Dunne; 6.Richie Saunders; 7.John Prior; 8.Ronan Delahunty; 9.Conor Brophy; 10.Shane Donoghue; 11.Brian Dunne; 12.Shane Fitzpatrick; 13.Brian Clancy; 14.Pat Walsh; 15.Eoin Clancy.

Subs: Greg Aylward for Brian Clancy; Ross Young for Shane Fitzpatrick; John Dunne for John Prior.


Jan 242015

HarpsJHBvClarinbridge24012015aA little bit of Club history was written today as the first Harps side to compete in Leinster Championship Hurling took to the all-weather pitch at Heywood Community School in Ballinakill. A fine, but cool afternoon greeted both sides onto the sublime field to mark the start of what was the second Leinster Semi-Final Junior B Hurling game – O’Loughlin Gaels, Kilkenny had beaten Kilmore of Wexord in the 1pm encounter. A good vocal support from both sides was present encouraging their respective teams on in what was a very sporting game of hurling.

The Harps Junior B hurlers narrowly lost out to Clarinbridge of Galway as two goals in the space of two minutes in the first half proved costly as The Harps ran out of time in this exciting semi-final. Clarinbridge got off to a strong start stringing four points together in the first four minutes before Colm Dunphy opened The Harps account with a pointed free in the 6th minute. The Galway side responded strongly shooting 2-02 from play with the lively Colm Dunphy and Shane Fitzpatrick sending over a point each to keep The Harps in the game. The Harps management changed things up introducing Aaron Dunne and Tommy Dillon for William Dillon and Brian Farrell respectively. Switching Shane Fitzpatrick back as a spare defender also worked well as The Harps for to grips with the Clarinbridge forwards. A well worked point from play by Albert Townsend closed out the half which left Clarinbridge with a 2-06 to 0-04 lead.

HarpsJHBvClarinbridge24012015bA lively start to the second half for The Harps was essential if they were to stay in touch and 0-2(0-1f) from Colm Dunphy and a long range free sent over the bar by Ciaran Costigan cut the lead to 4 points. Clarinbridge pointed from play but at this stage The Harps were now the dominant team and an excellent point from play by the hard working Darren Maher was followed by a pointed Shane Fitzpatrick free to move The Harps closer. The scores were flying over at this stage as Clainbridge again pointed from play only for Shane Fitzpatrick to send over another two frees.

The game was really in the melting pot at this stage and the next score would be crucial. To their credit Clarinbridge strung together some great attacking play to fire over from play to give them a four point lead. The Harps were going to need a goal to win this but it was not to be as wave after wave of attacks were repelled by the rock solid Clarinbridge full back line. The impressive David Doheny launched over a super point from wing back but unfortunately this was to be the last score of the game for The Harps. A pointed free in the 31st minute for Clarinbridge gave them a very hard fought four point win.

Great credit must go to both sides for serving up such an entertaining game at this time of the year and it bodes well for The Harps Junior team for the coming year. Best on the day for The Harps were Justin Brophy, Cathal Phelan, Shane Fitzpatrick, Darren Maher, Colm Dunphy.

The Harps: 1 – Justin Brophy; 2 – Niall Donoghue; 3 – William Dillon; 4 – Cathal Phelan; 5 – David Doheny; 6 – Ciaran Costigan; 7 – James Larkin; 8 – Rory Moore; 9 – Darren Maher; 10 – Freddie Townsend; 11 – Brian Farrell; 12 – Shane Fitzpatrick; 13 – Colm Dunphy; 14 – Albert Townsend; 15 – Eoin O Sullivan.

Subs used: Aaron Dunne for William Dillon (10 mins); Tommy Dillon for Brian Farrell (27 mins); Donnacha Quinn for Freddie Townsend (40mins); Liam Dunphy for Albert Townsend (59mins).

Management Team: Padraig Henderson, David O’Shaughnessy and Justin Brophy.

Management’s Thoughts: Speaking to theharpsgaa.com after the game the management team felt that The Harps could have won this game owing for a slow start that cost the side dearly. They paid credit to the referee – John Healy of Clare County who was fantastic on the day adding to the sporting occasion. Clarinbridge were also highly praised for being very sporting opponents and thanked them for accepting the invitation back to The Castle Arms Hotel for refreshments following the game despite their 2.5hr long trek ahead of them. The management team wished Clarinbridge well in the final next Saturday.

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.

Oct 032014

Harps-v-Borris-Kilcotton-IHC-SF-2014The Harps Intermediates traveled to O’Moore Park, Portlaoise on Thursday night, October 2nd 2014 to try and book their place in the Intermediate Championship County Final. Borris-Kilcotton who had beaten Clonad in the quarter final progressed to meet The Harps who comfortably overcame Portlaoise at the same stage. The game was played under lights and a stern southwest breeze influenced the game greatly.

The Harps used the wind advantage well in the first half opening up a 0-04 to 0-02 lead after fourteen minutes and with points from Greg Aylward (2 frees), Albert Townsend and Ciaran Costigan. In the fifteenth minute a long ball into the forward line was brought down well by Albert Townsend who turned and blasted to the net to open up a five point lead for the Harps men.

Greg Aylward was on fine form from placed balls and added two further points in the following period of play. Borris-Kilcotton replied with a free of their own in the 20th minute. In the 21st minute Greg Aylward grabbed another point for the Harps to restore the seven point lead. A seven minute lull in scores passed before some clever attacking by the Harps found Shane Brophy on the edge of the square who pulled first time to raise a green flag and put the Harps ten points up (2-07 to 0-03).

Credit though to Borris-Kilcotton, they didn’t lie down and came storming back in the remaining minutes of the first half. A failed clearance by the Harps defence allowed Borris-Kilcotton to capitalise and within a minute had Shane Brophy’s goal equaled to reduce the margin to seven points once more. The goal shocked the Harps who failed to win the resulting puckout and conceded a point from play to leave the sides six points apart at the break – The Harps 2-07 V 1-04 Borris-Kilcotton.

The opening five minutes of the second half continued where the final minutes of the first half left off with Borris-Kilcotton stormed out and fired over two quick points from play – the wind advantage now with the west Laois men. Indeed, only for the quick hands of Cathal Phelan in defence an early goal could have been conceeded as his quick thinking pulled a ball that had hit the crossbar and looked certain to bobble over the line. The resulting clearance set up a goal chance for the Harps but a foul by the BK defence gave Greg Aylward the chance to convert a free to bring the Harps back to five in front.

The next ten minutes saw Borris-Kilcotton grind down the Harps lead in an exchange of four points that saw three go to the BK men and just one for the Harps by Greg Aylward who converted a free in the 40th minute. With a goal separating the sides after 49 minutes The Harps made a substitution with Tom Dillon replacing Shane Brophy. But the momentum was with BK and moments later some clever attacking play yielded a goal that was blasted past Peter Walsh who could do nothing to prevent it. Draw match after 50 minutes of play: 2-09 each.

Borris-Kilcotton clearly buoyed on by that goal went into the lead and fired over two unanswered points from play. However, The Harps were determined to get back into the game and were given a life-line when Greg Aylward pointed a free to leave the minimum between the sides going into the last five minutes of the game. Borris-Kilcotton though were equally as determined not to let their hard-earned lead slip and fired over a point from play to restore a two point lead with just minutes remaining on the clock.

The Harps began to hunt for a goal in the final two minutes, but the Borris-Kilcotton defence was resolute and gave nothing away despite wave after wave of Harps attacks. The final passage of play in the game saw Borris-Kilcotton clear a long ball down to midfield and from there strike for a point, but the wind pulled the ball down and despite Peter Walsh’s quick reflex to catch the ball it slipped out of his grasp and into the net to put the result beyond doubt. It was heartbreak for Peter Walsh and his team mates who had given it their all on the night only to see Lady Luck turn turk in the final moments. Full Time: The Harps 2-10 v 3-12 Borris-Kilcotton. The final will see Park-Rathineska play Borris-Kilcotton in two weeks time.

The Harps: 1 – Peter Walsh, 2 – Cathal Phelan, 3 – Aaron Dunne, 4 – JP Deegan, 5 – Shane Fitzpatrick, 6 – John Dunne, 7 – Ciaran Costigan, 8 – Brian Clancy, 9 – Rory Moore, 10 – Conor Deegan, 11 – Greg Aylward, 12 – Eoin O Sullivan, 13 – Shane Brophy (replaced by Tom Dillon after 49mins), 14 – Albert Townsend, 15 – Colm Dunphy.

Scorers: Greg Aylward 0-08 (0-08f), Albert Townsend 1-01, Shane Brophy 1-00, Ciaran Costigan 0-01.