Sep 232018

The Harps Senior hurlers are through to the county final after a hard fought win over over a strong Rosenallis outfit. Played in Mountrath in excellent hurling conditions and in front of a large and vocal crowd The Harps produced their best performance to date to seal their place in the final.

This game was a tight and tough affair right from the start with Richie Saunders opening the scoring with a good point from play. A minute later some excellent team play saw the ball fall to Eoin Clancy who broke two tackles before sending a rasping shot to the back of the net. Rosenallis responded with two points of their own but further scores from Ciaran Comerford and John Brophy pushed The Harps further in front.

The men in green were really up for this however, and a string of scores showed they were not going to fade away. An excellent side-line cut from Saunders split the posts before a fine effort from the left wing by Conor Brophy drew applause from the crowd. Mick Lanigan was nailing the free’s and struck another two to give our lads a commanding lead. The teams both pointed from play just before half time to give The Harps a hard-earned lead on a score-line of 1-9 to 0-6.

The first few minutes of the second half were going to be crucial and to their credit The Harps showed their hunger and registered the first four points with Saunders, Clancy and Lanigan firing over, but the pick of them was a monster effort from nearly 100 yards by the outstanding Podge Delaney. Rosenallis heads refused to drop and another string of scores kept them in the hunt.

Scores from play were becoming increasingly hard to get as the tackling from both sides was ferocious, but Clancy and John Brophy managed another point apiece under intense pressure. The sides traded scores now as Lanigan converted another free but then Rosenallis got the major they badly needed as the sliotar was scrambled to The Harps net. Another point for the men in green cut the deficit to six points and this game was far from over.

The next score was vital and who else but John Brophy nailed it with a smart finish to stop the rot. Rosenallis pointed from distance but that would be as close as they would get as another Saunders point and two more free’s from Lanigan ended the scoring to leave The Harps ahead on a scoreline of 1-20 to 1-11. This was a real team performance from our lads and while scoring 1-20 is an impressive feat, it was the work ethic which impressed their large support.

This was a highly motivated and well trained Rosenallis outfit, but The Harps players gave an exhibition of hooking, blocking and turning over possession. All this and more will be needed in the final however as a strong Portlaoise side will be very hard to beat.

The Harps: 1.Peter Walsh. 2.David Doheny. 3.Daniel Comerford. 4.Shane Phelan. 5.Shane Fitzpatrick. 6.Podge Delaney. 7.Conor Dunne. 8.Ronan Delahunty. 9.Conor Brophy. 10.Conor Deegan. 11.Mick Lanigan. 12.Richie Saunders. 13.John Brophy. 14.Eoin Clancy. 15.Ciaran Comerford. Subs: Eoin O Sullivan for Shane Phelan, Padraig Dunne for Conor Brophy, Ross Young for Conor Deegan.


Aug 182018

The Harps travelled to Borris-in-Ossory on Saturday evening to face a Colt Gaels side desperately needing a win to qualify for the latter stages of the Championship. The Harps were seeking a win to guarantee a Semi-Final place and to keep their momentum going following two wins from two games in the qualifying group – a loss would only guarantee a quarter final berth.

Following a warm day, the conditions were good for hurling as the cloud from storm Ernesto spilled in just in time to keep the sun out of the eyes. A breeze picked up throughout the game, providing assistance to The Harps side in the first half, but made point taking quite tricky in the second half. A good crowd attended the game making for a lively atmosphere.

Colt Gaels started brightly, lobbing over a free into the light breeze from the stick of Chris Murray. The Harps though settled quickly and reeled off several points from the sticks of Ciaran Comerford, Ronan Delahunty and John Brophy to put The Harps 0-03 to 0-01 ahead in as many minutes. The next five minutes saw Michael “Sticks” Lanigan reel over three points from frees as Colt had no answer to the dominance of The Harps. Eoin Clancy and Conor Deegan tagged on two more scores from play and with just ten minutes gone, things were looking ominous for Colt.

In the thirteenth minute Colt managed another free from Murray who was deadly accurate into the breeze. However, his free-taking opponent Michael Lanigan was equally as accurate and showed his class in firing over two long-range frees, one from his own 21yd line that was captured on video – see below:

Colt’s Chris Murray replied with two frees for Colt in what was a ten minute spell of the battle of the free-takers. John Brophy grabbed his second point of the game in the twenty first minute from play to push The Harps eight points clear on 0-12 to 0-04. The next five minutes saw the free-takers take over – Lanigan firing over yet another long-range effort while his counterpart Chris Murray popped over two points.

Points from Ronan Delahunty, Eoin Clancy and two frees from Lanigan saw The Harps finish the opening half on a very strong run and clocking up an impressive 0-17 to 0-06 lead.

The opening ten minutes of the second half was a completely different story though as the breeze that had assisted The Harps in the first half, was now a hindrance as it increased in strength. Colt Gaels capitalised on their new found friend and fired over five unanswered points – three frees. In the 43rd minute, Michael Lanigan opened the scoring for The Harps in this second half with another pointed free following a substitution which saw Pat Walshe being replaced with David Doheny. 

The next five minutes saw Colt Gaels edge closer with a point from play and a pointed free either side of another Lanigan free. At this stage, manager Fintan Deegan called Darren Maher ashore and Ross Young came on in the full forward position. Michael Lanigan won a free in the middle of the park and his effort hit the upright and fell into the path of John Brophy who snapped at a goal – however his effort was saved and Ross Young gathered the rebound on the corner of the square and blasted to the net from a tight angle to put The Harps ahead on 1-19 to 0-14.

At this point, the Colt Gaels’ resurgance was over and the game as a contest petered out. Lanigan added a further free and a big cheer went up for Ross Young who added a point following his earlier major to see The Harps run out comfortable winners on a 1-21 to 0-14 scoreline. The Harps management will be happy with the performance and to have achieved a semi-final spot which could possibly be against Portlaoise on the 22nd of September should they advance in their quarter final.

The Harps: 1 – Peter Walsh; 2 – Shane Phelan; 3 – Conor Dunne; 4 – Tommy Moore; 5 – Pat Walshe; 6 – Padraig Delaney; 7 – Daniel Comerford; 8 – Shane Fitzpatrick; 9 – Ronan Delahunty; 10 – Conor Deegan;  11 – Michael Lanigan; 12 – Ciaran Comerford; 13 – John Brophy; 14 – Eoin Clancy; 15 – Darren Maher.

Scorers: Michael Lanigan 0-11 (0-10f); Ross Young 1-01; Ronan Delahunty 0-02; John Brophy 0-02; Eoin Clancy 0-02; Ciaran Comerford 0-01; Conor Deegan 0-01; Padraig Delaney 0-01.

Substitutions: 06mins (2nd half) off: Pat Walshe on: David Doheny; 17mins (2nd half)  off: Darren Maher on: Ross Young.

Jul 212018

The Harps Senior Hurlers started their championship campaign with a comfortable ten point victory over Shanahoe/Ballypickas on Friday evening. Played in Rathdowney on a nice evening for hurling, The Harps started with the breeze at their backs but endured a nervous opening 5 minutes.

Indeed it was S/B who opened the scoring with a point before a long range effort from Shane Fitzpatrick settled The Harps. With the early jitters gone, The Harps hit 1-04 without reply as their purple patch threatened to end the game as a contest. Two long range frees by Mick Lanigan pushed our lads ahead before smart play by Ciaran Comerford set up John Brophy to goal from close range.

Ciaran then added a point from play before another free was slotted by Lanigan. Credit to S/B though who refused to wilt and hit 5 points themselves to get right back into the game with Lanigan and Brophy tagging further points for The Harps. A tough task was to become a mountain to climb for S/B however when their wing forward received a straight red card for an off the ball incident.

Another Comerford point and a goal from Richie Saunders after some sublime skill from John Brophy, gave the scoreboard a far better look at half time, reading The Harps 2-09 S/B 0-07.

Scores were traded freely as the second half started with Lanigan continuing to punish any indiscipline as The Harps began to dominate. Eoin Clancy and Richie Saunders sent over fine scores from play while in defence Podge Delaney was hoovering up every loose ball as the spare man. The industrious work of midfielders David Doheny and Ronan Delahunty was rewarded with a point apiece from play as the game neared the final whistle.

It was left to Eoin Clancy to finish off the scoring however and it is great to see Eoin back after an unlucky run of injuries. The final whistle sounded to leave the score standing at The Harps 2-19 S/B 0-15. This was a very encouraging display by The Harps who have worked extremely hard in training all year. The fitness and work-rate were exemplary and if they can become more disciplined in the tackle they will be a tough team to beat.

The Harps: 1.Ross Young. 2.Shane Phelan. 3.Conor Dunne. 4.Tommy Moore. 5.Shane Fitzpatrick. 6.Padraig Delaney. 7.Daniel Comerford. 8.David Doheny. 9.Ronan Delahunty. 10.Darren Maher. 11.Richie Saunders. 12.Mick Lanigan. 13.Conor Deegan. 14.John Brophy. 15.Ciaran Comerford.

May 032018

The Harps Senior hurlers welcomed Camross to Durrow on Thursday May 3rd for this fifth round of the Laois GAA Division 1 Hurling League. The Harps had an unbeaten run into this tie with three wins and a draw from their opening rounds whilst Camross also had three wins, but suffered an earlier round loss to Borris-Kilcotton to sit third behind The Harps on the table. It was a dull overcast evening with some mist at times, however this did not affect the game as both sides gave a very entertaining match:

Camross were first of the mark and ran up three unanswered frees in the opening ten minutes. The Harps though did settle and in the eleventh minute Michael Lanigan opened the home-side’s account with a converted free. The Harps began to settle and take control of the game at this stage as the intensity took off. Conor Deegan scored a fine pint from play out on the ’65 to nudge the Harps closer in the 18th minute and Lanigan levelled affairs in the twentieth minute with another free: 0-03 to 0-03 a piece.

The final ten minutes of this first half saw Camross re-assert themselves in the scoring stakes with a couple of scores in two minutes from play. The Harps battled hard throughout with Doheny and Phelan imposing in the defence and clearing ball up the field to launch attack after attack for The Harps. The homeside though were unable to capitalise and indeed were most unfortunate to have a goal chance glaze millimeters wide in the run up to half time. The resulting puckout had The Harps back on the attack again and Eoin Clancy earned a free that was converted by Lanigan to reduce the lead to the minimum. However, Camross finished stronger with a point from play and a converted ’65 to restore their three point margin at the short whistle: Camross 0-07 v 0-04 The Harps.

The second half began with Camross upping the ante and in the space of two minutes had three unanswered points from play to give The Harps a monumental challenge to overcome. The Harps rose to the occasion though and cut the visitors’ lead to four as Lanigan added a point from play before converting a free. Camross though came storming back and fired over a free of their own followed up with a point from play – all of this inside the opening seven minutes had both sets of supporters on their feet as each team gave it their all.

The next ten minutes was a very tit-for-tat affair as both teams refused to give in and each side traded point for point. Shane Fitzpatrick added his name to the scoresheet with a fantastic long range point from play out in the middle of the field. Camross replied with a point from play before Lanigan who was immense on frees all evening long converted another. Again Camross replied, however John Brophy found himself unusually unmarked out on the half forward line where he pointed from a tight angle to keep The Harps within five points. 

The Harps management looked to the bench to freshen things up and Eoin Doheny came on to replace Pat Walshe who battled hard in the full forward line. Camross though stretched their lead by two before Pauric Dunne pointed a fine point from the middle of the park. The Harps then made another change with Ross Young replacing Conor Brophy. Camross then hit a purple patch around the fiftieth minute mark with a point from play followed up with the game’s first goal – despite Peter Walsh’s save, the rebound was easily tapped in to give the visitors a ten point lead. Camross then stretched their lead further with a point from a free in the 54th minute.

The Harps management then introduced Brian Clancy for Conor Deegan and with just five minutes left on the clock, The Harps dug deep and battled immensely in search of scores. Michael Lanigan pointed a free in the 56th minute which was followed up by a point from play by Boggy in the 57th – Brophy created this chance all on his own, taking the ball on along the sideline before cutting in toward goal and releasing the trigger. In the last minute of the game, Lanigan won a ball on the end line, broke through two tackles and from the tightest of angles rifled the sliothar to the net to raise a green flag and cut the deficit to six points. However, any chance of a comeback was stopped with the full time whistle moments later: The Harps 1-12 v 1-18 Camross.

The Harps overall will be a little disappointed with the result as their performances on the field of play was much greater than the sum of their scores. Every player, including the subs battled greatly and perhaps with a bit of luck and little tightening up on giving away easy frees, this result could have been alot closer. The Harps will travel to Ballacolla on May 27th for the next round of the Laois GAA League, however – a Leinster GAA League semi-final is due to take place on May 12th – so another game to look forward to before the local derby takes place.

The Harps: 1 – Peter Walsh; 2 – David Doheny; 3 – Daniel Comerford; 4 – Shane Phelan; 5 – Conor Brophy; 6 – John Prior; 7 – Ronan Delahunty; 8 – Richie Saunders; 9 – Padraic Dunne; 10 – Shane Fitzpatrick; 11 – Pat Walshe; 12 – Conor Deegan; 13 – Michael Lanigan; 14 – John Brophy; 15 – Eoin Clancy.

Subs: 46th minute: Eoin Doheny for Pat Walshe; 49th minute: Ross Young for Conor Brophy; 55th minute: Brian Clancy for Conor Deegan.

Apr 152018

The Harps welcomed Rathdowney-Errill to Durrow on Sunday April 15th in this fourth round tie of the Laois GAA Hurling League Division 1. It was a breezy day with some passing showers that made for some difficult conditions at times and as a result scoring was limited, with both teams enjoying wind assistance in opposing halves.

The Harps had the wind to their backs in the first half and quickly opened up a two point lead with Pat Walshe opening the scoreboard from a sideline followed shortly after with a well taken Michael Lanigan free. Such was the effect of the wind that it took Rathdowney-Errill almost ten minutes to register their first score – a free from forty yards out that was converted.

The Harps were playing very well at this stage of the game and were dictating the pace to their opponents who struggled at times to keep into the intensity. Podge Delaney was especially strong in the half back line consistently clearing ball and booming it down on the Rathdowney-Errill defence where Ciaran Comerford and John Brophy were running hard and asking questions. Eoin Clancy and Boggy scored points from play either side of a Ciaran Comerford free to go 0-05 to 0-01 up after twenty minutes.

The final ten minutes of the first half saw Rathdowney-Errill score two points, one of those from a free before Ciaran Comerford fired over his second free of the day to leave the half time score at 0-06 to 0-03. The beginning of the second half was a dream start for The Harps with John Brophy firing to the net after a clever passage of play from Lanigan.

It took another fifteen minutes for a score as both teams became guilty of poor shooting in the strong wind and indeed frustrations set in with the referee on hand to quell arguments between the teams which resulted in a stoppage in play for two minutes. However, things cooled off and both teams resumed the game with Rathdowney-Errill grabbing a point from play midway through the half. 

The Harps management looked to the bench to freshen things up soon after and brought on Pauric Dunne for Eoin Clancy. Rathdowney-Errill though were starting to take command of the game at this stage and scored a point from play to reduce the deficit to four points. Michael Lanigan took over free duties and landed his second free in the forty-ninth minute to restore a five point lead for The Harps.

However, the last ten minutes of the game was all about the Rathdowney-Errill comeback as they scored four frees and a point from play to leave the full time scoreline at 1-07 to 0-10. Michael Lanigan was replaced by Conor Brophy with only a few minutes left on the clock, but The Harps will rue missed frees that could have won the game, equally though they’ll be pleased with a draw as Rathdowney-Errill had two chances to win this game in the dying minutes, only to hit wides much to the delight of the home crowd in attendance.

The Harps maintain pole position in the League with seven points from their opening four games and have a break until May 6th when they will welcome Camross to Durrow for the fifth round.

The Harps: 1 – Peter Walsh; 2 – David Doheny; 3 – Daniel Comerford; 4 – Shane Phelan; 5 – John Prior; 6 – Padraig Delaney; 7 – Shane Fitzpatrick; 8 – Ronan Delahunty; 9 – Richie Saunders; 10 – Eoin Clancy; 11 – Conor Deegan; 12 – Pat Walshe; 13 – Ciaran Comerford; 14 – John Brophy; 15 – Michael Lanigan.

Substitutions made: 46mins off: Eoin Clancy on: Padraic Dunne; 57mins off: Michael Lanigan  on: Conor Brophy.

Scorers: John Brophy  1-01; Michael Lanigan 0-02f; Ciaran Comerford 0-02f; Pat Walshe 0-01; Eoin Clancy 0-01.

Apr 082018

Following on from their opening two rounds where The Harps overcame Abbeyleix and Portlaoise, Castletown awaited the visit of The Harps on a fine Sunday evening for a 6pm throw-in. Following heavy rains on Friday morning on top of a recent wet run of weather, the pitch, like many others around the county was wet and very heavy underfoot. However, both teams rose to the occasion and gave a very entertaining challenge.

The game began in a high tempo affair with both sides trading points in rapid fire fashion. In the first ten minutes, The Harps scored five points to Castletown’s four to give the visitors a slender lead. Michael Lanigan was first to score with a long range point from play. Ciaran Comerford converted two frees in the period with Lanigan on target again from play and Pat Walshe adding a great point from play under strong pressure.

The second ten minutes of this first half saw Castletown dominate with a point from play and two converted frees while Ciaran Comerford converted a free for The Harps. In the final ten minutes of the first half, Castletown edged further ahead with a pointed free. At this point, The Harps manager Fintan Deegan looked to his bench and brought on Fionn Whelan for Padraic Dunne. In the closing stages of the half, Ciaran Comerford pointed a free followed by a 65 from Podge Delaney to leave the sides on 0-08 each at the short whistle.

The start of the second half was again high-tempo with The Harps attacking strong, however three wides in a row was unjust rewards for their efforts. Five minutes in Michael Lanigan popped over a free to steady The Harps and lay a foundation for them to build upon.

The Harps were playing well at this stage of the game and in the sixth minute Ciaran Comerford fired over a fine long-range point from play to stretch the lead to two. However, Castletown were not lying down and went on the attack from the resulting puckout and drew a free which was converted to leave the scoreline at 0-10 to 0-09 after forty minutes in.

The second ten minute spell of this second half saw both teams attack, however both sets of defences were well on top and gave very little away. Michael Lanigan had to convert a free from fifty yards out to land a point in the 45th minute while Castletown followed up with a point from play in the 49th. In the final ten minutes The Harps upped a gear and attacked with vigour – John Brophy leading the way in the 50th with a fine point from play in a tight angle. Lanigan converted a free in the 51st before Fintan Deegan introduced Eoin Clancy for Pat Walshe in the 54th.

The final five minutes of the game saw The Harps outscore Castletown 0-03 to 0-01. Castletown pointed a thirty yard free in the 55th minute. In the closing minutes, Eoin Clancy scored a point from play drawing huge cheers from the big crowd of Harps supporters on the sidelines. The puckout from Clancy’s point went straight to Lanigan who smacked it back over the bar to even more applause from the supporters. The final point of the game went to David Doheny, the corner back who made a burst out to his own 65 and launched a monster strike over the bar to seal an important win for The Harps. The full time score: The Harps 0-16 v 0-11 Castletown.

The Harps welcome Rathdowney-Errill to Durrow next Sunday, April 15th in the fourth round for a 2pm throw-in.

The Harps: 1 – Peter Walsh; 2 – David Doheny; 3 – Daniel Comerford; 4 – Shane Phelan; 5 – John Prior; 6 – Padraig Delaney; 7 – Shane Fitzpatrick; 8 – Ronan Delahunty; 9 – Richie Saunders; 10 – Padraic Dunne; 11 – Conor Deegan; 12 – Pat Walshe; 13 – Ciaran Comerford; 14 – John Brophy; 15 – Michael Lanigan.

Substitutions: 23mins off: Padraic Dunne on: Fionn Whelan; 54mins off: Pat Walshe on: Eoin Clancy.

The Harps scorers: Michael Lanigan 0-06 (0-03f); Ciaran Comerford 0-05 (0-04f); Pat Walshe 0-01; Padraig Delaney 0-01 (’65); John Brophy 0-01; Eoin Clancy 0-01; David Doheny 0-01.

Apr 012018

The Harps Senior Hurlers welcomed Portlaoise to Durrow on a bitterly cold Easter Sunday afternoon for a 2pm throw-in. The weather remained dry throughout the game but a bitterly cold east wind made it rather unpleasant for players, officials and supporters alike. However, to their credit – supporters came in good numbers to cheer their respective sides in what was an entertaining and keenly contested challenge.

Just like in their previous game, The Harps allowed the opposition to get the better start and stern pressure from Portlaoise earned themselves a ’65 in the first minute of the game which they converted with the assistance of the breeze. It didn’t take The Harps long to get on the scoresheet though and Ciaran Comerford showed class in popping over a lovely point from out on the wing into the breeze to level affairs after four minutes.

Portlaoise though established a two point lead in as many minutes with a free followed up quickly with a point from play. Ciaran Comerford though was starting to prove a thorn in the side of Portlaoise and he converted a free which was awarded from a foul on him in the ninth minute. Portlaoise though were keen to continue their dominance of this opening period to the game and scored two quick fire points in the tenth minute to push the visitors three points out in front – The Harps 0-02 v 0-05 Portlaoise after ten minutes.

In the twelfth minute, Podge Delaney converted a long range free to give the home side a boost – but then disaster struck when Conor Dunne pulled up with an injury and had to be replaced by Daniel Comerford. Portlaoise though regained their three point advantage from play shortly after the substitution was made. The Harps began to settle in the fifteenth minute with two points, one a huge long range effort from Ronan Delahunty which was followed up with a free from Ciaran Comerford. Portlaoise then scored two points – either side of a great point by John Prior – one a free and the other from play to leave the scoreline on 0-08 to 0-06 at twenty minutes in.

The end of the first half saw John Brophy score a fine point following a Portlaoise point from a placed ball. Indeed Portlaoise restored their three point advantage with a long range point from play as half time drew nearer. However, on the stroke of half time, Pat Walshe found himself at the end of some clever passages of play to burst through the Portlaoise defence and kick the sliothar to the net to bring the home side level for the first time in the match. Half Time – The Harps 1-07 v 0-10 Portlaoise.

Manager Fintan Deegan brought his side into the dressing room for the interval and whatever was said must have been very inspirational – within fifteen seconds of the starting in the second half, John Brophy had the ball in the back of the Portlaoise net, much to the delight of the home support. Portlaoise replied with a pointed free, however Ciaran Comerford hit a purple patch and popped over four unanswered points, two from play and two from frees to open up a six point lead for his home team. 

The Harps continued their brilliant spell with a third goal in the 38th minute – Brophy’s second major of the day – to give the home side a strong nine point lead making it a twelve point turn around from before Walshe’s major just on the stroke of half time. The Harps dominant spell though came to an end as the tempo of the game seemed to ease up and this allowed Portlaoise to chip away on the nine point gulf that had opened up before them. Portlaoise to their credit worked hard and were rewarded with frees, three of which they converted in the following ten minutes.

With the cold weather taking it’s toll on the players, manager Fintan Deegan looked to the bench to freshen things up and brought on Eoin Clancy and Richie Saunders for Michael Lanigan and Conor Brophy respectively. The Harps then scored two further points from play over the following ten minutes from the sticks of Ronan Delahunty and Ciaran Comerford while Portlaoise could not find any way back thanks to the excellent defensive work of Podge Delaney and John Prior who worked tirelessly to snuff out any way through.

In the final few minutes of the match, The Harps management made further substitutions with Niall Brophy and Owen Doheny replacing Ciaran Comerford and Padraic Dunne respectively. The Harps added two further points with Ronan Delahunty driving over a monster long range point from play whilst Ciaran Comerford capped off an excellent afternoon with another pointed free to give the home side an emphatic ten point win: The Harps 3-15 v 0-14 Portlaoise.

The Harps: 1 – Peter Walsh; 2 – Shane Phelan; 3 – Conor Dunne; 4 – David Doheny; 5 – John Prior; 6 – Padraig Delaney; 7 – Conor Brophy; 8 – Shane Fitzpatrick; 9 – Ronan Delahunty; 10 – Pauric Dunne; 11 – John Brophy; 12 – Conor Deegan; 13 – Ciaran Comerford; 14 – Pat Walshe; 15 – Michael Lanigan.

Subs: 12mins –  off: Conor Dunne on: Daniel Comerford
45mins –  off: Conor Brophy on: Richie Saunders
47mins –  off: Michael Lanigan on: Eoin Clancy
58mins – off: Ciaran Comerford on: Niall Brophy
58mins – off: Padraic Dunne on: Owen Doheny

Scorers: Ciaran Comerford 0-08 (0-04f); John Brophy 2-01; Ronan Delahunty 0-03; Pat Walshe 1-00; Padraig Delaney 0-01f; John Prior 0-01; Richie Saunders 0-01f.

The Harps travel to Castletown next Sunday, April 8th for a 2pm throw-in as they meet the home side there in the third round. Overall The Harps will be well pleased to be joint top of the table following their two wins.

Mar 252018

Fintan Deegan encourages the team.

Fr Breen Park was the venue for this opening round of the Laois GAA Hurling League Division 1 encounter between The Harps and Abbeyleix. Weather conditions were dry throughout with the sunshine breaking through at times and this encouraged a good travelling support for the visitors to Abbeyleix for the 4pm throw-in. Abbeyleix though got a dream start when a long range ball was broken down in the square and pulled on to beat Peter Walsh to the net inside the first two minutes. Abbeyleix followed their green flag major with a point to open up a four point lead inside the first five minutes. 

It took The Harps nine minutes to open their account when Ciaran Comerford fired over from forty yards and then The Harps began to settle and in the tenth minute Podge Delaney fired over a long range free to cut the deficit to two points. The Harps were now taking firm control of the game, putting together clinical passing moves and this resulted in John Boggy Brophy blasting a fine goal just twelve minutes in. The Harps 1-02 v 1-01 Abbeyleix.

For the rest of the first half, The Harps totally dominated proceedings and stretched their lead with six further points – Shane Fitzpatrick, Richie Saunders and John Brophy all pointing from play while Ciaran Comerford popped over three placed balls. Abbeyleix could only manage two pointed frees in the second quarter of the game and this left the match at 1-08 to 1-03 on the stroke of half time.

The second half opened with a flurry of scores, an Abbeyleix point from play was responded to in kind by John Brophy and Ciaran Comerford. Indeed Comerford was on hand to follow up with two further points – both frees, followed by an Abbeyleix free to leave the score at 1-12 to 1-06 just ten minutes into this second half. Arguably the score of the game came in the 40th minute when Richie Saunders put over a superb point from a sideline cut much to the appreciation of the following supporters: 1-13 to 1-06.

The middle ten minutes of the second half was pretty much a battle of the free takers with Ciaran Comerford popping over two, only for these to be responded to by Abbeyleix maintaining the scoring difference. Into the final ten minutes, Ciaran Comerford and John Brophy both landed points from play, however these were cancelled out by Abbeyleix frees. As full time approached, a stoppage in play owing to a heavy knock to Ciaran Comerford resulted in six minutes of additional time. In this period, Abbeyleix outscored the Harps three points to one (Podge Delaney free) to reduce the deficit to five points – The Harps 1-18 v 1-13 Abbeyleix at full time.

Overall The Harps can be happy with their opening game – dominating for long spells of the match and stringing together some good passages of play. The Harps welcome Portlaoise to Durrow next Easter Sunday at 2pm for the second round of this Division 1 League whilst best wishes is extended to Ciaran Comerford who picked up a nasty knock in today’s game.

The Harps: 1 – Peter Walsh; 2 – Shane Phelan; 3 – Conor Dunne; 4 – David Doheny; 5 – John Prior; 6 – Padraig Delaney; 7 – Daniel Comerford; 8 – Shane Fitzpatrick; 9 – Ronan Delahunty; 10 – Pauric Dunne; 11 – Richie Saunders; 12 – Ciaran Comerford; 13 – John Brophy; 14 – Pat Walshe; 15 – Conor Deegan.

Subs: 44mins off: Padraic Dunne on: Michael Lanigan; 55mins off: Conor Deegan on: Conor Brophy; 59 mins (blood sub) Ciaran Comerford on: Owen Doheny.

Scorers: Ciaran Comerford 0-09 (0-07f); John Brophy 1-03; Richie Saunders 0-02 (0-01sc); Shane Fitzpatrick 0-01.

Abbeyleix: 1-13 (0-09f).


Jul 162017

The Harps travelled to Mountrath on Sunday evening to play their first round of the championship against a Rosenallis side who were promoted from intermediate last season. The hosts to their credit had facilities in top order and the weather obliged also with clear skies, light breezes and warm conditions.

Rosenallis opened the scoring on the night with a pointed free and less than a minute later Eoin Clancy had the sides level with a point from play. The teams traded points again with a free from Michael Lanigan before Rosenallis equalised with a point from play. Michael Lanigan was on target again from a placed ball, however Rosenallis were keeping in touch and equalised soon after with a pointed free from Paddy Keating.

In the eighth minute The Harps were relieved to see a rasper of a shot from Rosenallis’ Ronan Murray come back off the post, but the rebound was collected and popped over the bar to give the Rosenallis men the lead. The Harps were guilty of some woeful shooting as they racked up five wides in the opening ten minutes, however Michael Lanigan scored a huge point from the middle of the field in the 11th minute.

Rosenallis then hit a purple patch – Peter Walsh was forced to make a great save as the Harps back line were at 6s and 7s. Rosenallis though, harried and were rewarded moments later when Ronan Murray cut through and smashed the ball to the net in the thirteenth minute. The Harps work rate improved over the following ten minutes and they scored points from Pat Walshe, Michael Lanigan (free), Richie Saunders and Eoin Clancy to take the lead once more.

Rosenallis equalised in the 24th minute with a point from play and on the stroke of half time The Harps scored a goal from the stick of John Brophy who was on the receiving end of a passage of good play from Eoin Clancy and Pat Walshe. The Harps 1-08 v 1-05 was the half time score.

The second half began with a point by Rosenallis’ keeper Steven Kelly from a placed ball which was answered by a point from play by Richie Saunders. Rosenallis though upped their work rate and began eating into The Harps’ three point lead with two points, one from play and one from a free to close the gap to just a point. At this stage, Daniel Comerford was substituted for his brother Ciaran as the management looked to strengthen the attack.

In the 41st minute Rosenallis were back level with a Paddy Keating point, however Podge Delaney was quick to respond with a point from play at the other end moments later. Rosenallis’ John lennon hit a fine point from play to bring the teams level yet again. Rosenallis were clearly gaining in confidence and hurled with passion to frustrate The Harps at every turn. It took five minutes for The Harps to respond with a point from play by John Brophy, but the lead was short lived as Ronan Kelly pointed twice for Rosenallis in the 49th and 50th minute to put the newly promoted Rosenallis ahead.

The final ten minutes of the game were nip and tuck – Rosenallis went three points in front with a free from Paddy Keating and a point from play by Fiachra Fennell. The Harps Podge Delaney cut the deficit to two in the 53rd minute before the management made two changes: Ronan Delahunty in for Conor Brophy and Brian Clancy in for Pat Walshe. Michael Lanigan pointed a free in the 57th minute to reduce the lead to one point yet again and The Harps looked like salvaging something from the game.

However, Rosenallis had other plans and extended their lead to two in the 58th minute with a point from play by John Lennon. Michael Lanigan managed to cut the lead to one yet again with a free, but Rosenallis were holding firm and held on to claim victory by the narrowest of margins. The full time score: The Harps 1-14 v 1-15 Rosenallis. 

The Harps will get a second chance in this Championship and must await results elsewhere to see who they face in the next round. 

The Harps: 1-Peter Walsh; 2-Gavin Dunne; 3-Packie Flynn; 4-Tommy Moore; 5-Conor Brophy; 6-Conor Dunne; 7-John Prior; 8-Shane Phelan; 9-Michael Lanigan; 10-Daniel Comerford; 11-Pat Walshe; 12-Richie Saunders; 13-Eoin Clancy; 14-John Brophy; 15-Podge Delaney.

Scorers: Michael Lanigan 0-06 (0-05f); John Brophy 1-01; Eoin Clancy 0-02; Richie Saunders 0-02; Podge Delaney 0-02; Pat Walshe 0-01.

May 202017

The Harps GAA continued their unbeaten run in the league this evening with an impressive victory over Colt at Raheen. A cool evening with a slight breeze that blew in favour of the visitors set the scene for the first half. Colt were quickest out of the blocks and had a pointed free in the opening 40 seconds. Colt followed up with a fine sideline cut less than a minute later as the Harps struggled to find their feet in the game.

It took four minutes for The Harps to open their account when Michael Lanigan fired over a long range point, however Colt were awarded a free from the resulting puckout and duly obliged to keep their two points advantage over their visitors. Indeed the early stages of this match were dotted with frees as both teams tackled hard and Michael Lanigan was no stranger to raising the white flag again in the seventh minute to cut the gap to one point. 

With less than ten minutes on the clock The Harps stamped their authority on proceedings and fired a great goal from the stick of John Brophy after some clever play by the Harps half-forward line. Colt responded to the goal with a point from play, but Eoin Clancy replied moments later with a fine point from a tight angle. In what was a flurry of scores, Colt managed a point before Eoin Clancy had the ball in the back of the Colt net again following a great pass from Boggy: 2-04 to 0-05.

Clonad then hit a purple patch in the middle of the first half, a point from play was quickly followed by a goal from a 40-yard free that seemed to float through a sea of hurls and dropped into the top corner of the net with little Peter Walsh could do about it. This gave Colt a shot in the arm and they battled hard to capitalise on their luck, but it was in vein as the next seven minutes proved fruitless for both sides until Pat Walshe broke the score drought in the twenty third minute to push The Harps two points in front once more. 

The closing stages saw The Harps fire over three further points from Michael Lanigan – one from play and one from a free before Eoin Clancy’s point from play to leave The Harps five points up going into the break: 2-08 to 1-06.

The second half’s opening five minutes saw both sides trade two points each – John Brophy’s and Michael Lanigan’s points from play were either side of two frees for Colt. An injury in the thirty-sixth minute forced Pat Walshe off the be replaced by Ciaran Comerford and from there on The Harps turned the screw and piled on the scores. Comerford was barely on the field ten seconds before he had the white flag raised – which was surely special for him playing in his first senior hurling league game. 

Michael Lanigan floated over a ’65 in the thirty-ninth minute before Comerford had the umpire reaching for the white flag again moments later with a fine point from a tight angle. The Harps were now 2-13 to 1-08 ahead. The Harps management then looked to the bench to freshen things up and Gavin Dunne was replaced by Padraig Delaney. Podge, like Comerford was barely on the field of play when he too had the umpire raising a white flag, much to the delight of the visiting crowd.

Midway through the second half, Ronan Delahunty was replaced by Johnny Doyle as The Harps defence were immense in keeping Colt scoreless throughout this important period of the game. Podge Delaney showed that his transition to senior hurling is seamless when he blasted a cracker of a goal in the forty-sixth minute. The Harps were now well out in front with a 3-14 to 1-08 lead. Understandably the game then slowed up a bit and the next three scores were frees from Michael Lanigan as The Harps management introduced two further subs: Danny Delahunty for Ross Young and Conor Deegan for Eoin Clancy.

The final five minutes of play saw Michael Lanigan and Richie Saunders point from play either-side of a Colt point from play to leave the full-time score: 3-19 to 1-09. Overall The Harps management will be quite happy with the result that sees them top the table with three wins from three. Colt proved a physical team and gave this Harps team a strong test despite what the final scoreline read. 

Next up for this Harps team is a match at home against Borris-Kilcotton on June 2nd at 7.30pm in Durrow.

The Harps: 1 – Peter Walsh; 2 – Ross Young; position 3 – Packie Flynn; 4 – Tommy Moore; 5 – John Prior; 6 – Conor Dunne; 7 – Conor Brophy; 8 – Shane Phelan; 9 – Michael Lanigan; 10 – Richie Saunders;11 – Pat Walshe; 12 – Gavin Dunne; 13 – Eoin Clancy; 14 – Ronan Delahunty; 15 – John Brophy. Subs: 06mins 2nd half off: Pat Walshe on: Ciaran Comerford; 13mins 2nd half off: Gavin Dunne on: Padraig Delaney; 16mins 2nd half off: Ronan Delahunty on: Johnny Doyle; 20mins 2nd half off: Ross Young on: Daniel Delahunty; 23mins 2nd half off: Eoin Clancy on: Conor Deegan.

Scorers: Michael Lanigan 0-10 (0-07f); Eoin Clancy 1-03; John Brophy and Padraig Delaney 1-01 each; Ciaran Comerford 0-02; Pat Walshe and Richie Saunders 0-01 each.