The Harps senior hurlers opened their Leinster League campaign with a hard fought win over Ballinamere last Saturday. Played in Durrow in windy conditions the sides were evenly matched for the first half and the standard of hurling was encouraging for the time of the year. Both teams opened their accounts with converted frees. Conor Brophy and Eoin Clancy both pointed from play but just as The Harps opened up a slender lead, a long ball in to The Harps goal mouth was finished to the net even though it looked like a square ball. The response to this set back was excellent however, as The Harps upped their efforts and were rewarded by a series of converted frees via the stick of Michael Lanigan to leave the sides level at half time on a scoreline of The Harps 0-09 Ballinamere 1-06.
The second half saw The Harps defence really get on top as they limited Ballinamere to just 4 points. At the other end Conor Brophy, Richie Saunders and Greg Aylward all added good points from play to edge The Harps in front. Ballinamere were using their physicality to gain possession around midfield, but each delivery was repelled by The Harps defensive unit who were in a mean mood. Credit must go to the whole team however as the forwards and midfielders tracked back to good affect whenever the pressure mounted. Michael Lanigan finished out the scoring with a series of frees, and while it was disappointing not to score a goal in this game, 0-19 is a good score to put up in such conditions. Full Time: The Harps 0-19 v 1-10 Ballinamere.
The Harps senior hurlers proved too strong for Abbeyleix in this Palmer Cup tie played in Durrow last Saturday evening. Played on a heavy February sod not conducive to fast, open hurling The Harps nevertheless played some good hurling to run out worthy winners. Perhaps the most impressive aspect to the game was limiting Abbeyleix to just five points in over sixty minutes of hurling, all of these scores coming from placed balls.
The game started evenly with the sides trading early scores but The Harps moved up the gears after the opening 10 minutes to open up a lead with Pat Walsh, Michael Lanigan and Eoin Clancy posting good points from play. The Harps defence were hunting in packs and closed down the Abbeyleix attack very quickly, but were guilty of some indiscipline at times as a string of frees kept Abbeyleix in the hunt. An excellent long range point from wing back John Prior was the last score of the first half and left The Harps ahead on a 0-09 to 0-05 score line.
In the second half The Harps defensive dominance continued as Abbeyleix could find no way to penetrate a mean home defence. With Michael Lanigan accurate as usual on frees and John Brophy and Shane Donoghue chipping in with good points from play The Harps began to pull away. With 10 minutes to go, a great run by Pat Walsh through the heart of the Abbeyleix defence paid off when his pass to Greg Aylward was finished to the net. With the game over as a contest a couple of Lanigan frees finished out the scoring to leave The Harps ahead at the final whistle on a deserved 1-11 to 0-05 scoreline.
The Harps senior hurlers, playing for the first time under new manager David Cuddy, got off to a winning start in the opening round of the Palmer Cup. Played in Durrow on a heavy sod, our opponents Trumera/Kyle were a game side but the gap between Senior A and Senior B teams eventually told as The Harps ran out nine point winners; 2-14 to 0-11.
The opening half saw numerous frees from both sides converted as the playing conditions resulted in a lot of rucks and scraps for the ball. Michael Lanigan was flawless on free-taking duty, while Greg Aylward shot a fine point from play. Trumera/Kyle were struggling in open play, but they too were hitting the frees well to keep them in contention. The gap began to widen however, and when Shane Donoghue ghosted in behind the Trumera/Kyle defence and rifled the sliotar to the net The Harps finally had breathing space. Pat Walsh tagged on a good point from play before Donoghue again found space in attack to score goal number two. The sides traded points just before the break to leave the half time score at The Harps 2-09 Trumera/Kyle 0-04.
The second half continued in a similar fashion with both teams main source of scores coming from placed balls. Both sides introduced new players into the fray as the match went on and the effort from both sets of players was commendable for a match in February.
A positive start then for The Harps, but the players and management alike will be well aware that a lot of the hard work still has to be done.
Next weekend sees The Harps up against Abbeyleix in the second round of the Palmer Cup.
The Harps senior hurling team remain in the senior hurling championship for another year after they produced their best performance of the year to see off Castletown in the relegation decider. With both teams understandably a bit nervous at the start, the first ten minutes was littered with mistakes by both sides as they traded scores. The Harps had that bit more experience in their ranks however, and 15 minutes into the half John Brophy and Brian Dunne combined to set up Eoin Clancy for a goal which transformed The Harps. The shackles seemed to come off and scores flew over from all angles as John Brophy, Barry Dunne, Richie Saunders and Brian Dunne all added points. The half time whistle couldn’t come soon enough for Castletown, as they just about hung on when trailing by 8 points.
Harps players and supporters alike were expecting a big backlash from a proud Castletown team, but The Harps team were matching their opposition for work rate and determination. The game reached a pivotal moment inside the opening ten minutes of the second half when Castletown were awarded a penalty. Paddy Mullaney was brought up to take it but his rasping shot flew just over the bar, to the relief of The Harps contingent. The Harps extended their lead with good points from Richie Saunders and Gavin Dunne, and when Mick Lanigan fielded brilliantly inside the square, he had only one thing on his mind as he blasted to the net to end the game as a contest. Credit is due to Castletown who never gave up, but The Harps were not for easing up either as wing back John Prior got in on the scoring act, sending over a massive point from distance. The final whistle sounded shortly after to leave a full time scoreline of The Harps 2-17 Casltetown 0-10.
Great credit must go to players, management and supporters alike as the club never lost focus after the disappointment of exiting the championship proper. We showed in this game that our flagship team are well capable of hurling to a high standard, and maybe with a bit more luck next year we can make inroads in the championship.
The Harps senior hurlers were knocked out of the race for championship honours last Saturday in Portlaoise as their efforts came up short against Clough/Ballacolla. This was a much improved performance from the first day out, but in the end C/B were able to spring Stephen Maher and Stephen Bergin from the bench when the game was in the mix to guide them home. The Harps opened the scoring with an excellent point from play by Eoin Clancy to get them going. Further efforts from out the field tailed agonisingly wide and C/B hit 3 points on the trot to take the lead. Michael Lanigan hit back with a converted free for The Harps before wing back John Prior sent over a huge point from distance. C/B were wasting chances of their own but still managed a six point lead heading into half time but John Brophy had the last say of the first half as his efforts were rewarded with a wonderful point from out near the sideline.
C/B pushed the lead out to six points moments after the restart and The Harps had a mountain to climb. To their credit, the lads fought like dogs to get back into this game and pointed free’s from Lanigan and Eoin Clancy’s second from play had the arrears reduced to three. The game was in the melting pot at this stage but unfortunately for The Harps chances were missed and some very harsh referee decisions went against us. The introduction of Picky Maher and Stephen Dunphy for the opposition tipped things in their balance as both players hit 0-3 each. A good point from play by Gavin Dunne and two more converted free’s by Lanigan finished out The Harps scoring to leave the final tally at The Harps 0-11 Clough/Ballacolla 0-19.
While it is always disappointing to be knocked out of the championship, our senior hurlers have arguably their most important game of the year ahead of them as they face Castletown in the relegation decider. The club would urge as many people as possible to come along and support the lads in this vital fixture in O’Moore Park, Portlaoise on Saturday, August 29th at 7.15pm.
Our senior hurlers lost out to a strong Borris-Kilcotton side last Saturday evening in O Moore Park in the first round of the senior championship. Playing with a strong wind in their favour in the opening half The Harps got off to a promising start as wing back John Prior opened the scoring in the first minute with a long range point from play. Within seconds Brian Dunne sent over another point from play and it looked like The Harps meant business. Borris-Kilcotton worked a good point of their own in the third minute, but The Harps were on top at this point and hit three points on the trot with a point from Pat Walsh and 0-02 (0-01f, 0-01 sideline) from the accurate Michael Lanigan.
Borris-Kilcotton stayed in touch with two points of their own as they started to up the tempo. A second point for Brian Dunne was cancelled out with a Borris-Kilcotton free but Kieran Freeman on his senior championship debut fired over from play to push the lead back to three points half way through the half. This was as good as it got for The Harps unfortunately as any mistakes were punished and Borris-Kilcotton hit four points on the trot to briefly take the lead before Lanigan gained parity with a pointed free.
With 5 minutes to go in the half The Harps really needed a few scores to settle themselves but they were rocked by a 25th minute Borris-Kilcotton goal. Sensing weakness the opposition sent over another two points in as many minutes but The Harps hit back with two Lanigan free’s to leave a goal between the teams at half time: The Harps 0-10 v 1-10 Borris-Kilcotton.
Facing into a stiff wind in the second half The Harps had a mountain to climb but managed to open the second half scoring with a good Eoin Clancy point to give them hope. Borris-Kilcotton hit a quick brace of points but Kieran Freeman was playing well and sent over his second point from play to keep The Harps in the hunt. Unfortunately Borris-Kilcotton were proving to be the better team and started to send over points from all angles stretching their lead to ten points with 20 minutes gone in the second half. The Harps were trying to work goal chances to get themselves back into the game but still the Borris-Kilcotton dominance continued as further points flew over.
The Harps main source of scores were free’s and Lanigan continued to strike them well, even into the strong wind. Disaster struck then with five minutes to go as Borris-Kilcotton goaled for the second time with PJ Scully giving Kevin Galvin no chance with a close range finish. With only pride to play for The Harps managed to hit a brace of points with another Lanigan free and a third from play by Freeman to close the scoring for the day.
This was a tough day out for our senior team, one of those horrible days when things just didn’t go right. Great credit must go to some of the younger players with Kieran Freeman, Richie Suanders and Aaron Dunne doing extremely well on their senior championship debuts. Shane Fitzpatrick was also introduced in the second half and these young players will only get better. The panel will have to knuckle down and focus now as they drew neighbours Clough/Ballacolla in the next round.
The Harps: 1. Kevin Galvin; 2. Shane Phelan; 3. Conor Dunne; 4. Aaron Dunne; 5. John Prior; 6. Gavin Dunne; 7. Tommy Moore; 8. Barry Dunne; 9. Kieran Freeman; 10. Shane Donoghue; 11. Brian Dunne; 12. Eoin Clancy; 13. Richie Saunders; 14. Pat Walsh; 15. Michael Lanigan.
Subs: Ronan Delahunty for Tommy Moore (41 mins); Ross Young for John Prior (50 mins); Shane Fitzpatrick for Shane Donoghue (55 mins).
The Harps senior hurlers saved their best league performance for the last game as they earned a hard fought win over Rathdowney/Errill. Played in Durrow on a warm evening The Harps got off to the perfect start when Richie Saunders made a great high catch before laying off the ball to Conor Brophy who calmly finished to the net. Pat Walsh pointed from play a minute later before R/E opened their account with a point. Michael Lanigan gave the home support more to cheer about as he cut over a super line ball. R/E however were about to show that they are not reigning champions for nothing as they hit six points from play on the trot to take the lead by two points with the half almost finished. A free converted by Lanigan was followed by another R/E point to leave the half time score at The Harps 1-03 to R/E 0-08.
With the wind at their backs for the second half The Harps set the pace as Lanigan hit a good point from play. R/E sent over two further points from play but The Harps were about to enter their purple patch hitting 1-2 in a blistering 2 minute spell. Two points from Lanigan (1f) and a goal from Pat Walsh where Richie Saunders was once again instrumental gave The Harps a two point lead. Both sides were really going at it at this stage with some great hurling played out. R/E stopped the flow with a point of their own but another audacious side line cut from Lanigan kept the pressure on. Brian Dunne and Kieran Freeman(0-02) got in on the scoring with good scores from play but R/E kept the deficit to two points with a few scores of their own. With less than five minutes to go R/E had cut the lead to a single point and now the pressure really came on. The Harps showed great resolve however to hit the last four points of the game via Freeman, Ross Young and Lanigan (0-02,1f) to leave a final score line of The Harps 2-14 R/E 0-15.
This was a timely boost for our senior hurlers who are training very hard at the moment. With the championship just around the corner all supporters are urged to get behind the lads for the tough opening game against Borris/Kilcotton.
The Harps: 1 – Kevin Galvin, 2 – Shane Phelan, 3 – Packie Flynn, 4 – Aaron Dunne, 5 – John Prior, 6 – Gavin Dunne, 7 – Ross Young, 8 – Barry Dunne, 9 – Kieran Freeman, 10 – Shane Donoghue, 11 – Brian Dunne, 12 – Pat Walsh, 13 – Richie Saunders, 14 – Michael Lanigan, 15 – Conor Brophy.
The Harps senior hurlers second half fade out was to prove costly as Castletown claimed the points in this close encounter. Played in Mountrath GAA on their new pitch, The Harps were against a strong wind in the first half but managed to open the scoring with a fine point from distance by Eoin Clancy inside the opening minute. The Castletown response was swift as they levelled from play but a Michael Lanigan free nudged The Harps again but four points on the trot gave Castletown a three point lead by the 20th minute. The Harps however were about to hit their best form of the evening as three points in a row from Lanigan (0-02f) and Shane Donoghue brought them back level. The half ended with the best move of the game as a pin point pass from Kieran Freeman was fielded by Brian Dunne who fed the onrushing Pat Walsh who blasted to the net to give The Harps a 2 point half time lead, 1-05 to 0-06.
With a two point cushion and a wind advantage to come, Harps supporters felt a win was on the cards. Castletown had other ideas however, as they upped the ante and drew level with two converted free’s into the wind. Another surging run from Pat Walsh was rewarded with a point from play but indiscipline was costing The Harps dearly as Castletown converted another free before hitting two points form play. Michael Lanigan and Eoin Clancy pointed from play to keep The Harps in the hunt but Castletown were refusing to yield as they hit another point from play. Two further efforts from play by Donoghue and Clancy were cancelled out by silly free’s given away which were converted to leave the sides dead-locked with 5 minutes to go. The sides traded free’s and the crowd was in for a close finish but unfortunately it was Castletown who closed the scoring with a fine point from the right wing to leave a scoreline of The Harps 1-11 Castletown 0-15.
A disappointing result for The Harps but lessons can be learned. The discipline will have to improve for the championship but they played some good hurling on the night. The Harps final game of the league is played on the 1st July in Durrow at 7.45 pm against Rathdowney-Errill.
The Harps welcomed Colt to Durrow on Wednesday evening, June 17th for their fifth round game of the Division 1 Hurling League. A mild and rather cloudy evening coupled with a light breeze created perfect conditions for hurling in front of a sizeable crowd watching on. Referee Micheal Cleere got proceedings underway at 7.45pm and Brian Dunne opened the homeside’s scoring account inside two minutes with a point from play. Michael Lanigan added a pointed free two minutes later to put The Harps 0-02 to 0-00 ahead.
Colt got their scoring account open in the fifth with a pointed free and the resulting puckout by Kevin Galvin found Eoin Clancy who flicked the ball to Michael Lanigan to grab The Harp’s third point. Colt began to settle and hit a purple patch over the coming five minutes hitting three-in-a-row well worked points from play to take a temporary lead. Brian Dunne drifted back towards midfield to find some space and was rewarded with two great points from play either side of a Colt free to leave the sides level at 0-05 a piece after the first quarter.
The second quarter of the half consisted entirely of frees as both sides drove wides aimlessly. A late challenge on Eoin Clancy in the sixteenth minute gave Michael “Sticks” Lanigan the opportunity to point his second free of the night in which he duly obliged. The Colt wing forward Chris Murray picked up a yellow card for his chop across Clancy. Michael Lanigan added another on the twenty-second minute to stretch the lead further to two points, however Colt managed to draw level before half time with two of their own frees. Half-time – The Harps 0-07 v 0-07 Colt.
The half-time talk to both teams must have been special as the second half began with a renewed hunger and pace with scores a plenty. Eoin Clancy was the first to strike with a fine point from play out on the wing after collecting a good pass from Barry Dunne. However, the Colt response was met with hard tackling from The Harps defence and referee Michael Cleere didn’t hesitate in awarding the visitors a free which was converted to keep the sides level. Brian Dunne caught some wonderful ball in the middle of the park throughout the evening and in this instance turned his man to cut the Colt defence open – but his rasper of a shot floated just inches over the bar.
Sensing danger, Colt upped their ante and fired over two points from play to take the narrowest of leads once again. The Harps though were determined to put any aspirations Colt had to bed early in this second half and clicked up a gear. The next six minutes saw The Harps produce some wonderful points from play, the highlight of these was Michael Lanigan’s excellently taken sideline cut that floated over despite the difficult angle. Brian Dunne, Richie Saunders and Pat Walshe claimed the other three points of that spell to end the third quarter.
Colt tried hard to get back in the game going into the final quarter. They tested the Harps defence and could only muster a single point from a free in the forty-seventh minute which inevitably was their last score of the night. It was all one-way traffic from there-on with The Harps’ Michael Lanigan pointing two frees and grabbing a point from play followed by a Brian Dunne point from play before Ronan Delahunty was introduced in the 53rd minute replacing Kieran Freeman. Ronan Delahunty made a huge impression following his introduction, grabbing a point from play.
Conor Brophy followed on with a point from play of his own with only a few minutes remaining when Shane Phelan’s clearance down the wing found Brophy in space. Ronan Delahunty was to the fore moments later blasting a rocket of a shot to the net much to the delight of the home crowd when Pat Walshe’s hard tackling paid off. Not content with his 1-01 haul, Delahunty signed off on a good win for The Harps with another point from play to leave the full time score at: The Harps 1-20 v 0-11 Colt.
Following the drawn game with Camross, The Harps now have three points on the table from their opening five games. A match away to Castletown next Thursday, June 25th (at a venue yet to be decided) and a match at home to Rathdowney-Errill on July 1st are the remaining ties in this ACHL Division 1 for The Harps and with a bit of luck the momentum of the last two weeks will continue.
1 – Kevin Galvin, 2 – Shane Phelan, 3 – Packie Flynn, 4 – Aaron Dunne, 5 – David Doheny, 6 – Gavin Dunne, 7 – Tommy Moore, 8 – Kieran Freeman, 9 – Barry Dunne, 10 – Eoin Clancy, 11 – Brian Dunne, 12 – Pat Walshe, 13 – Richie Saunders, 14 – Michael Lanigan, 15 – Conor Brophy.
Subs: Ronan Delahunty for Kieran Freeman (53min).
Scorers: Michael Lanigan 0-08 (0-06f), Brian Dunne 0-06, Ronan Delahunty 1-02, Eoin Clancy, Richie Saunders, Pat Walshe and Conor Brophy 0-01 each.