Aug 302014

Harps-huddleThe Harps travelled to O’Moore Park on Saturday evening, August 30th for an early evening Championship Quarter Final date with Abbeyleix as the first installment of a double-header. Abbeyleix, who won the Senior B Hurling Championship last year have adapted well to the top flight of Championship hurling having seen off Castletown-Slieve Bloom in the first round by six points. They were only five points off last year’s county champions Camross in the second round to set up this Quarter Final clash.

The Harps, who traded in Division 1B of the league and survived a relegation scare against Ballinakill last year have also had a mixed Championship campaign in loosing the first round to Clough-Ballacolla and then beating Portlaoise to advance to the quarter final stage. It was a fine mild evening for hurling in O’Moore Park with a stiff breeze blowing into the country end. After the toss, The Harps were faced with playing into the breeze.

Abbeyleix were quickest of the mark when Ryan Peacock opened their sides account with a well taken point from play. From the resulting puck-out Abbeyleix won a free which was put wide by goalkeeper Enda Rowland. John Brophy had a chance to draw level moments later but his free tailed just wide, but Ryan Peacock made no mistake when he pointed a free minutes later to extend the lead to two. In the fourth minute, John Brophy made up for his earlier miss by converting a free to open The Harps’ account. Boggy was unlucky to see his snap shot drift wide moments later.

Eoin Clancy had goal on his mind in the fifth minute but was fouled on the way through and John Boggy Brophy was on hand to convert the free to bring the scores level. The opening minutes were full of drama as both sides tried to stamp their authority on the game and Abbeyleix were denied a sure goal in the seventh minute but for the sure hands of Kevin Galvin who turned the piledriver out for a sixty five. The 65 was converted by Eoin Reilly, his first score of many to come.

The following eight minutes were a fruitless period for both teams as wide after wide was registered. Rory McEvoy from play and Eoin Reilly from a free and a sideline were both unsuccessful for Abbeyleix whilst Sean Bourke, Ronan Delahunty and Eoin Clancy missed their chances for The Harps. The deadlock was broken in the sixteenth minute when Eoin Reilly converted a free to double the Abbeyleix lead. Moments later, Kevin Galvin was on hand to deny Abbeyleix another pop at goal and the counter attack saw Brian Dunne’s effort tail off wide. Eoin Reilly was imposing himself on the game at this stage and found the target again with a fine point from play as the last ten minutes of the game came into sight.

Sean Bouke and Brian Dunne had further misses as The Harps tried to gain a foothold in the game, but Abbeyleix were resilient and kept piling on the pressure. In the 24th minute Packie Flynn picked up a yellow card when his tackle was deemed out of order with Eoin Reilly converting the resulting free. The Harps were lucky in the resulting puckout that went wayward into the hands of Eoin Reilly who snapped it back wide. Brian Dunne made amends for his earlier misses in the 27th minute when his puck split the posts to give The Harps a much needed boost.

His point should have spurred on the Harps, but it was Abbeyleix who reacted and stormed ahead in the minutes leading up to half time. Rory McEvoy collected the resulting puckout and blazed it straight over The Harps bar to register their seventh point. Sean Bourke (Harps) and Eoin Reilly (Abbeyleix) both registered wides from play before Rory McEvoy found space on the 20m line and blazed a piledriver into the Harps net – there was nothing Kevin Galvin could do to stop the bullet. Half Time: The Harps 0-03 V 1-07 Abbeyleix.

SHC-Harps-V-Abbeyleix-2014(Photo: The Harps and Abbeyleix teams leaving the field for Half Time)

The start of the second half saw The Harps make two changes with Ross Young making way for Rory Moore and Ronan Delahunty making way for Shane Donoghue. Boggy registered the first score from a free to narrow the gap to six which was followed up by a Sean Bourke wide. Abbeyleix got the next two scores with Eoin Reilly from a free and Steven Reilly from play to stretch the lead to 8 points.  Abbeyleix made a substitution of their own in the 40th minute with Conor Bergin replacing Joe Bergin. Conor Bergin was unlucky with his first touch of the night when his effort floated just wide against the breeze.

The next few minutes saw John Brophy pop over two frees to claw back some of the Abbeyleix lead as Pat Walsh made way for Kieran Freeman. Abbeyleix’s Eoin Reilly refused to miss when he pucked over a free in the 43rd minute. Sean Bourke was again unlucky from the resulting puckout when his effort dribbled wide. At the other end moments later, Packie Flynn blocked Abbeyleix’s run on goal to go out for a 65 which was converted by Eoin Reilly. The Harps began a fight back and in the 47th minute John Brophy drove over two frees to reduce the lead to six once more. But it was a case of two steps forward and one step back as Eoin Reilly won the puck out and drove it over the black spot to restore Abbeyleix’s seven point lead that they had at half time.

Abbeyleix then made their second change of the evening when Dayne Peacock made way for Aaron Carroll. John Brophy was unlucky to see his free go just wide in the 51st minute (see video below). Eoin Clancy got his name on the scoreboard in the 52nd minute with a fine point from crowded conditions. This point was equalled at the opposite end seconds later with Conor Bergin for Abbeyleix popping over a point from play. Eoin Reilly had a rare miss when his free went wide a minute later, after which Abbeyleix made their third change of the night as Dan Coffey replaced Eugene Kerns. Similar to Conor Bergin before him, Dan Coffey’s first touch of the night drifted wide.

The Harps, seven points down and with just five minutes of normal time remaining began to up the ante as a Championship exit was in clear view. Their efforts were rewarded moments later when Brian Dunne pulled on a ground stroke to the net following a goalmouth scramble. The Harps had cut the deficit to four and there was a sense of “something salvageable” in the air. The Harps crowd in the stand responded and roared their team on. But it was Abbeyleix who would draw next blood as Eoin Reilly scored his second point from play of the night to stretch the lead to five.

The Harps had no option but to go for goals and after winning a 65, the dropped short puck was unable to find a Harps man. The Harps were fruitless in their attempt for goals in the remaining minutes in which Abbeyleix made their fourth change of the night when Ryan Peacock made way for Matt Thornton in the 59th minute. With two added minutes of added time, The Harps had to make do with a solitary point which was struck over from play by Sean Bourke. The full time whistle followed and so did the full time on The Harps Championship campaign. Full Time score: The Harps 1-10 V 1-14 Abbeyleix.

The Harps: 1 – Kevin Galvin; 2 – Shane Phelan; 3 – Packie Flynn; 4 – John Prior; 5 – Ross Young; 6 – Conor Dunne; 7 – Barry Dunne; 8 – Ronan Delahunty; 9 – Sean Bourke; 10 – Gavin Dunne; 11 – Pat Walsh; 12 – John Brophy; 13 – Eoin Clancy; 14 – Brian Dunne; 15 – Tadgh Sullivan.

Subs: 30mins – off: Ross Young  on: Tommy Moore; 30mins off: Ronan Delahunty  on: Shane Donoghue; 43mins off: Pat Walsh  on: Kieran Freeman.

Scorers: John Brophy 0-07 (0-06f); Brian Dunne 1-01; Sean Bourke and Eoin Clancy 0-01 each.

Aug 162014

Harps-V-Portlaoise-2014Following on from the loss against Clough-Ballacolla in the opening round of the Championship, The Harps were pitted against Portlaoise in the draw for this second round tie. The Harps travelled to O’Moore Park on Saturday August 16th to face a Portlaoise team who drew with Camross before loosing the resulting replay a fortnight earlier. An overcast and cool evening coupled with a stern breeze greeted both teams onto the field.

The Harps got the first score of the night when Eoin Clancy flicked over a point from play after some clever passing by The Harps. Portlaoise quickly levelled the game when they pointed a free moments later and followed it up with a point from play to take the lead. The game seemed to lull for a while compounded by both sides hitting a few wides. In the twelfth minute, John Brophy picked up a knock to his knee which required some attention – but he was okay to play on and converted the free which he had won. Ronan Delahunty grabbed the Harps third point when he fired over a long-range effort from midfield into the wind – much to the delight of the Harps crowd in attendance.

Portlaoise got back level three minutes later when they fired over a free. The game lulled once more with another six minute barren spell for both sides. However, the Harps upped a gear and in the 24th minute were rewarded when Shane Donoghue’s fine sideline cut found John Boggy Brophy in the large rectangle who caught the ball cleanly, turned his man and blasted to the net to put the Harps three points up. Boggy had a very rewarding spell at the end of the first half – a pointed free followed up by a point from play and another pointed free saw the Harps pull six points ahead in the runup to half time. Portlaoise though, cut that back to five on the stroke of half time with a point from play. Half Time: The Harps 1-06 V 0-04 Portlaoise.

The second half wasn’t even a minute old when Sean Bourke fired over a point from play. Portlaoise responded though with a point from play also. In the 38th minute, Portlaoise were reduced to fourteen men when No.8 Joe Phelan was red-carded for a wild pull. The Harps added another point from play when Shane Donoghue made a long run across the field to collect a sideline cut from Sean Bourke, Donoghue returned the ball to Bourke who cracked over a lovely point. Portlaoise settled after being reduced to fourteen and mounted a series of charges on the Harps goal. Kevin Galvin though was brilliant in denying Portlaoise, not once, but twice in the space of two minutes. Portlaoise finally got another score when they converted a free after a fruitless spell dominating the play.

The Harps began to make use of the extra man and this payed off in setting up attacks. Shane Donoghue grabbed a fine point from play and this was followed up minutes later with a goal from Sean Bourke. The Harps were firmly in the driving seat with a nine point lead with forty-seven minutes gone. A five minute spell saw both sides exchange points. A Portlaoise pointed free was followed up by a point from play by Brian Dunne who began to drift back out the field seeking ball. Portlaoise replied with another pointed free before Brian Dunne reproduced his earlier point once more.

Portlaoise to their credit, never dropped their heads and kept pushing for scores. Over the following ten minutes Portlaoise got three points, two of which were from placed ball. With full time getting closer, Portlaoise tried for a goal but Shane Phelan made a brilliant hook to deny Portlaoise a sure goal, but with time just about up it was too little too late for the Portlaoise men. The last shout of the game came from John Boggy Brophy who pointed from play right on the stroke of full time. Full Time: The Harps 2-12 V 0-11 Portlaoise. The Harps are now through to the Senior Hurling Championship Quarter Finals – opposition unknown as of yet, while Portlaoise will face Borris-Kilcotton in a relegation play-off game.

The Harps: Kevin Galvin; Shane Phelan, Packie Flynn, John Prior; Conor Dunne, Ross Young, Barry Dunne, Gavin Dunne; Ronan Delahunty, Sean Bourke, Pat Walshe, Shane Donoghue; Eoin Clancy; John Brophy, Brian Dunne. Subs: Tadgh O’Sullivan for Eoin Clancy (57mins).

Referee: Pat Moran.

Jul 242014

Harps-V-Clough-BallacollaO’Moore Park, Portlaoise was the venue for this first round Senior Hurling Championship game between The Harps and Clough-Ballacolla. Although it was mostly cloudy, it was warm with a light breeze making for perfect hurling conditions. There was a good crowd in attendance with the numbers swelling as the game wore on ahead of a second match due straight after this tie.

The Harps were first out of the blocks with Eoin Clancy floating over his first point of the night were close on goal from the resulting puckout which saw Brian Dunne’s effort saved. Clough-Ballacolla quickly replied and were on level terms minutes later when Aidan Corby scored his side’s opening point from play. Clough-Ballacolla added another moments later when Willie Hyland sent over an impressive side-line cut. The Harps were back level again inside three minutes when John Brophy pointed from close range that had goal written all over it. Aidan Corby for C-B continued this tic-for-tac scoring exchanges when he stole a run and cracked over a fine point. Similarly at the other end, Tadgh Sullivan leveled affairs once more as the tempo of the game notched up a gear.

Clough-Ballacolla hit a purple patch that would see them extend their lead to three points over the coming ten minutes. Picky Maher scored a free and was instrumental minutes later when he set up Willie Hyland who burst through for a point from play – tumbling the referee Anthony Stapleton to the ground in the process which raised a good-hearted chuckle from the crowds in the stand! Willie Hyland again added his trademark sideline cut to the scoreboard from under the terrace side to see the Clough-Ballacolla side lead 0-06 to 0-03 after seventeen minutes.

Eoin Clancy cut the deficit to two, but it was quickly equaled when Picky Maher pucked over a free for Clough-Ballacolla. Moments later John Prior was deemed to have fouled and picked up a yellow card and again Picky Maher floated over the resulting free to extend their lead. Aidan Corby and Canice Coonan added further points from play for the 2011 County Champions to open up a six point lead. A free near the middle of the field for The Harps saw John Brophy convert to leave the gap at five points just before half time – but disaster struck in injury time when a poor clearance saw Eoin Doyle’s clearance for Clough-Ballacolla find Willie Hyland who scrambled a pass to Willie Dunphy in the box who blasted past Kevin Galvin to the net. Half Time: The Harps 0-05 v 1-10 Clough-Ballacolla.

Whatever the Manager Tommy Bawle said to the Harps team half time worked wonders as the Harps turned this game around in the opening period of the second half. Despite Willie Dunphy grabbing the first point for Clough-Ballacolla, the Harps blazed over eight points in a row without reply to cut the deficit to just one point. A point by Ronan Delahunty followed by three John Brophy frees inside the opening six minutes got the Harps crowd in the stand vocal once again. Four further points from Eoin Clancy, Brian Dunne, Ross Young and John Brophy – all from play came in five minutes of excellent hurling by the Harps.

With the heat beginning to take it’s toll, the management sought to change things a little and Tadgh Sullivan was replaced by James Lappin. Willie Hyland for Clough-Ballacolla added his third sideline cut point of the night confirming his status as one of the best in the county at the skill. Clough-Ballacolla refused to panic and added two more points from play with Willie Dunphy and Willie Hyland raising the white flags. Eoin Clancy and John Brophy (free) quickly equaled those two points.

The defining moments of the game came when Clough-Ballacolla pointed a free by Picky Maher. Moments later a clever pass from the wing saw Picky Maher collect, turn and blast the sliothar into the roof of the net to leave the score-line at 2-15 to 0-15. Ronan Delahunty and Brian Dunne were replaced by Shane Donoghue and Pat Walsh as the management seeked to mount a re-challenge with ten minutes remaining. Clough-Ballacolla added a point from a free moments later followed by a long-range point from John Prior who made a good run along the sideline. Clough-Ballacolla’s Michael McEvoy pointed from play moments later.

A devastating blow for the Harps followed when full back Brian Galvin picked up a horrible injury to his cruciate. Over five minutes passed as physios attended Brian on the field before stretchering him off – to which the crowds in the stand showed their appreciation as Brian had given a phenomenal performance all evening on the full-back line. We wish Brian the very best in his recovery. Brian was replaced by Richie Saunders.

When play resumed, Ross Young was also replaced by Tommy Moore. After that, Barry Dunne made a good run from the midfield area to collect a loose ball and bury it to the net but Clough-Ballacolla would have the last say in this game when Willie Dunphy scored the final point of the match from play to leave the full time score reading: The Harps 1-16 V 2-18 Clough-Ballacolla. The Harps now must await the winners of the Camross V Portlaoise replay while Clough-Ballacolla will face neighbours and rivals Rathdowney-Errill in the quarter finals.

Scorers: Clough-Ballacolla: Stephen Maher 1-05 (0-05f); Willie Dunphy 1-03; Willie Hyland 0-05 (0-3sl); Aidan Corby 0-03; Canice Coonan 0-01; Mick McEvoy 0-01. The Harps: John Brophy 0-07 (0-05f); Eoin Clancy 0-04; Barry Dunne 1-00; Tadgh O’Sullivan 0-01; Ross Young 0-01; Ronan Delahunty 0-01; Brian Dunne 0-01; John Prior 0-01.

Clough/Ballacolla: Danny Hanlon; Eoin Doyle, Darren Maher, Pat McEvoy; John A Delaney, Brendan McEvoy, Canice Coonan; Shane Hanlon, Damien Bergin; Aidan Corby, Mick McEvoy, Willie Hyland; Willie Dunphy, Stephen Maher, Stephen Bergin. Subs: John Doyle for Stephen Bergin (22mins)

The Harps: Kevin Galvin; Shane Phelan, Brian Galvin, John Prior; Conor Dunne, Ross Young, Conor Brophy; Barry Dunne, Gavin Dunne; Sean Bourke, Ronan Delahunty, Eoin Clancy; John Brophy, Brian Dunne, Tadgh O’Sullivan. Subs: James Lappin for Tadgh O’Sullivan (40mins); Shane Donohue for Ronan Delahunty (49mins); Pat Walshe for Brian Dunne (49mins); Richie Saunders for Brian Galvin (61mins); Tommy Moore for Ross Young (63min)

Referee: Anthony Stapleton (Rathdowney-Errill).

Photo: Denis Byrne, via Leinster Express.

Jul 132014

Harps-Clonad-League-Final-2014The Harps Seniors met Clonad in the Division 1A Hurling League Final on Sunday, July 6th as part of a double-header in Rathdowney and following on from the Junior Bs earlier victory, the spectators were hoping for a double-win. The Seniors have had a fantastic run under the stewardship of Tommy Bawle, Freddie Townsend and Sean Conroy also reaching this final unbeaten.

The opening five minutes saw a blitz from The Harps as they registered 1-02 with Brian Dunne grabbing the goal following a visionary pass from Brian Galvin. The Harps and Clonad both traded points for the remainder of the half with John Brophy giving an exhibition from play and placed balls for The Harps whilst Kevin Bergin from play and Seoirse Conroy from frees did similarly for Clonad. Ross Young also scored an brilliant free from inside The Harps’ 65. Coming up to the short whistle, Kevin Galvin made a great save to leave the half time score The Harps 1-11 V 0-06 Clonad.

Clonad were first to score at the start of the second half with a fine Seoirse Conroy free, however the Harps replied to it with Eoin Clancy rattling the net for the first of his two goals following a great run by Brian Clancy. Credit to Clonad, they kept battling and Kevin Bergin scored a point following the goal. Bergin added another point five minutes later. Next though, Conor Brophy scored a brilliant point for The Harps from the sideline in the 18th minute to put the league table toppers further in front. Clonad’s only goal came in the 23rd minute but The Harps were unfazed and as John Brophy added more frees. Eoin Clancy scored his second goal of the night after an excellent pass from John Brophy to ensure a well taken victory with the final score: The Harps 3-18 V 1-11 Clonad.

Scorers: The Harps: John Brophy 0-10 (0-05 frees), Eoin Clancy 2-02, Brian Dunne 1-00, Conor Brophy 0-02, John Prior 0-01, Sean Bourke 0-01, Ronan Delahunty 0-01, Ross Young 0-01f. Clonad: Seoirse Conroy 0-08f, Kevin Bergin 0-03, Michael Kerr 1-00, Colin Delaney 0-01.

The Harps: Kevin Galvin, Shane Phelan, Brian Galvin, John Prior, Ross Young, Conor Dunne, Conor Brophy, Barry Dunne, Gavin Dunne, Brian Clancy, Ronan Delahunty, John Brophy, Eoin Clancy, Brian Dunne, Sean Bourke. Subs: James Lappin for Brian Clancy, Richie Saunders for Ross Young, Tadhg O’ Sullivan for Eoin Clancy.

Clonad: Jimmy Farrell, Denis Sheeran, Sean Egan, Daniel Goode, Martin Norton, James Ging, Emmet Ging, Seoirse Conroy, Paul Ging, Paddy Norton, Michael Kerr, Kevin Bergin, Shane Cahill, Sean Kerr, Ger Corcoran. Subs: Colin Delaney for Ger Corcoran.

Referee: Ciaran Bowe of Rathdowney.

Photo: Brian Clancy battles with Denis Sheeran of Clonad. Picture: Alf Harvey/

Jun 132014

Crowd-at-Rathdowney-Errill-v-Harps-GameThe Harps travelled the short distance to Rathdowney to face Rathdowney-Errill in this sixth round game of the Division 1A Hurling League. After a warm sunny day, some cloud rolled over to take the glare of a setting sun out of the players eyes and make for perfect hurling conditions on the fine pitch surface. The match began with both sides getting stuck in and both sets of backs on top of their game. The Harps John Prior was yellow-carded after 8 minutes when he was deemed to have fouled the advancing RE attack. Rathdowney-Errill failed to convert the resulting free though and from the puck-out the Harps managed to open their account with a point by Tadgh Sullivan from play.

The Harps added two further points by Eoin Clancy scoring from play. Rathdowney-Errill, encouraged on by the vocal home supporters got a foothold in the game when they were awarded a free in the 13th minute which they duly converted to open their night’s account. Rathdowney-Errill began to play the better hurling, putting strings of good passes together, but everytime they got within scoring range the diligent Harps backs got in hooks and blocks to frustrate the home side into driving several wides. RE stuck with it though and were finally rewarded with a second point in the 18th minute – from play.

Brian Dunne, who had moments later missed a point made amends by striking over his first of the night on the 19th minute to break the RE momentum, but credit to the home side, they replied with two more from play to level the scores with ten minutes of the first half remaining. The Harps then hit a purple patch of their own and drove hard at the RE defence and were rewarded with five unanswered points; Brian Dunne grabbed two from play before Shane Donoghue fired over a free (see video below) followed by James Lappin and Shane Donoghue both from play.

Rathdowney-Errill-v-The-Harps-June-12th-2014-BThe final two scores of the first half were shared between the teams – a Rathdowney-Errill point from play and another Shane Donoghue free to leave the sides at 0-10 to 0-05 on the half hour mark. Photo: Half Time Pep-Talk.

The start of the second half saw the Harps burst out of the blocks and Eoin Clancy who looked set to run at goal was fouled. Marksman Shane Donoghue made no doubt about it and raised a white flag. Brian Dunne followed up with two points from play and Shane Donoghue also pointed from play to extend the Harps lead. A facial injury to Shane Phelan saw him called ashore to be replaced by Aaron Dunne in the 40th minute as Shane Donoghue converted the free. Moments later, Rathdowney-Errill at the opposite end converted a free of their own.

Sean Bourke picked up a breaking ball from Aaron Dunne and struck a superb point splitting the posts from the half-way line. Rathdowney-Errill though fought to keep themselves in the game and pointed two points from play to leave the scoreline at 0-16 to 0-08 midway through the second half. The Harps came back and added two more points from play, one massive hit from Shane Donoghue and another from Tadgh Sullivan. True to the tit-for-tat scoring flow during the middle part of the second half, the home side replied, yet again, with two points from play only to be replied to by Eoin Clancy and Ronan Delahunty for the visitors once more!

The final ten minutes saw the Harps finish the stronger, buoyed on by Kevin Galvins penalty save on the 22nd minute (see video above). Shane Donoghue then fired over another free moments later (see video below) to kill any hopes of a RE comeback. A few minutes later the homeside clocked up their last score of the night when they scored a good point from play, but with tired legs the RE defence could not stop Sean Bourke bringing his tally to 1-01 for the night when he smashed a piledriver to the home side’s net on the full time whistle. Final score: The Harps 1-21 V 0-11 Rathdowney Errill.

The victory ensures The Harps remain at the top of Division 1A having won all six games so far. The League table as it stands can be viewed here:

Rathdowney-Errill-v-The-Harps-June-12th-2014-CUp Next: The Harps will face Borris-Kilcotton in the final round of the league at Borris-in-Ossory GAA grounds on Thursday, 19th June at 7.45pm. Photo: Full-Time Warm-Down.

Managements Thoughts: The management team were pleased to get the win, but stressed that the next game still had to be won to make it to the league final. “We need to continue the winning habit and treat the next game as if it were our first – there is a league final spot up for grabs and we want to be there having won all seven of our games.”

The Harps: 1 – Kevin Galvin; 2 – Shane Phelan; 3 – Brian Galvin; 4 – Packie Flynn; 5 – Ronan Delahunty; 6 – John Prior; 7 – Conor Brophy; 8 – Barry Dunne; 9 – Shane Donaghue; 10 – James Lappin; 11 – Pat Walshe; 12 – Sean Bourke; 13 – Tadgh Sullivan; 14 – Brian Dunne; 15 – Eoin Clancy.

Substitutions: 39mins off: Shane Phelan  on: Aaron Dunne; 48mins off: Tadgh Sullivan  on: Brian Clancy; 54mins 2nd off: Brian Dunne  on: Greg Aylward; 55mins off: Eoin Clancy  on: Eoin O Sullivan.

Jun 062014

Harps-RosenallisRosenallis travelled to Durrow GAA grounds on Friday night (June 6th) to play The Harps in this fifth round game of the Division 1A Hurling League. Before the two teams had emerged from the dressing-rooms a heavy rain began to descend over the south Laois venue. Despite the rain, the two teams went on to serve up an entertaining evening’s hurling in front of a good home crowd who came out to see the new scoreboard at the Durrow grounds. Rosenallis were first to register a point with a well taken free against the wind in the third minute.

The Harps began to tighten up taking control of the game and over the following twelve minutes scored a reel of eight unanswered points. Sean Bourke with two points, Brian Dunne with a further two and Shane Donohue with another – all from play accounted for the first five of the eight. Shane Donoghue then pointed two frees before Brian Dunne added another from play with fifteen minutes on the clock. Rosenallis were then given a slice of luck when a deflection saw their effort bobble past Kevin Galvin into the Harps net. 1-01 to 0-08 with the first quarter over.

In fairness to the Harps team, they did not allow that goal to faze them and continued to score points at will with Ronan Delahunty, Shane Donoghue, Tadgh Sullivan and Pat Walsh all firing over points from play split by a Shane Donoghue 65. Rosenallis were determined to remain in the game and pointed another free against the strong breeze. From the resulting puck-out The Harps worked some clever quick passing up the field and found Tadgh Sullivan in space some 30 metres out from goal. The Rosenallis defence had no option but to stop his run and concede a penalty which Shane Donohue pointed.  Rosenallis grabbed a hard-earned point before Sean Bourke and Brian Dunne replied before the short whistle to leave the scoreline at 1-15 to 1-03 on half time.

The opening ten minutes of the second half saw Rosenallis storm back into the game and within seconds of the start had pointed a free. Rosenallis upped their game and were awarded a close-range free on the 35th minute which they blasted to the net for their second major of the night. Shane Donoghue tried to stem the tide with his converted free moments later but Rosenallis were coming in waves and their pressure paid off in the 39th minute when they scored a well taken goal to bring the score back to 1-16 to 3-04… not much between two sides in a game of hurling.  The Harps management made three changes with Brian Dunne, Brian Clancy and Sean Bourke all called ashore to be replaced by Greg Aylward, James Lappin and John Brophy.

James Lappin impressed straight away by floating over a long range point against the wind. Rosenallis though were still battling hard and scored two more points, one from play. James Lappin though responded and grabbed another well taken point against the wind with ten minutes remaining. The final ten minutes saw the pace of the game drop somewhat and with the wind picking up both teams drove several wides.

Shane Donoghue nailed a free against the wind on the 29th minute after a long quite period on the scoring front for both sides. Rosenallis though got the last score of the game when they grabbed a goal on the stroke of full time – too little to late as the Harps held on for a four point win: The Harps 1-19 v 4-06 Rosenallis. The victory ensures The Harps remain at the top of Division 1A having won all five games so far. The League table as it stands can be viewed here:

Up Next: The Harps will face Rathdowney-Errill in the sixth round of the league at Errill GAA grounds on Thursday, 12th June at 7.45pm.

Managements Thoughts: The management team were happy enough with the win. “The Harps put up a good high score tonight in those awful weather conditions for which they should be commended – while the players are disappointed with a few of the goals they let in – they must focus on the next game as the final two games in this league still have to be played.”

The Harps: 1 – Kevin Galvin; 2 – Shane Phelan; 3 – Brian Galvin; 4 – John Prior; 5 – Ronan Delahunty; 6 – Packie Flynn; 7 – Conor Brophy; 8 – Barry Dunne; 9 – Shane Donohue; 10 – Sean Bourke; 11 – Pat Walshe; 12 – Eoin Clancy; 13 – Tadgh Sullivan; 14 – Brian Dunne; 15 – Brian Clancy.

May 292014

Harps-Warm-UpBallyfin travelled to Durrow GAA grounds on Thursday night (May 29th) to play The Harps in this fourth round game of the Division 1A Hurling League. An overcast but calm evening presented perfect conditions for hurling on the dry sod. The Harps, who had a six week break, were slow to get into the game as Ballyfin took the initiative to score first with a point after four minutes. Ballyfin extended their lead two minutes later with another fine point from play. The Harps then began to settle and Eoin Clancy fired over a point from play to open the home-side’s account. Shane Donoghue levelled the game with a free moments later. The Harps then went in front with a point by Brian Dunne but Ballyfin brought the sides level once more with a pointed free.

Ref-UmpireThe next ten minutes saw The Harps take complete control of the game as Shane Donoghue pointed a free which was followed by a goal for Brian Dunne from the resulting puckout. A few near wides followed for the Harps over the coming minutes before Sean Bourke pointed from play on the 20th minute when Ross Young was most unfortunate to pick up an injury and was replaced by Greg Aylward. The following five minutes both sides traded points, Eoin Clancy from play and Shane Donoghues free either side of Ballyfin points from play brought the score to 1-07 to 0-05 with five minutes of the half remaining. Shane Donoghue (see video below) scored three further points before half time, one from play and two frees (one of which was a disputed goal – pictured above) to leave the scoreline reading 1-10 to 0-05 at the short whistle.

In the opening five minutes of the second half both teams traded points with Brian Clancy from play for the home-side and Ballyfin firing over a free. The Harps then upped a gear and dominated the following ten minutes with Brian Clancy firing over a point from play, Brian Dunne grabbing a goal and Sean Bourke landing a huge point from play. Ballyfin refused to throw in the towel to their credit and over the following five minutes landed three unanswered points of which one was a free. Shane Donoghue and Brian replied with two quick fire scores from play – one point and one goal. With ten minutes remaining the management made two substitutions to rest some tired legs. Brian Dunne was replaced by Eoin O’Sullivan while Conor Brophy was replaced by Niall Donoghue.

Harps-V-BallyfinThe following ten minutes were totally dominated by The Harps who reeled over a haul of five points and a goal. Shane Donoghue fired over a free followed by four points from play which were scored by Pat Walsh, Greg Aylward, Brian Clancy and Brian Galvin as Ballyfin seemed to run out of steam. In the dying minutes of the game Tadgh Sullivan pulled mid-air on a ball to plant it to the back of the net to leave the full time score reading: The Harps 4-19 V 0-09 Ballyfin. The victory ensures The Harps remain at the top of Division 1A having won all four games so far. The League table as it stands can be viewed here:

Up Next: The Harps will face Rosenalis in the fifth round of the league at Durrow GAA grounds on Friday, 6th June at 7.45pm.

Managements Thoughts: The management team were happy with the victory and the teams work-rate on the night. “The Harps had a long lay-off since the last competitive game and there was a fear they could struggle to find their form from earlier rounds in the league – but in fairness, after five minutes out there they discovered form and hurled well which is good to see.”

The Harps: 1 – Kevin Galvin; 2 – Shane Phelan; 3 – Brian Galvin; 4 – John Prior; 5 – Ronan Delahunty; 6 – Ross Young; 7 – Conor Brophy; 8 – Barry Dunne; 9 – Shane Donaghue; 10 – Sean Bourke; 11 – Pat Walshe; 12 – Eoin Clancy; 13 – Tadgh Sullivan; 14 – Brian Dunne; 15 – Brian Clancy.

Substitutions: 20 minutes – off: Ross Young  on: Greg Aylward;  50 minutes – off: Brian Dunne  on: Eoin O Sullivan; 51 minutes – off: Conor Brophy  on: Niall Donoghue.

Apr 122014

fixturesThe third round of the league saw The Harps travel to Fr Breen Park in Abbeyleix, the first game of the campaign away from home. A cool and sunny day allowed for a good game of hurling with the light but persistent breeze being the only hindrance. The Harps were first to score with the opening point from play by Michael Lannigan just seconds after the game got under-way.

Michael Lannigan added another point from a free before Abbeyleix opened their account with a point from play. 0-02 to 0-01 after just four minutes. A temporary blood sub saw Ronan Delahunty replace Pat Walsh for a moment while he got attention during which time Abbeyleix pointed two frees. Michael Lannigan brought his A game today when he sliced over a beautiful sideline cut to bring the sides level once more 0-03 to 0-03.

With the breeze behind him, the Abbeyleix goalkeeper came a little outfield and landed over a massive point from a placed ball, but the Harps replied with Michael Lannigan slotting over a neat point of his own. Shane Donoghue used his pace to give himself plenty of room and fire over a point to put the Harps in the lead once more. A close range free was then awarded to the Harps and Michael Lannigan rifled a shot but it just went inches over to raise a white flag.

From the resulting puckout the Harps sent the ball back into the full forward line where Pat Walsh was on hand to flick the sliothar past Enda Rowland to rattle the net – much to the delight of the Harps fans. 1-06 to 0-04.  The Harps put on further pressure on Abbeyleix and won a free which was converted by Michael Lannigan. Abbeyleix then found a bit of form to close out the half with three pointed frees during which Michael Lannigan put over a second sideline cut. Half Time: Harps 1-08 v 0-07 Abbeyleix.

Abbeyleix started the second half with a point from play and another from a free inside two minutes. The Harps were slow to settle but when Michael Lannigan cut in a sideline ball, Gavin Dunne was in the right place at the right time to pounce and bury the ball in the Abbeyleix net. 2-08 to 0-09. The Harps then made a substitution with Tommy Moore being replaced by John Prior. Michael Lannigan added to the Harps lead with a pointed free, six between the sides.

Abbeyleix refused to roll over and hit a purple patch with three points from frees and one from play to cut the deficit to just two points after 47 minutes. Sean Bourke replied with a point from play, but Abbeyleix were still coming strong. On the 50th minute they scored a goal from a 21 yard free to draw the game and followed up with a pointed free to take the narrowest of leads.

Michael Lannigan fired over a point from a free to level the sides again but Eoin Reilly of Abbeyleix responded straight away to score a long range point from play to push the home side ahead for the second time with just 5 minutes remaining 2-11 to 1-15. That was as good as it got for the home side though as The Harps worked hard to close out the game and were rewarded with points Shane Donoghue, Michael Lannigan and Gavin Dunne.

Pat Walsh was then called ashore and replaced by Ronan Delahunty but time was almost up. Michael Lannigan had time for one more score and duly obliged by pointing a free deep into injury time. The referee sounded the full time whistle after the resulting puckout and the Harps won the game on a score line of 2-15 to 1-15. The Harps have quite a few weeks off before their next game against Ballyfin in Durrow GAA Grounds on May 29th at 7.45pm.

Managements Thoughts: Speaking to after the match a member of the management team said that the team has room for improvement with plenty to work on during the six week layoff but were delighted overall to get the win – the third in the campaign, a job well done.

The Harps: Peter Walsh, Conor Brophy, Packie Flynn, Shane Phelan, Tommy Moore, Brian Galvin, Ross Young, Conor Dunne, Barry Dunne, Gavin Dunne, Pat Walsh, Shane Donoghue, Eoin Clancy, Michael Lannigan, Sean Bourke. Subs Used: John Prior for Tommy Moore (35), Ronan Delahunty for Pat Walshe (59).

Apr 062014

hurling1Clonad were the opponents in this second league game last night in Durrow GAA Grounds. A breezy, and at times wet evening looked certain to take it’s toll on the game, however the Harps were determined to express their hurling and lived up to their own expectations. John Brophy opened the account for the Harps but this was quickly followed by a Clonad point. Pat Walsh extended the Harps lead, but it was short-lived as a temporary lapse in the concentration of the Harps defence  allowed Clonad to pounce and grab a goal after 8 minutes to leave the score at 0-02 to 1-01.

Michael Lannigan and John Brophy added two points before Lannigan blasted home a 21 yard free to the net. The Harps were back on top after 14 minutes of play with the scoreline reading 1-04 to 1-01. Clonad won a free and pointed it, but  The Harps went on another scoring spree with three further points in just three minutes – these coming from the sticks of Pat Walsh, Eoin Clancy (free) and John Brophy. The rain arrived and the wind began to increase causing a handful of wides for both sides.

Clonad won another free and duly obliged to grab their third point of the game. John Brophy replied straight away with a master point of his own from play. Micheal Lannigan and Sean Bourke both from play raised white flags before half time to leave the score The Harps 1-10 v 1-03 Clonad. With the rain spitting, the referee was in no mood standing around getting cold and quickly ordered the teams back out for play.

Conor Dunne opened the Harps second half with a nice point from out near the wing and Sean Bourke  quickly followed up with another despite the wind being against the home side in this half. Over the course of the next five minutes Clonad hit a bit of a purple patch grabbing a pointed free and two more from play, but this would be as good as it got for the visitors as they would not score again in the match despite having wind advantage.

John Prior was called from the bench to replace Tommy Moore as John Brophy floated over a point from a placed ball. The Harps regained control the game and with some occasional clever play plucked off a reel of points. Sean Bourke pointed followed by a free from Eoin Clancy. John Brophy, Barry Dunne and Eoin Clancy added further points from play before Shane Donoguhue’s 53rd minute free put the Harps 1-19 to 1-06 up. Further points from Eoin Clancy – one from a placed ball and the other from play that easily could have rattled the net – sealed an emphatic 15 point win for the Harps.

FULL TIME: The Harps 1-21 v 1-06 Clonad.

Managements Thoughts: Speaking to after the match a member of the management team felt that the team played very well for long periods in the game and it was satisfying to get two wins from the opening two games and concentration was urged ahead of next week’s game against Abbeyleix which will be a tough encounter.

The Harps: Kevin Galvin, Conor Brophy, Packie Flynn, Shane Phelan, Tommy Moore, Brian Galvin, Ross Young, Conor Dunne, Barry Dunne, Sean Bourke, Pat Walsh, Shane Donoghue, Eoin Clancy, Michael Lannigan, John Brophy. Subs Used: John Prior for Tommy Moore (39), Ronan Delahunty for Pat Walshe (46), John Dunne for Michael Lannigan (46), Conor Deegan for Sean Bourke (52).

Mar 292014

HurlingThe Harps welcomed Mountrath to Durrow GAA Grounds this evening and despite the rain and heavy underfoot conditions took a valuable two league points from the match. Mountrath were quick off the pace registering the opening score from a placed ball. The visitors lead was short lived though as the Harps’ Michael Lannigan opened the home side’s account from a converted free – the first of an impressive haul of scores from the centre forward.

Soon after, Sean Bourke raced on to a breaking ball and carved through the Mountrath defence and took a blazing shot at goal – but the ball flew just inches over the crossbar to raise a white flag. Mountrath were next to register a point before Lannigan pointed from play to restore the home side’s lead. Mountrath would then go on and hit a purple patch that yielded 1-01 from play. The Harps responded excellently though and Michael Lannigan pointed from play to bring the score to 1-03 to 0-04 after the first quarter.

The Harps continued to pile the pressure on Mountrath with Lannigan pointing two more frees either side of a fine Shane Donoghue point from play to put themselves in the driving seat once again. Mountrath were awarded a free and converted it following up with another point from play to regain the lead. The Harps refused to lie down – battling hard their efforts were rewarded when Michael Lannigan blazed the sliothar into the Mountrath net. Mountrath responded with a point from play but Lannigan struck over a free to bring the game to half time. 1-08 to 1-06, the Harps the happier despite driving a fair few wides in the opening 30.

With the rain spitting down, the half time break was a quick affair and the second half was soon underway. Mountrath started the second half using the slight wind advantage to claim four points in quick succession – the second of the quartet a pointed free. Lannigan floated over another free to reduce the margin to the minimum. Some clever play amongst the forwards gifted Eoin Clancy an opportunity to pounce on goal which he executed brilliantly to raise a much needed green flag for the Harps: 1-10 to 2-09.

In fairness to Mountrath, they did not allow the goal to weigh too heavily on them and responded with a free and a point from play to level up the match. Lannigan popped over another point from play but Mountrath responded with two more of their own from play to lead 1-14 to 2-10 which would mark the end of the Mountrath scorecard for the night. Ronan Delahunty from a very tight angle right out on the sideline scored what seemed to be an impossible – but brilliant point which rallied the home side on.

Michael Lannigan, scorer in chief would wrap up the win for the Harps with a point from play to take the lead with only a few minutes left on the clock followed by a pointed free to bring his haul to an impressive 1-10 for the night. The Harps were alot more economical in the second half with few wides. The final score was 2-13 to 1-14 – job done. Next up in the league is Clonad who will be welcomed to Durrow GAA grounds next Saturday, 5th April for a 6.30pm throw-in – hopefully the weather will be better!

Managements Thoughts: Speaking to after the match a member of the management team said that they were delighted with the positive attitude shown and the battling qualities of the team. Acknowledging that the weather conditions were poor and the sod was heavy, they were delighted with the way the team dealt with it and ground out the valuable win.

The Harps: Kevin Galvin, Aaron Dunne, Packie Flynn, Shane Phelan, Tommy Moore, Brian Galvin, Conor Brophy, Barry Dunne, Gavin Dunne, Shane Donoghue, Sean Bourke, John Brophy, Eoin Clancy, Michael Lannigan, Greg Aylward. Subs Used: James Lappin for John Brophy, Ronan Delahunty for Barry Dunne and Conor Deegan for Greg Delahunty.