Jul 042013
peile-na-nogOn the weekend of the 28th to the 30th of June 2013 the Harps Gaels team travelled to Derry having been nominated by Laois County Board as the second team to represent Laois at Feile Peile na nOg 2013. We were drawn to play in Division 5 of the tournament and our hosts for the weekend were Glen GAA club, Maghera. There was an early start on Friday morning with the bus departing shortly after 8am for Derry. We had a brief stop in Moy, Co. Tyrone to stretch the legs and have some lunch. We arrived at Watty Graham Park, Maghera shortly after 1pm and we were given a very warm welcome by the officials and members of the Glen club. Our first game was against the home Glen club with the throw in at 2pm. There was a very strong wind and unfortunately we lost the toss and had to play against it in the first half. We started well and after 10 minutes the sides were level at 3pts each. We the got caught by a couple of quick goals and ended the half trailing by 3-06 to 0-04. We regrouped at and started the second half well and we were awarded a penalty which Thomas McCann scored, however we played poorly after this and Glen ran out comfortable winners. This game was followed by refreshments provided by the home club.
Shortly afterwards we departed for the city of Derry for the Feile parade. This proved to be one of the highlights of the weekend. The sun came out and it was a glorious evening. The President of the GAA Liam O’Neill met us on the field at Celtic Park and had some words of encouragement for the players and also stood in for a photograph. The parade left Celtic Park and proceeded through the Bogside and up the hill under the arch of the old city walls and into the city centre and along to the review stand near the Guild Hall. Large crowds of people lined the route and there was a tremendous atmosphere as the people of Derry gave all the participating clubs a very warm welcome. It was fascinating to march through the Bogside and to see all the murals on the gable end of buildings etc. which were familiar watching the news during the ‘troubles’. It was also amazing to have to explain to the boys who were born since the peace process and had no great knowledge of the ‘troubles’.
It was 10.30pm when we got back to Maghera at which time we dispersed to all corners of Maghera with the host famillies. On Saturday morning we travelled to Ballerin GAA club. Our first game was versus the home club. The team performed much better and we ran out comfortable winners on a scoreline Harps Gaels 3-12 Ballerin 1-09. All twenty players participated as is the rule and played very well. Adam Kenna was very prominent at full back. Our centre field partnership of Thomas McCann and Ronan Quinn, once they settled down, got on top. Killian O’Shea, Rory Deegan, Seamus Fitzpatrick and Stephen Brennan shone up front. After this game there was a skills competition for all the teams in the group. Ronan Quinn represented us in this competition and did so in style as he emerged the winner of the group and qualified for the final. We played Philadelphia in our final group game. They were a big strong physical team but our boys were well up for the battle and won a tough hard fought encounter on the score of The Harps Gaels 1-09 Philadelphia 1-07, much to the delight of the large contingent of supporters who had travelled to cheer us on. Liam O’Neill met the team prior to the throw in and wished us well. Adam Kenna, Padraig Delaney, Daire Quinn and Oisin Fitzpatrick played well in defence. Ronan Quinn held their main player well in the middle of the field. Our forwards worked their hearts out but we owed the victory to a superb exhibition of free taking from Thomas McCann.
Our host club Glen qualified for the semi finals out of our group. After some refreshments we travelled to St Mallachys GAA club Castledawson to support our host club Glen versus San Francisco and also to support Ronan Quinn in the final of the skills competition. Glen won a close match with San Francisco to qualify for the final. Ronan gave a gallant performance in the skills competition but was unlucky to lose out to the representative from the host club St Mallachys. That evening we attended mass in the Glen club house in Maghera which was followed by entertainment of music, song and dance. This was followed by presentations by the clubs present and then a disco. We had an early start the following morning as we decided to travel to Owenbeg which was the venue for some of the finals. Glen played St Cailins of Leitrim in the final and after a very entertaining game ran out winners on a scoreline of 4-06 to 3-02. At this stage it was time to bid farewell and we began the long journey home.
The party arrived back safely to the pitch in Durrow at 5pm on Sunday evening. A great week-end was had by all. The feedback from the host famillies was very complimentary to our boys who performed exceptionally well on Saturday after a dissappointing start on Friday. It was a great learning experience for the team and they put it to to good use on Monday night when they had a comfortable victory over Park/Ratheneiska in the first round of the championship. One of the remarkable features to take from our trip was the excellent facillities of the GAA clubs in Derry, each club we visited had better facillities than the last. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the officials and host famillies of Glen GAA club Maghera for their outstanding hospitally to us. We would also like to thank (and there was quite a crowd) all those who travelled to Derry in support and also all those who supported our fund raising events without whose support this trip would not have been possible. A big thank you to our bus driver David who got us there and back safely without any fuss. To the Chairman Barry Murphy, secretary Enda Murphy, treasurer and mentor Martin Deegan who could not travel and the other committee members of the juvenile club and also fellow mentors Enda Whelan, Pat Dunne and Adrian Fitzpatrick. Finally we would like to thank the players themselves and our kit man Diarmuid Irwin who behaved impeccably both on and off the field and were brilliant ambassadors for our club. Photos will follow on the Harps website shortly.
Report by: Gabby Irwin
Jun 282013

hurling1The U10 and U9 Harps hurling team have been very busy in the last few weeks taking part in blitzes and Go-Games fixtures. They enjoyed a great win in the Fenians Blitz in Johnstown earlier in the month. Despite losing narrowily to Galmoy in the first game, they won the remaing group games against The Emeralds and Lisdowney. In the final they had a comprehenive win against the Fenians and there were many great performances on the night from all the team.

They also headed down to Newmarket on Fergus in Clare for thier annual blitz and again played very well loosing out in a a very tight final to Gort. The younger U9s won their section beating both the hosts and Tulla. All the players recieved medals after the games and a word of thanks to the host Club for their hospitality.

Last Monday evening, they played two matches in O’Moore Park as part of the expierience night. All teams paraded by behind the pipeband before playing games against Portlaoise and St Josephs and than finally all the children got the chance to climb the steps in the stand to lift the Senior Trophy. We look forward to the day when these young players get the chance to do this in a County Final. Great work is been done with this group of players and they are showing a lot of promise.

Report by: Barry Murphy

Jun 202013

HurlingThe Harps U14 camogie team under the management of Barney O’Connor and Sarah-Leigh Murphy won the county B championship on Saturday, beating Clonad in a hard fought final in Rathdowney. The Harps edged ahead in the first half and built up a good lead by half time. Clonad tried hard to get back into the game with notable performances from Sarah Fingleton, Emily Gowing and their goal scorer Rachel Fitzgerald, but found it very hard to breach a very strong Harps defense. On the other hand, the Harps were playing well all over the pitch and had players well able to break through Clonad’s defense and pick off scores. Harps Captain Jennifer Cass was the star of the show, sweeping up in the backs and supplying some great ball to her forwards and she also had a personnal tally of 1-1. Yeaneah O’Connell and Lorraine O’Dea proved to be invaluable to the Harps defense, while the mighty Molly O’Connor tirelessly ruled midfield along side her captain. But it was the ability of all of the Harps forwards to break tackles that made the difference on the scoreboard as center forward Shauna O’Dea scored 1-1, Corner forward Eimear Fitzpatrick scored 2 points, in the other corner Eimear Dunphy scored 1 point and the Harps top scorer Emily McGuigan scored 2 goals and 2 points.
Harps team;- Nessa McEvoy, Stephanie O’Dea, Yeaneah O’Connell, Teresa Fitzpatrick, Meave Bergin, Lorraine O’Dea, Meave McNeill, Jennifer Cass(capt)1-1, Molly O’Connor, Louise Walshe, Shauna O’Dea 1-1, Gráinne Phelan, Eimear Dunphy 0-1, Emily McGuigan 2-2, Eimear Fitzpatrick 0-2, Kate Campion for Eimear Fitzpatrick, Jeanne deToulgoet for Eimear Dunphy, Nicola Ryan for Louise Walshe, Meadbh Deegan for Emily McGuigan, Lauren McGuigan for Gráinne Phelan, Bronagh McEvoy, Róisin Phelan and Caoimhe Earls.

Jun 042013

hurling1Well done to our U14 hurlers on reaching the final of the league on Monday evening May 27th last. The boys showed great spirit in the game but were unlucky in the finish, loosing out to Naomh Eamon.

Jun 042013

fixturesOur U16 footballers took on O Dempseys in the U16B League Final on Sunday May 26th last in Stradbally. The lads played well but were not able to reap the rewards. Well done to all involved.

May 162013

HurlingThe U16 Hurlers beat Na Fianna in the last round of the league by two points last week, with this being their last match of the group. In the group they have won three but lost two. They might be in with a chance of progressing further, depending on this weekend results between other teams in their group.

May 162013

gaelic-football-matchThe U16 team have qualified for the Football League B Final, which takes place this Sunday, May 19th in Stradbally at 5pm. Best of luck to all involved and we appeal to everyone to please come along and support the boys.

May 152013

gaelic_footballThis group played in a blitz hosted by Clough-Ballacolla last Saturday. The first team made up mainly of U9s did really well against Shanahoe and showed great spirit and determination against their opponents. Great performances on the day from Owen Cahill, Eoin Delaney and Rory Dunne in defence, Bobby & Charlie Murphy in midfield with Daniel Bowe and Keelin Carroll doing great work in the forwards. In the second game against Clough-Ballacolla, the older Harps selection also played great football against their local rivals. A special mention here must go to Stephen Murphy, Daragh Conroy, Gavin Ryan, Eoin Whelan, Kevin McNeill and Daniel Murphy who stood out on the morning along with the rest of the team. Keep up the great work lads.

May 132013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWell done and a big thank you to all the boys who attended the St Kieran’s College Faith Fest Under 8 Hurling blitz held on Saturday 11th May in the College grounds. A squad of 24 took part with some great  encounters with opposition from Camross, Erin’s Own, and Rathdowney/Errill.

Those who took part were; Liam Ryan, Rory Walsh, Liam Kirby, Martin Drennan, Darragh Townsend, John Paul Murphy, Bobby Murphy, Donal Deegan, Ross Deegan, Loughlin Curran, Simon Comerford, Jack Dunphy, Will Duggan, Jimmy White, Jamie Dooley, Eoin Murphy, Tom Kennedy, Jack Kennedy, Cormac Dunne, Niell Stanley, Ethan Lafferty, Cole Brennan and Shane Shortall.

After the blitz all players were presented with medals by Kilkenny star Ritchie Hogan.

Training for the group continues every Tuesday evening from 6.30pm to 7.30pm.

May 102013

HurlingThe U12 team played their second hurling game for 2013 last Wednesday evening in Clonad when they took on the hosts, Clonad/Ratheniska. The opening half was close with The Harps playing very well with some fine shooting from Jim Kirby the pick of the action. For the second half the Harps practically put on a whole new team to allow all to get game time and again all competed very well. Key players on the night included goalkeeper Pauric Walsh, backs Daire Quinn and Bill Phelan with forwards Jim Kirby and captain for the night Tony Lee all working very hard. The year has started well for this group and they train every Friday evening at 6.30pm with games most Wednesday evenings. The following attended for the game in Clonad – Pauric Walsh, Odhran Delahunty, Daire Quinn, Bill Phelan, Billy McEvoy, Thomas Walsh, Ciaran Shortall, Lee Coffey, Lorcan Fitzpatrick, Mark Deegan, Tony Lee, Emmett Moore, Jim Kirby, Tiarnach Doheny, Mikey Monaghan, Ben Dunphy, Aaron O’Grady, James Duggan, Mark Holland, Conor Delaney, Oisin Fogarty, Patrick Daly, Jack Murphy and Oisin Doyle.