THE HARPS GAA CLUB: Harps Minors: Congratulations to The Harps Minors who had a great win last Monday week in the final of the minor hurling league. Ballinakill Gaels were the opposition with the game played in The Laois Training Centre Portlaoise. The Harps had played the same opposition two weeks previous with the reverse result so Monday’s victory was particularly satisfying. The first half was nip and tuck with Jim Kirby scoring a great goal just before half time to leave the team leading by five points at the break. The Harps continued strong right throughout the second half and in the end ran out convincing winners on a 1-17 to 1-07 score line.
Lorcan Fitzpatrick was the captain and accepted the trophy from Barry Murphy at the end of the game. With the league honours claimed the championship was the focus on Friday evening as Harps took on Clough-Ballacolla/Mountrath in the first round of the competition. Next week is a busy week also with provisionally two games in the Kilkenny League – playing Thomastown on Tuesday and Galmoy-Windgap on Thursday evening. Winning the league is very welcome with all now looking forward to the remainder of the year.
Panel v Ballinakill Gaels:- Lorcan Fitzpatrick, Tiarnach Doheny, Billy McEvoy, Ben Dunphy, Rian Edwards, Ciaran Shortall, Thomas Walsh, Aaron Grady, James Duggan, Ciaran Burke, Mikey Monaghan, Jim O’ Connor, Bill Phelan, Conor Delaney, Jim Kirby, Cathal Murphy, Mark Holland, Padraic Walsh, Darren O’Neill, Emmett Moore, Mark Deegan, Tony Lee Donoghue, Jack Murphy, Cody Comerford, Stephen Murphy, Patrick Daly, Daire Quinn.
Match Updates: Updates to senior games will be only on Twitter and Snapchat, not Facebook.
Snapchat: The Harps GAA Club & The Harps Camogie Club have jointly set up a Snapchat account to cover both the mens and ladies games – just add TheHarpsGAA to your Snapchat buddy list to start receiving updates from games, and lots more!
The Harps welcomed The Fenians of Johnstown to Durrow on Wednesday for this second round of the Kilkenny Minor Hurling League. A cold blustery evening didn’t spoil the game thankfully as both sides served up a thrilling contest. With two days rest since their last game against Rathdowney-Errill and several players out because of exams one could have been forgiven that The Harps might find this game a bridge too far, however credit to the Harps as they met their challenge head on.
A blistering opening ten minutes saw Podge Delaney open the scoring inside 50 seconds with a point from play. Fenians though, had the match’s first goal grabbed inside the second minute when a dashing run through The Harps’ defence gave Liam Dunphy little chance to stop a shot to the net. Johnny Doyle responded less than a minute later though with a free and Podge Delaney hammered home a goal from the resulting puck-out. The Harps were clearly buoyed on by their own response to the early goal and began to take hold on the game. A few stern tackles gave Fenians two scores, but a plethora of points – all from play – saw the Harps surge ahead to lead 1-09 to 1-02 after the first quarter with Johnny Doyle (0-03), Shane Keown, Joe Murphy, Podge Delaney and Declan Foyle (0-01ea) all getting their names on the scoresheet.
Credit though to Fenians, they kept in the game floating over two points from play and a free either side of two frees from The Harps’ Johnny Doyle. The Harps though were having none of a Fenians comeback and dealt the visitors a sucker punch when Podge Delaney blasted home a second goal, followed up by a point from play just before half time. The Harps’ Jack Saunders and Fenians centre back both picked up yellow cards before the short whistle in unrelated incidents. The Harps were definitely the happier team at half time with a 2-12 v 1-05 lead despite playing against the breeze.
The opening stages of the second half continued in the same intensity. The Fenians, keen to get back in the game marked their intent by scoring a huge point in the opening seconds which was responded to by Declan Foyle moments later. The Johnstown side got a shot in the arm from the resulting puck-out as a lapse of concentration in the Harps defence saw a second goal conceded. The Harps replied with three points to regain their ten point lead through Johnny Doyle X2 (1f) and Podge Delaney as the intensity began to wane in the game.
Fenians though were never going to lie down and a two minute storming session on the Harps defence saw them claw the deficit back to six points as they took 1-01 from their efforts. However, whatever the Fenians could do, The Harps matched it. A Sean Lawlor goal and a Johnny Doyle free restored the ten point advantage as quickly as it was taken from the Harps. The final ten minutes of the game saw Fenians add 1-02 as they tried to get back into the game, but to no avail as The Harps scored 0-04 in the same period with Johnny Doyle immaculate on frees. Final Score: The Harps 3-21 v 4-09 Fenians.
Following their opening Kilkenny Minor League win over Bennetsbridge (4-21 v 0-17) The Harps face St Lachtain’s in Freshford on June 25th and are second placed in the table: Click for larger image…
Closer to home, in the Laois League, The Harps Gaels will face Castletown-Slieve Bloom on May 11th at 7.15pm in Castletown.
The Harps: GK: Liam Dunphy; RFB: Conall Whelan; FB: Jack Saunders; LFB: Emmett Fitzpatrick; RHB: David Doheny; CB: Jack McEvoy; LHB: Declan Foyle; MF: Michael Moran; MF: Joe Murphy; RHF: Shane Keown; CF: Johnny Doyle; LHF: Aaron Lawlor; RFF: Sean Lawlor; FF: Padraig Delaney; LFF: Niall Mullins.
Subs: Eoghan Doheny on for Jack McEvoy (injured) after 51mins.
The Harps Gaels Minor Hurlers welcomed Rathdowney-Errill to Durrow GAA grounds last night to open their Laois League campaign. A very cold night with a stern NW breeze made it feel like early-February rather than late-April despite some sunshine. Despite the cold weather, both teams gave an entertaining game of hurling with some impressive scores taken by both sides.
Rathdowney-Errill opened the scoring account after 8 minutes with a pointed free after an early injury caused a delay. The Harps Gaels settled soon after though when Padraig Delaney struck over a point from a difficult angle. The early stages of the game were nip and tuck, Rathdowney-Errill scored their second point only to be answered by Johnny Doyle’s close range effort moments later. Rathdowney-Errill then took control of the game as the increasing breeze seemed to favour them. A long ball into the Harps’ endline wasn’t dealt with and Rathdowney-Errill took their chance which appeared to rattle the side-netting, however the referee ruled it was a goal and the Harps were now three points down.
The goal spurred Rathdowney-Errill on who scored the next three points without reply: David Doheny picked up a yellow card for a late challenge and the resulting free floated on over in the breeze before Rathdowney-Errill raised two white flags from play. The Harps refused to roll over though and finished the half with two fine points from play – Padraig Delaney and Sean Downey (free) adding much needed scores for the home-side. Half Time: The Harps 0-04 V 1-05 Rathdowney-Errill.
At half time, Tommy Kenna called Aaron Lawlor ashore and sent Eoghan Doheny in to contest the second half. Rathdowney-Errill started the second half with a fine side-line cut sliced over the bar to push the margin out to 5pts. Sean Downey responded with two pointed frees to reduce the margin to a goal. Rathdowney-Errill though came storming back down the pitch and blasted a goal to the top corner of the net which keeper Liam Dunphy couldn’t have done anything about to save it.
Rathdowney-Errill looked to put the game to bed and added a point from a free to go 7pts up. Sean Downey replied with a free of his own to keep a glimmer of hope for the home-side to get something of a result. The Harps were missing some scores at this stage and were matching their Rathdowney-Errill counterparts in the heat of battle, but could not convert their chances that they desperately craved as Rathdowney-Errill scored the next three points (1 free) without reply. Indeed Liam Dunphy’s sharpness of hands denied Rathdowney-Errill two probable goals in the half to stem the tide.
Midway through the second half a few positional changes were made which seemed to work wonders as the Harps came storming back into the game. Sean Downey and Padraig Delaney popped over two points from play either-side of a Rathdowney-Errill point, also from play. Tommy Kenna once again looked to his bench and introduced Conall Whelan for Sean Lawlor to freshen things up. Two further pointed frees from Sean Downey reduced the deficit to 6pts once more. Moments later, Sean Downey rattled the net to put the game in the melting pot with six minutes left on the clock.
The final minutes of the game saw Padraig Delaney float over a point from play. With the clock ticking down, the Harps went in search of a goal and laid siege on the Rathdowney-Errill defence. To their credit Rathdowney-Errill hurled heroic for their survival and twice cleared their goal-line to deny the Harps a victory. The Full Time whistle came too soon for The Harps and the game finished with just two points separating the sides after a very entertaining finish: The Harps 1-12 v 2-11 Rathdowney-Errill.
The Harps Gaels face The Fenians in their next game, this time the Kilkenny League on Wednesday 29th April at 7pm – this fixture was originally scheduled for Thursday night but has been brought forward by 24hrs. In the Laois League, The Harps Gaels will face Castletown-Slieve Bloom on May 11th at 7.15pm in Castletown. Clough-Ballacolla lost their opening game to Castletown-Slieve Bloom in this group by 4pts.
The Harps: GK: Liam Dunphy; RFB: Jack Saunders; FB: Cathal Phelan; LFB: Emmett Fitzpatrick; RHB: David Doheny; CB: Jack McEvoy; LHB: Declan Foyle; MF: Sean Downey; MF: Michael Moran; RHF: Padraig Delaney; CF: Johnny Doyle; LHF: Sean Lawlor; RFF: Aaron Lawlor ; FF: Niall Mullins; LFF: Shane Keown.
Subs: Eoghan Doheny for Aaron Lawlor (30mins); Conall Whelan for Sean Lawlor (51mins).
Scorers: Sean Downey 1-07 (0-06f); Padraig Delaney 0-04; Johnny Doyle 0-01. Rathdowney-Errill 2-11 (0-05f).
Last year’s Laois minor hurling champions travelled to Rathdowney to cross swords with Borris-Kilcotton in this Minor semi-final. The pairing was a repeat of last years final which went to a replay, so there was plenty to expect from the two teams when they entered the pitch on a sunny Saturday evening. Conditions were ideal for hurling with just a light breeze that neither benefited or hindered either side.
The Harps Gaels settled well into the game and had an early free converted by Richie Saunders. Greg Aylward missed a chance to put the Harps Gaels two in front when his long range shot drifted inches wide. Borris-Kilcotton leveled affairs in the third minute with a well taken point from play. The Harps Gaels put pressure on Borris-Kilcotton and created chances, but their accuracy let them down. Paul Simms in the 7th minute clipped over a superb point over his shoulder much to the delight of the travelling supporters.
Borris-Kilcotton came storming back and were on level terms in the 10th minute with a pointed free. Borris-Kilcotton added three further unanswered points from play in as many minutes to leave the score at 0-05 to 0-02 after fifteen minutes of play. Greg Aylward pointed a free (see video below…) in the 16th minute to close the gap to two, but once again Borris-Kilcotton responded by stretching their lead back to three when a point from play and a free were converted. In the 18th minute Richie Saunders fired over a long range free, but this too was answered with a free four minutes later.
In the lead up to half time, Richie Saunders added another long-range free before Borris-Kilcotton added another free. That free was followed up with a point from play and on the stroke of half time, Liam Dunphy denied Borris-Kilcotton a sure goal with a fantastic save. The Harps Gaels 0-05 V 0-10 Borris-Kilcotton was the half time score as both sets of teams went for the break – with the Harps Gaels ruing some of the wides and missed chances and decisions going against the team.
The start of the second half saw Borris-Kilcotton steal a six point lead with a pointed free, but the Harps Gaels’ Ciaran Comerford replied instantly with a fine point from play. Borris-Kilcotton restored the six point advantage moments later with a brilliant long range point by the wing back. Eoin O’Sullivan had a great chance on goal minutes later only to see his shot parried over the end line to win a 65 which was converted by Richie Saunders. Borris-Kilcotton as before kept coming back with answers and once again restored a six point advantage with a point from play.
The Harps Gaels clawed back some of the lead with two unanswered frees from Greg Aylward and Richie Saunders, but their efforts were soon dashed when in the 13th minute Borris-Kilcotton capitalised on a high ball into the square to flick past Liam Dunphy to raise a green flag. Credit to the Harps Gaels, they battled back and two further points from Sean Downey (from play) and Richie Saunders (a 65) left the score at 0-11 to 1-13 half way through the second half.
Photo: Donal Deegan and Seamus Campion watching the Harps Gaels in Rathdowney.
In the 17th minute, Borris-Kilcotton added a free to restore their six point lead yet again. In the resulting puck-out Greg Aylward was harshly tackled and tensions ran high with both sets of players involved in an on-field argument. When calm was restored the referee gave both teams a red card for their involvement. At this point The Harps Gaels made a substitution with Michael Moran being replaced by Donnacha Quinn. The Harps Gaels won a free but before the shot was struck wide, the umpires called the attention of the referee who dismissed Borris-Kilcotton’s centre back for an off-the-ball incident.
Moments later, Greg Aylward scored a point from a free, but this was quickly cancelled out as Borris-Kilcotton scored a free of their own. With only a few minutes remaining, The Harps Gaels were six points down and if there was any hope of getting a result, two quick goals were needed. The Harps Gaels went on the hunt and when Paul Simms was fouled going in on goal the referee had no choice but to award a penalty. Greg Awlward made no mistake and blasted to the net (see video below) to give the Harps Gaels a sliver of hope.
The Harps Gaels had any hopes of grabbing a draw dashed minutes later when Borris-Kilcotton landed a huge long-range point from play to seal the match. To add to the Harps Gaels misery, a 21yd free was saved right on the stroke of full time. The final scoreline read: The Harps Gaels 1-12 V 1-16 Borris-Kilcotton. Na Fianna who beat Portlaoise on Thursday night now meet Borris-Kilcotton in the championship final.
The Harps Gaels: 1 – Liam Dunphy; 2 – Cathal Phelan; 3 – David Doheny; 4 – Daniel Comerford; 5 – Ciaran Costigan; 6 – Richie Saunders; 7 – Declan Foyle; 8 – Sean Downey; 9 – Shane Fitzpatrick; 10 – Greg Aylward; 11 – Michael Moran; 12 – Ciaran Comerford; 13 – Eoin O Sullivan; 14 – Paul Simms; 15 – Padraig Delaney.
Subs: Donnacha Quinn for Michael Moran (52mins)
Scorers: Greg Aylward 1-03; Richie Saunders 0-06; Paul Simms 0-01; Ciaran Comerford 0-01; Sean Downey 0-01.
The Harps Gaels travelled to Old Portlaoise GAA grounds to face Castletown-Slieve Bloom in this Minor Hurling Championship Quarter Final. The game, previously fixed for Borris-in-Ossory was switched to Portlaoise in order to accommodate another quarter final between Borris-Kilcotton and Camross that was postponed on Sunday night last. For The Harps Gaels this was their first outing in the 2014 Championship as they received a bye owing to their great success in winning last year’s competition. It was an overcast evening with a light to moderate breeze which favoured Castletown-Slieve Bloom in the opening half.
The first score of the game fell to Castletown-Slieve Bloom’s Ryan Mullanney who converted a free. This however, was cancelled out less than a minute later when Eoin O’Sullivan flicked over a point from play. CSB upped the ante firing over three unanswered points in as many minutes with Mullanney pointing from play and a free and O’Dea pointing from play all in impressive form. The Harps Gaels were jittery and struggling to settle in these early exchanges, driving a few wides in desperation to halt the CSB march. In the sixth minute, the Harps Gaels won a free which was well executed by Greg Aylward to keep in contention. This score seemed to settle the nerves and the Harps Gaels started to hurl with purpose.
Playing into the wind was always going to be difficult, but the Harps Gaels managed to pull level over the coming ten minutes – whilst vitally holding CSB scoreless in that time. Paul Simms lead the charge reeling off two very fine points from play. Indeed his shot for the second point could have easily rattled the net following a daring run around practically the whole CSB defence! Castletown-Slieve Bloom managed a point from play on the 20th minute from the midfield, but the Harps Gaels were dominant and resumed scoring duty soon after with Greg Aylward nailing a free. That was quickly followed by a Paul Simms point from what seemed an impossible angle – both sets of supporters applauding from the sidelines.
In the run up to half time, the breeze seemed to get stronger and this kept the scoreboard quiet for some six minutes as both sides missed frees which would have gone over on a calmer evening. Nonetheless, the Harps Gaels continued to work hard and Paul Simms popped up again to score yet another beauty of a point from play. Despite being surrounded by CSB defenders out on the sideline he managed to fire over a point from almost 50m! With time running out, the referee sounded the whistle to signal half time. The Harps Gaels 0-07 v 0-05 Castletown-Slieve Bloom.
The start of the second half proved a minor disaster for the Harps Gaels. Despite saving a shot on goal, the Harps Gaels keeper Liam Dunphy and Harps Gaels defender Cathal Phelan had a mix up in clearing the rebound and somehow it trickled into the Harps Gaels to give Castletown-Slieve Bloom a fortunate goal and the lead once more. Credit to the Harps Gaels though, they battled back and drew level after five minutes when Greg Aylward slotted over a free (see video below).
Three minutes later, Paul Simms picked up a fine pass from Ciaran Costigan and using quickness of mind and hands fired over a beauty of a point just before CSB got a chance to crowd him out. The Harps Gaels were back in front, but only by the minimum of margin. Castletown-Slieve Bloom battled hard to grab scores but the hooking and blocking of the Harps Gaels defence led by Richie Saunders and Shane Fitzpatrick shone through and denied the CSB side time and time again. The Harps Gaels cleared a long ball down into the forward line where Padraig Delaney was on hand to parry the ball to the CSB net to give the Harps Gaels a much needed goal.
Castletown-Slieve Bloom came roaring back though and scored two points without reply to leave two points between the sides with ten minutes left – one from play and one from a free. The Harps Gaels thought the Gods were conspiring against them when a great goal chance was blocked down and put wide for a 65, which was put just wide by Greg Aylward. Greg Aylward made up for it though two minutes later when he pointed a free from almost the same spot and the Harps Gaels had a three point cushion once more.
The final ten minutes were hard fought. In the 23rd minute Sean Downey picked up a yellow card for a late tackle and the Harps Gaels had a let off when CSB drove the resulting free wide. A few minor injuries held the game up for a few minutes before Danny Comerford replaced Michael Moran in the 58th minute. The Harps Gaels stood firm for the final minutes in which Greg Aylward fired over two great points from play to seal the victory and send the Harps Gaels into the Laois Minor Hurling Championship Semi-Finals against Borris-Kilcotton. Full Time: The Harps Gaels 1-12 V 1-07 Castletown-Slieve Bloom.
Next:Borris-Kilcotton await the Harps Gaels in the Semi-Finals following their comprehensive victory over Camross on a scoreline of 3-22 to 4-09. The date, time and venue is yet to be announced by the County Board. Please stay tuned to our Facebook Page for forthcoming details.
The draw for the 2014 Hurling Championships were made tonight (Tuesday March 4th) in Portlaoise and the following fixtures are sure to whet the appetite of both players and fans alike come high summer…
Laois Shopping Centre Senior Hurling Championship(Games to be played weekend of 19-26 July)
The Harps v Clough Ballacolla
Laois Shopping Centre Intermediate Hurling Championship(Games to be played weekend of 18-25 July)
Clonad v The Harps
Laois Shopping Centre Junior B Hurling Championship
Portlaoise v Clough Ballacolla (winner v The Harps)
Laois Shopping Centre Under-21 Hurling Championship
Clough Ballacolla v Castletown Slieve Bloom (winner v The Harps Gaels)
This Saturday Night, November 30th Pat Critchley will present the victorious Minor Hurlers with their County Medals at a presentation to be held in The Castle Arms Hotel. Members and Players in all grades are encouraged to come along and show their appreciation to the players on such a fine achievement. Finger food will be served. All are most welcome to attend on the night.
THE HARPS GAELS 3-12 V 0-16 BORRIS-KILCOTTON: A mild sunny evening with barely a breeze greeted these two teams to Portlaoise on Saturday evening in the replay of the Minor Hurling Championship Final following their 2-12 V 0-18 drawn game from two weeks earlier. Borris Kilcotton started the game on a strong note quickly establishing the first score of the game. The Harps soon settled and added one of their own. These exchanges of scores set the tempo of the game from there on with fine points being landed in quick succession.
The scoreline read BK 0-03 V 0-02 HG when Owen Sullivan made a great run along the endline and managed to squeeze in a goal with little room to spare between the BK goalkeeper and the upright. Indeed, many in the crowd waited until the green flag was raised before cheering on the score – as it appeared that the side netting was struck. BK responded quickly though and the teams were level. The Harps added another point but then disaster struck when the goal scorer – Owen Sullivan picked up a nasty injury enroute to what looked a likely goal.
BK and The Harps traded scores once more before the Harps went a point ahead. Fine midfield play and good passing found Conor Deegan in a bit of space who burst through and blasted goal number two for the Harps. 2-05 to 0-07, however yet again BK refused to let the goals set them back and rallied with two more fine points in quick succession. The Harps were determined though and responded with two points once more to go in at half time with the score-line reading The Harps Gaels 2-07 v 0-09 Borris Kilcotton.
The second half continued with the pace and excitement of the first half with further exchanges of points traded, though BK were the more industrial in their efforts as with almost 50 minutes played, the scoreline read The Harps Gaels 2-10 v 0-15 Borris Kilcotton. The next attempt by BK was to level the game once more, however indecisions by the umpires saw the referee run in to consult with the men in white. The referee ordered a crossing of the flags to signal that the score would not count much to the delight of the Harps supporters in O’Moore Park.
The Harps ran back down the field and grabbed another point which seemed to power them through the last ten minutes. Two points with one reply left the score-line at 2-12 to 0-16 with only a few minutes to go, victory was close – but seemed still far away as the dreaded two point lead spurned BK on a goal quest in the dying minutes. Their gallant efforts turned out to be fruitless and when the Harps counter attacked, it was Conor Deegan once more who flicked the ball past the advancing BK keeper into the net. The match was won, even though the referee allowed another two minutes of play to go on before blowing the full-time whistle.
The pitch on O’Moore Park was a sea of red and amber as young and old took to the sod to congratulate their heroes. Borris Kilcotton’s stranglehold over the Harry Grey trophy had been broken – BK have been champions for the past 4 years – indeed since the new cup was presented in 2009. But in 2013 there is a new name on the cup – The Harps Gaels. Such were the outpourings of joy and celebrations that it took some twenty minutes before the gallant Harps boys took to the stand to accept the cup.
Full Time: The Harps Gaels 3-12 v 0-16 Borris-Kilcotton. The Harps: Peter Walsh, Aaron Dunne, Gavin Dunne, Liam Lalor, Ciaran Costigan, Richie Saunders, Shane Fitzpatrick, Paul Simms, Ronan Delahunty, Kieran Freeman, James Lapin, Greg Aylward, Shane Tyrell, Owen Sullivan. Subs: Johnny Doyle, Sean Downey, Michael Moran, Donnacha Quinn, David Doheny, Joe Ryan, Cathal Phelan, Shane Keown, Jack McEvoy, Tadgh Fitzpatrick, Brian O’Neill, James McDonald, Niall Mullins, Calvin O’Brien.