The Harps Junior footballers exited the championship last Friday evening as St.Joseph’s proved to be too strong on the night. Played in Crettyard in greasy conditions with a strong wind blowing down the pitch, St.Joseph’s opted to play with the elements behind them in the first half. The Harps however were the first off the mark as John Finnagan kicked a good point from distance. St.Joseph’s had to wait until the 8th minute for their first score, a point from play, but Jim Campion restored The Harps lead a minute later with a fine score from the right wing. The scores started to fly over now as St.Joseph’s hit two from pay in as many minutes before Finnegan sent over his second to leave the sides level. Another brace of points from play for St.Joseph’s was followed up with a converted free to open up a double score lead, but Niall Brophy pointed from play to keep his side in touch. Unfortunately for The Harps, St.Joseph’s hit three points in as many minutes just before the break to stretch their lead out to five points as the half time score read St.Joseph’s 0-9 The Harps 0-4.
The Harps were going to need a strong start to the second half to get back into this game but it was the slick St.Joseph’s who flew out of the traps to score the first three points of the second half. The Harps were not about to throw in the towel however, as Jim Campion and Albert Townsend hit two points from play in response. St.Joseph’s managed another point but The Harps were now on top and two further points by John Brophy and Campion had the deficit back to five points. This would be as close as The Harps would get however, as St.Joseph’s moved through the gears as their powerful running game began to wear down The Harps. They started to point at will and indeed were it not for a string of brilliant reflex saves by Paul Shortall in goal the score could have been a lot worse. Campion and Pat Walsh showed some defiance to hit back with two good scores and The Harps tried bravely until the final whistle, but there was no denying St.Josephs were the superior outfit as they tacked on a goal and further points from play to leave the final score as St.Joseph’s 1-18 The Harps 0-11.
Credit to our footballers for giving their all on the night, and to the management of Gabby irwin and Dave Finnegan, but they will have to do the same again as they face a relegation play-off to keep their Junior A status for 2017.
Subs used: James Shortall, John Brophy, Mark White, Albert Townsend, Jack McEvoy.