Harps put Gaels to the sword on day for ducks
DRIVING wind and rain was the prevalent force at Lawless Park on Sunday morning as Skerries Harps booked their place in the semi-finals of the Minor Hurling C Championship.
All four dugouts were taken up by parents and players alike as they took shelter from what were horrific conditions on the day and credit must go to both teams for serving up a terrific game of hurling.
As the scoreline suggests it was a very close game, but in keeping with past performances Skerries dug in deep to grind out the victory.
Certainly hurling is thriving at the club at the moment and next Sunday the seniors take on Erins Isle in a crucial Division 6 promotion play-off.
Donal McIlgorm is certainly one who likely to feature prominently for them in the years to come after a stirring display at the weekend.
McIlgorm has certainly to come to the attention of the Dublin Under 16 management team this season and his forward thrusts down the left-hand side were a big feature of this game.
However Swords Gaels, an amalgamation of players of Fingallians and St Finian's players, certainly gave a very good account of themselves on the day.
Although missing Caolan O'Kennedy, who had hit four goals in their opening group encounter against Vincents, they certainly matched up well against their opponents.
Nonetheless Skerries headed them in the early stages, with Ciaran Joyce proving very prolific from the dead ball.
Swords Gaels then received an unexpected reprise when Ciaran O'Carroll's free from 40 yards out dropped under the keeper's crossbar.
Skerries re-intensified their efforts after that, with McIlgorm seeing his shot skid across the face of the Swords Gaels goal and Joyce on hand to punish any indiscretion.
The seasiders were then to put further distance between the sides when Liam Smart showed good feet before finishing past the Swords keeper.
Swords refused to lie down, with Jack Murray firing in their second goal from close range. However, Skerries didn't buckle, with Kevin Gilmore turning a defender before raising the white flag with a good point on the turn.
Neither side showed any sign of a let-up and Eoin O'Connor fired over a free for the Gaels to keep his team in contention, but a terrific charge from Andy Davis then set up a free for Skerries which Joyce duly converted.
Swords Gaels: Kevin Hammond, Ryan Downey, Conor Collier, Paul McLoughlin, Brendan Sheppard, Ciaran Murtagh, Paul Reddin, Eoin O Connor 0-2, Joe Meehan, Mark Wright, Jack Murray 1-1, Ciaran Fitzgerald, Mark Kelly, Ciaran O Carroll 1-1, JJ McCarthy. Subs: Mike Caperou for McCarthy, Conor Bradshaw for Kelly, Sean Brock for Wright.
Skerries Harps: Daniel Graham, Cathal Azzopardi, Johnny Fay Watt, Ciaran Furlong, Eoin Hickey, Kian Coleman, Robbie O Connor, Jack Carroll, Kevin Gilmore 0-1, Ciaran Joyce 0-7, Cian Coleman, Liam Smart 1-0, Shane Rice, Andy Davis 0-2, Donal McIlgorm.