Saturday 7 December 2019

Kilmessan joy is the target in season finale

Soccer, Leinster Senior Cup: New Oak Boys 2 Boyne Harps 0

PJ Murray

Boyne Harps suffered a 2-0 defeat away to New Oak Boys on Sunday afternoon in Carlow as despite dominating possession they exited the Leinster Senior Cup at the second round stage.

The game was played on a very tight and very slick pitch in Carlow and that didn't really suit Harps who are much more used to the expanse of United Park.

While Darius Kierans travelled down missing several key players, he had no issue with the performance from those available.

New Oak are well into their season and their match sharpness was evident across the 90 minutes.

It was an even start to the game, but the hosts would hit the front on 10 minutes in controversial circumstances. A cross to the back post saw the Harps defence spring the offside trap, but a New Oak player took possession and finished from close range from what Harps felt was an offside position.

The decision to allow the goal stand seemed to rankle with the visitors, but the officials weren't going to change their minds.

Harps were moving the ball wide and targeting the Oak full backs. Cormac McGroggan had two chances in quick succession, but he was twice denied by a good save.

Harps' good work was allowing them create more chances and Dale Harding saw an effort bounce just wide of the post.

Playing up front on his own, Ryan Connor attempted a shot from distance which was tipped behind.

Harps were peppering the Oak goal, but they weren't finding a way through, while at the other end Jason Lowney had to make just a single save in a very one-sided half.

Ten minutes into the second half Harps found themselves 2-0 down. This time there were no complaints about the goal as the hosts cut through the defence to beat Lowney.

From there, the home team closed up shop and Harps struggled to break them down.

Harding did have another chance, but for the most part the Drogheda team had to try their luck from distance.

Kierans made changes late on to try and get his side back in the game, but the feeling was that no matter how long they stayed there they weren't going to score, that it was just one of those days.

They now turn their attention to the season finale when they face Dundalk side Bellurgan in the Kilmessan Shield Final.

The venue for the game had yet to be fixed at the time of going to press, with a date of Sunday December 1st already set. It will either take place in the MDL grounds or Oriel Park.

Kierans said his side will have a good week's training under their belt before they face Bellurgan.

He also points to the fact that before Sunday they had gone several weeks without playing a competitive fixture.

'Bellurgan will have a full squad to pick from and they are going to be a tough prospect, but we are looking forward to the game and we'll pick ourselves up after this and prepare for the game,' said Kierans.

Boyne Harps: Jason Lowney, Sam Reilly, Manny Smith, Kevin Walshe, James Traynor (Shane Kierans), Daryl McCann, Killian Brennan, Danny Coyle (Paddy O'Boyle), Dayle Harding, Cormac McGroggan (Kyle Molloy), Ryan Connor.

Drogheda Independent