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Rogan in tune early as his goal paves way for Harps

An early goal from Jason Rogan helped Skerries Harps to prevail by eight points over Alfie Byrne Gaels in their Dublin Minor 'D' Hurling Championship Final in Skerries on Sunday morning.

Straight from the throw-in, the hosts mounted an attack down the middle and Rogan was on hand to finish to the net inside 20 seconds to lay the perfect platform for what was a well-deserved victory.

Points followed from the excellent Ciaran Smyth and captain Eoin McGinley as the visitors, an amalgamation of Clontarf and Scoil Uí Chonaill, struggled to impose themselves early on.

Gradually, Gaels began to find their feet through the efforts of midfield pairing Brian Forde and Robert Reynolds with Forde landing some crucial points to narrow his side's deficit and by half-time they trailed by just a point thanks to John Walls' well-taken goal.



Towering

A Ronan McDyer point brought Alfie Byrnes level within five minutes of the restart but with Skerries full-back Eamon McIlgoram a towering presence throughout, it proved the last score for the visitors on a frustrating morning.

Midfielders James O'Callaghan and Ian Furlong got through a pile of work and behind them Andy Smyth was rock solid at centre-back, in addition to landing two crucial points as Harps began to pull away from their opponents.

Skerries, who lost twice to Alfie Byrne Gaels earler in the year, were keen to exact some revenge and the full-forward Ciaran Smyth was helping to put daylight between the sides, registering eight points over the hour, with five from play.

Joe Ryan, Sean Brodie and McDyer did their best with the game slipping from Gaels' grasp but their efforts were in vain as Shane Davis landed two crucial frees and the irrepressible Smyth scored late to leave eight points between the sides at the death.

Skerries, managed by Kieran Herbert, Mick Joe Geighegan, John Murray and Joan Ward, will take belief from what was the first year ever competing at minor level, with their win confirming the progress of hurling in a number of clubs in the North County Dublin area.


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