Wednesday 22 May 2019

Busy league action for Eastern Harps as they play twice

Padraic Duffy

Eastern Harps and St. Mary's served up a thrilling league match at the Fr.Kevin Brehony Memorial Park on Sunday. In the end just a point separated two well matched sides at opposite ends of the league table.

These two great rivals have produced some wonderful battles over the years and Sunday's clash was a further extension of the sporting rivalry that has developed between these two clubs of similar vintage. The teams were level on four occasions and there were some excellent passages of open football from both sides.

Harps took an early three points lead through Conor Higgins and Declan Hannon from play and a converted Tony Taylor free. St.Mary's opened their account through a brace of frees from Mark McGoldrick. Conor Higgins added his second point and Paul Kilcoyne and Johnny Lynch replied from play for the Sligo town side. Tony Taylor converted a 13m free and Martin Doherty finished off a penetrating Shawn O'Hara run with a point from play. The influential Cian Breheny added a point to St.Mary's tally.

Harp's goal from Declan Hannon was cancelled out almost instantly by a swift St.Mary's move which ended with veteran Johnny Martyn crashing the ball to the Harps net. A point from play by Nathan Rooney brought the sides level at 1-6 each at the interval.

The closely contested exchanges continued in the second half. In response to a pointed 13m. free from Tony Taylor,Johnny Martyn fisted over a point for St.Mary's.Shawn O'Hara and Paul Kilcoyne exchanged points to ensure the deadlock prevailed. A key turning point saw Harp's young keeper Alan Davey save Kyle Cawley's penalty as St. Mary's upped the ante. Sean Bruen fisted a point and Declan Hannon added another after a fine Tony Taylor catch and delivery. Nathan Rooney got his second point from play;Tony Taylor responded with a similar effort before Kyle Cawley pointed after sustained St.Mary's pressure.T ony Taylor's free from 40m was followed by a second point from Sean Bruen to leave the home side three points ahead approaching the closing minutes. Mark McGoldrick and Nathan Rooney converted two frees but St.Mary's couldn't find the equaliser as Harps defended their slender lead in numbers. The result gives the hosts a boost in their bid to avoid relegation while St.Mary's are still in contention for a place in the league final.

Both sides will meet again in a few weeks in the championship and will no doubt take encouragement from many fine performances on Sunday.

Scorers: E. Harps: T.Taylor 0-5 (0-4f.),D.Hannon 1-2,C.Higgins 0-2,S.Bruen 0-2,S.O'Hara and M.Doherty 0-1 each.

Scorers: St. Mary's: J.Martyn 1-1,M.Mc Goldrick 0-3( f.),N.Rooney 0-3,P.Kilcoyne 0-2,J.Lynch,C.Breheny,K.Cawley 0-1 each.

E. Harps: A.Davey; D.Madden, R.Reid, T.Taheny; E.Lavin, E.Dwyer, G.Horan; K.Gallagher, T.Taylor; C.Higgins, T.Cryan, S.O'Hara; S.Bruen, M.Doherty, D. Hannon. Subs used: C.Gallagher.

St. Mary's: F.Ruddy; C.O'Grady, D.O'Connor C.Darcy; G.O'Kelly-Lynch, P.Kilcoyne, J.Martyn; N.Mc Manus, A.Lynch; M.Mc Goldrick, C.Breheny, N.Rooney; T.O'Kelly-Lynch, K.Cawley, J.Lynch.

Referee: R. Hynes (St.Farnan's).

On Thursday, Tubbercurry visited Keash in the League and came away winners on a 2-18 ro 2-9 scoreline. Tubbercurry recorded a vital win over the hosts;thus easing their possible relegation fears. The home side however,will regret earlier narrow defeats which has left them deep in relegation territory with just two rounds to be played.

In heatwave conditions the game ebbed and flowed with the visitors more dominant but failing to hit the target in the opening exchanges.

Both sides were without a number of regulars.

After almost ten scoreless minutes,former county midfield colleagues Tony Taylor and Stephen Gilmartin exchanged points. Points from frees by Stephen Matthews as well as from play by Stephen Gilmartin and David Kelly gave Tubber a 0-6 to 0-1 lead before Tony Taylor pointed his second free from 30m.

Darragh Kilcoyne pointed a before Conor Higgins pointed from play.

Brian Morahan's point from play left the visitors 0-8 to 0-3 ahead at the interval.

Indeed their lead should have been much greater if they had found the range from numerous chances.

Former county star David Kelly pointed two in a row from play on the resumption. Stephen Matthews pointed a 20m free and Tony Taylor was successful from a similar effort for the Harps. Points from Brian Morahan,a Stephen Matthews and impressive midfielder Niall Murphy from play left Tubbercurry comfortably ahead entering the final quarter.

Tony Taylor pointed another and Conor Higgins added a point from play for a Harps side who were now playing second fiddle to a slicker Tubbercurry team.

Brian Morahan increased the Tubber lead with a point and was then at the end of a swift counter attack to finish with aplomb to the Harps net.

Evan Lavin pointed from play while Tony Taylor's penalty sailed over the bar to reduce the deficit.

The visitors kept the scoreboard ticking over with points from Conor Ryan and Dermot Walsh,a point from Luke Gilmartin and a goal from Cian Gilmartin as Tubber closed the game out.

Harps finished strongly however with goals from Michael Lennon and Gavin Horan put more respectability on their account.

Tubbercurry showed flashes of what they are capable of and should be championship contenders as some established players return.

Harps played with little conviction at times and need to show a marked improvement if they are to emerge from a competitive championship group.

The game was well controlled by referee Padraig Golden.

Tubbercurry scorers: B.Morahan 1-3,S.Matthews 0-5(f.),D.Kelly 0-3,C.Gilmartin 1-0,S.Gilmartin 0-2, D.Kilcoyne,N.Murphy,C.Ryan,D.Walsh,L.Gilmartin 0-1 each.

E. Harps scorers: T.Taylor 0-6 (f. & pen.), Ml.Lennon 1-0, G.Horan 1-0C.Higgins 0-2, E.Lavin 0-1.

Sligo Champion