Eastern Harps 1-13 St Barry’s 3-5
Eastern Harps clinched a two-point victory against St Barry’s of Roscommon on their home turf last Saturday, despite suffering an early blow in the form of Lisa Casey via injury and two sinbins in the closing quarter.
Cara Cox knocked over the first point of the game with Aoife McLoughlin doubling the visitors’ lead shortly afterwards. Casey and Megan McCormack then retaliated with points of their own before Emer Burke and Cox inflicted major damage on Harps’s hope when they both hit the back of the net.
Tara Phillips clawed a point back but captain Casey’s departure from the field added to the home outfit’s woes and left many thinking it would be a long way back for Gary Ward’s side after the first waterbreak with the scoreline at 0-3 to 2-2.
In the ex-Sligo player’s absence however her teammates stood up to the challenge with determination, Phillips and her freekicks coupled with Roisin Molloy’s tenacity in attack their saving grace.
Shannon McGuinness’s strike and a brace from Phillips the only scores of the second quarter, Harps began to tackle the mountain they had to climb and saw things wrapped at 0-5 to 2-3 come halftime.
With the winds at their back’s the Fr. Kevin Brehony Park group came alive in the third phase of the fixture, starting with a Katie Hannon goal just minutes after the restart.
Molloy, Phillips and Lisa Powell then supplemented with a further five points in tandem to inform Cox’s 1-1 in the same period, leaving the board showing 1-10 to 3-4 or thirteen points apiece approaching the final stages.
An unlucky number for some, Harps weren’t phased but rather took everything into their stride as Phillips slotted over yet another score to settle their heads. Casey then miraculously re-joined the fray with minutes to go, popping over a brace either side of Millie Hagan’s inaugural tally.
Two yellow cards then brought their players on the pitch to 13 as Riona Hannon and Molloy were both sent to the sideline, but grit and collective conviction got the Sligo LGFA Intermediate champions over the line to the next stage of the Connacht competition.
Now to play Dromahair on Saturday, Casey herself seems to be a doubt for the outing but is confident the unit will continue to push on regardless.
“I could feel something going and the calf gave up a little bit… it was really strange to be on the sideline watching the girls and I was glad I was able to come on for the last few minutes but yeah it was touch and go” she says.
“I don’t really know how it’s going to go for myself at the moment, we’ll see how the week pans out. It’s just brilliant though and I can’t believe we’re back here again next week in Keash.
“Dromahair will be a tough opposition, but we’re just delighted. Every step is a bonus from now on, but we want to keep on going.”
Eastern Harps: Shereda Davey, Emma Hannon, Sarah Gallagher, Edel McNulty, Orlaith Connolly, Leanne McGowan, Roisín Molloy (0-2), Lisa Powell (0-2), Grace Rafferty, Katie Hannon (1-0), Lisa Casey (captain, 0-3), Amy McGovern, Megan McCormack (0-1), Tara Phillips (0-5, 3 f), Eimear Connolly.
Subs used: Riona Hannon for Lisa Casey, Tara McGowan for Tara Phillips.
Subs unused: Claudia McGovern, Katie McGowan, Roisín Sirlis, Nollaig O’Dowd, Aoife Michell, Catherine Cryan, Ciara Hannon, Alanna Scanlon, Clodagh Scanlon, Aoife Lyons, Sarah Conheady, Aideen Coyle
St Barry’s: Eimear Diffley, Rachel Frayne, Holly Rogers, Nicole Murphy, Erin Hagan, Sarah McVeigh (captain), Emer Callaghan, Aine Halpin, Aoife McLoughlin(0-1), Edel Beirne, Shannon McGuiness (0-1), Millie Hagan (0-1), Grainne Gaynor, Cara Cox (2-2), Emer Burke (captain, 1-0)
Subs used: Geraldine Farrell for Aine Halpin, Katie Rogers for Grainne Gaynor.
Subs unused: Aoife Gaynor, Claire McGlynn, Edel NcMenamin, Denise Duffy, Rebecca Cox, Lana Fallon, Shauna Rogan, Megan Courtney, Rosie Trautt, Amy Cousins, Denise Bennett, Oonagh Farrell.