The Harps 1-9 Park-Ratheniska-Timahoe 1-6
U-13 Hurling Championship Final
The Harps withstood a ferocious Park-Ratheniska-Timahoe comeback to claim U-13 ‘A’ hurling championship glory in the Centre of Excellence this morning.
Four first half points from Eoin Delaney and 1-1 from Jay Brophy saw The Harps build up a six point lead by half time.
But it was all change in the second period as Barry Connolly dominated the middle section of the field and Matthew Cunningham scored freely to narrow the gap to two points as we entered the closing stages.
However, The Harps just had enough in the tank and they repelled Park-Ratheniska-Timahoe’s attempts for a goal to hold on.
Several players on both sides shone throughout the game as well as the aforementioned players.
The Harps were very solid up the centre of the pitch with Evan Stanley, Tony Mahony and Eoin Holland very prominent.
Park-Ratheniska-Timahoe’s keeper Jack Dermody made a string of fine saves in the game while Liam McEvoy and Andrew Larkin were tigerish in the defence with Ethan Kelly, Aaron Fitzpatrick and Daniel Downey extremely composed in front of them.
The Harps began the game with a 45 and a point from play from Eoin Delaney but Park-Ratheniska-Timahoe roared into the game with a goal after three minutes.
Matthew Cunningham’s dangerous ball caused chaos and Cillian Dunne nipped in at the back post to score.
Neither side scored again after that as Park-Ratheniska-Timahoe led 1-0 to 0-2 at the first water break.
The second quarter of the game proved decisive in the end as this was where The Harps built up an unassailable lead.
Delaney and Cunningham traded efforts on the resumption before the lively Jay Brophy drove a low shot to the net.
Tony Mahony and Cunningham swapped frees before The Harps finished the half strongly as Delaney, Brophy and Mahony all raised white flags to leave them 1-8 to 1-2 ahead.
Park-Ratheniska-Timahoe switched Matthew Cunningham to centre forward and brought Cillian Dunne to the half forward line at the start of the second half and this changed the complexion of the game.
Cunningham fired over four unanswered points – two frees and two from play – to narrow the deficit to two at the second water break, 1-8 to 1-6.
The Harps failed to score again until the third minute of second half injury time as Park-Ratheniska-Timahoe came at them in waves.
They had a few chances to narrow the margin to one but their efforts just went wide while any goal chances were snuffed out by The Harps’ defenders.
In the end, Eoin Delaney converted a free to put three in it. Park-Ratheniska-Timahoe were given one last chance to get an equalising goal but Tony Mahony made a great catch and referee Eoin Scully brought an intense encounter to an end.
It is not the end of the season for a sizeable majority of the Park-Ratheniska-Timahoe lads as Park-Ratheniska will contest the ‘A’ football semi final against St Joseph’s on Wednesday evening.
SCORERS – The Harps: Eoin Delaney 0-5 (two frees, one 45), Jay Brophy 1-1, Tony Mahony 0-2 (one free), Liam Townsend 0-1 Park-Ratheniska-Timahoe: Matthew Cunningham 0-6 (four frees), Cillian Dunne 1-0
THE HARPS: Joey Dempsey; Jamie Fogarty, Evan Stanley, Sean Dempsey; Scott Hovenden, Tony Mahony, Harry Donoghue; Eoin Holland, Conor Dempsey; Jack Deegan, Eoin Delaney, Jay Brophy; Cian Jacob, Liam Townsend, Milo Brennan Subs: Jamie Mahony for Hovenden (36)
PARK-RATHENISKA-TIMAHOE: Jack Dermody; Liam McEvoy, Conor Dermody, Andrew Larkin; Paul Byrne, Daniel Downey, Ethan Kelly; Aaron Fitzpatrick, Barry Connolly; Eoghan Kennedy, Cian Murphy, Matthew Cunningham; Cillian Dunne, Ciaran Skelly, Liam Dermody. Subs: Alex Sheehan for Skelly and Billy Brennan for Kennedy (both 38)
Referee: Eoin Scully (Camross)