Match Report-SFC Eastern Harps v St. Marys

Belfry S.F.C. ,Group 1 Round 3 in Bunninadden Community Park. 26-8-2017.

                    St.Mary’s  Secure  Qr.-Final Place.    Report by Padraic Duffy.

ST. Mary’s   1-14      Eastern Harps 1-12.

Old rivals Eastern Harps and St. Mary’s produced another interesting and well contested spectacle in Bunninadden on Sunday evening.The game resembled more of championship encounters of the past with some well worked scores coming from both sides. Harps were forced to field without long term  injury victim, Ross Donavan but were further depleted by the late withdrawal through injury of midfielder, Tony Taylor. St. Mary’s fielded without their former County Player Johnny Martyn.

Harps opened the scoring in whirlwind fashion with a point and a goal in the opening seven minutes. Shane O’Grady opened their account with a point from a 13m free. This was followed by a goal, finished to the St.Mary’s net by Conor Higgins after  a good turnover by Martin Doherty.

St.Mary’s responded promptly when team captain, Rory Guinan pointed a 13m free. Sean Bruen was on target for Harps after Shane O’Grady picked him out with a quickly taken 45. St Mary’s were growing into the game and two flowing movements saw Gerard O’Kelly-Lynch hit a point and Niall Mc Manus finish to the Harps net to leave the sides deadlocked at 1-2 each.  Shane O’Grady, from a 30m free and Niall Mc Manus exchanged points. Another converted 30m free from Shane O’Grady and an ambitious effort from 40m by Gavin Horan gave Harps a two points advantage. The winners finished the half with a flourish. Rory Guinan pointed a 13m free and  Kyle Cawley hit two in a row to give his side a 1-6 to 1-5 lead at the interval.

Now with the aid of a stiff breeze, St.Mary’s commenced the second half intent on building on their slender interval advantage, Goalkeeper, Fintan Ruddy pointed a 45.Shawn O’Hara  reduced the St.Mary’s lead after he took a pass from Martin Doherty. Mark Breheny began to show all his guile and experience with a point from play, followed by a converted 13 m free by Rory Guinan. James O’Hara was unlucky to see his fisted effort just off target as Harps tried to wrestle control. Kyle Cawley pointed from an acute angle to increase the winners lead to four points.

Shane O’Grady pointed two 13m frees to reduce the deficit. Harps ‘keeper,Alan Davey  brought off a great save as Mary’s went for the jugular.His opposite number, Fintan Ruddy pointed his second 45 of the game.The industrious Kevin Gallagher pointed from play as the game entered the closing stages.

St. Mary’s defence were now under siege from a rejuvenated Harps attack.They conceded three frees which Shane O’Gady converted .The winners retained their slim advantage with a Mark Breheny point from a 13m free, an opportunist point from Dylan Kilgallon  and their final point from play from Nathan Rooney. Harps swarmed forward  again but time ran out and St.Mary’s held on in a pulsating finish.

They move on to the Qr.-finals while Harps must enter the unfamiliar relegation zone.Both sides will be pleased with improved performance which they will hope to take into their next outings.

Scorers: St.Mary’s :N.Mc Manus 1-1,R.Guinan 0-3(f),K.Cawley 0-3,F.Ruddy 0-2(45’s),M.Breheny 0-2 (0-1f.),G.O’Kelly-Lynch,N.Rooney,&D.Kilgallon 0-1 each.

E.Harps: S.O’Grady 0-8(f.),C.Higgins 1-0,S.Bruen,G.Horan,S.O’Hara & K.Gallagher 0-1each.

Line-out: St.Mary’s : F.Ruddy; C.O’Grady,L.Nicholson,C.Darcy;G.O’Kelly-Lynch,P.Kilcoyne,L.Henry; C.Breheny,N.Mc Manus; M.Mc Goldrick,R.Guinan,J.Lynch;K.Cawley,J.Davey M.Breheny. Subs used :D.O’Connor,D.Kilgallon,N.Rooney.

E.Harps: A.Davey;B.Cryan,R.Reid,D.Madden;G.Horan,K.Gallagher,E.Dwyer;T.Cryan,E.Lavin;C.Higgins,M.Doherty,S.O’Hara; S.Bruen,S.O’Grady,J.O’Hara. Subs used:B.Molloy,T.Taheny,K.Cryan,C.Gallagher.

Referee: Gus Chapman (Shamrock Gaels).

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