Match Report-SFC Eastern Harps v St. John's

S.F.C. Relegation Playoff in Connolly Park, Collooney  9-9-2018.

Harps Retain Senior Championship Status after Relegation Battle.  Report by P.Duffy.

Eastern Harps  1-13     St.John’s 2-6.

Eastern Harps retained their senior status for the coming season as they overcame St.John’s by four points in Connolly Park, Collooney on Sunday.

Last year’s Intermediate champions, St.John’s had the better of the exchanges for much of the first half. Yet they were two points adrift at the interval as a late scoring burst from Harps gave them a 0-9 to 1-4 lead. The winners had two wides early in the game before St.John’s midfielder, David Burke got on the end of a long delivery to flick the ball to the Harps net. Brian Mc Gowan, who was influential throughout, finished a good run on the right wing with a point to give his side a valuable four points lead. Meanwhile Harps full forward Shane O’Grady saw his piledriver from close range rebound off the St.John’s crossbar and cleared to safety. Tony Taylor opened the Harps account on 16minutes and Sean Bruen found the range with a point from a 13m. free.

Fiachra Grennan from play and David Rooney from a 30m free after a foul on veteran Charlie Harrison restored the St.John’s advantage. Sean Bruen pointed from play and Charlie Harrison had his side’s final point of the half after advancing on a solo run from the right.

Harps were growing in confidence and began to dominate around the middle for the remaining ten minutes. Thomas Cryan’s long delivery from midfield bounced over the St.John’s crossbar. Shane O’Grady pointed a 20m. free which had been brought forward by the referee for indiscipline. Tony Taylor pointed twice from play and Shane O’Grady  converted two frees from 30m . to leave the winners 0-9 to 1-4 ahead at the interval.

Harps got the ideal start to the second half with a point from play by Thomas Cryan. Shane O’Grady increased the Harps lead with a point from a 20m. free after Sean Bruen was fouled off the ball.

David Rooney reduced the deficit with a point from a 45. Shane O’Grady pointed two frees as Harps upped the tempo and began to run at the overworked St.John’s defence. The Harps full forward then found the St.John’s net after the ball broke kindly and Sean Bruen’s pass put him in the clear.

St.John’s tried all they knew to get back in the game and Harps defence came under sustained pressure. David Rooney’s quickly taken 20m. free took a deflection and flashed to the Harp’s net. The Harps defence withstood further pressure to keep the opposition at arm’s length in injury time. The winners were relieved to keep their four points advantage to the final whistle.

They will be grateful for the leadership shown by veterans Kevin Gallagher, Tony Taylor, Thomas Cryan and Martin Doherty and the promising displays of the youthful O’Hara brothers and Bryan Molloy.

St.John’s were well by  served  veterans Charlie Harrison and David Rooney with important contributions from Brian Mc Gowan, Paul Mc Namara and Oisin Cox.

Meanwhile St.John’s must face Drumcliffe/Rosses Point in a winner takes all survival battle.

Scorers: E.Harps : S.O’Grady 1-6 (0-6f.),T.Taylor 0-3,S.Bruen 0-2 (0-1f.),T.Cryan 0-2.

Scorers:St.John’s :D.Rooney 1-3 (0-3f.),D.Burke 1-0,B.Mc Gowan, F.Grennan and C.Harrison 0-1 each.

Lineout: E.Harps:

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

St.John’s :N.O’Donnell; D.Smyth,E.Roche,N.Walsh;N.Hayes,P.Mc Namara,R.Fahy;J.Murphy,D.Burke;B.McGowan,D.Rooney,T.Kelly;C.Greene,O.Cox,C.Harrison. Subs used: F.Grennan,S.Stenson.

Referee: B.Judge (Castleconnor)



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