Weekly Notes & Archive
The Harps Lotto jackpot, now £7200, was not won on Sunday night. The numbers were 2, 8, 16 and 26. £20 each went to Louise Dundas, Derrygonnelly, Judy Murphy, Enniskillen and Ollie McShea, Enniskillen. We are in the Linnett Inn this Sunday night, with Peter Jones, Mary Cox and Gerry Gallagher on the controls.
Well done to our Under 14s, who had a good result on Saturday against Kinawley on the back of a very committed second half effort in particular. They play Belcoo tonight under the lights in Canon Maguire Park at 7.30pm. Our Minor game against Kinawley was not played because of an unplayable pitch. The boys are scheduled to play St Gerards at home this Sunday at midday.
Our Under 14 girls are starting out for the year this Thursday evening at 6.15pm. Any girl from Primary seven class to Year 10 who turn 14 in 2017 are welcome to come along, whether you have been playing regularly through Under 12 etc or not, it will be great to see you there. This training will end at 7.15.
The club's next big off field initiative is our Four County Cycle Tour on May 13th. This fundraiser will have three courses to suit all ability levels, from 10k to 100k in length. This will be a big goal for a lot of cyclists in our area and beyond, but we hope that plenty of locals in particular will come on board and give it a go. The 10k spin obviously an option for everyone, but the 50k is a very accessible and realistic target too, with a bit of preparation. The 100k is a great challenge for someone who has done a bit before, but again it offers a great way for someone who is looking to do a bit more or get moving for the year. We hope to see plenty of participants on their bikes around our four counties, this event gives us something positive to be working towards!
The Harps Lotto jackpot, now £7100, was not won on Sunday night. The numbers were 7, 19, 26 & 28. £20 each went to Paula McGlone, Boho, Freddie Keenan, Monea and Thomas Flanagan, Boho. We are in the Cosy Bar this Sunday night, with Pat McGurn, Michael Glynn and Mary Cox on duty.
Our Under 14 lads had their first game of the season on Saturday when they lost out against Derrylin. They had a good share of possession, and were competitive throughout the tie against a strong opponent. They are away to Kinawley this Saturday. Our Minors have their first match this Sunday when they are away to Kinawley on Sunday at 12pm.
Our Under 14s are hosting a visiting club during this year's Feile na nOg from June 23rd - 25th. Can our prospective hosts please return their initial expression of interest forms to either Sean Flanagan, Gavin Duffy, Brendan Rasdale or the Under 14 management so we can start the vetting process.
The Harps Health and Wellbeing committee would like to thank Damian McHugh County Health and Wellbeing Chairman, the members of the club executive and youth committees, minor players and their managers for supporting the promotion of our club's smoke free status on Sunday. A special thank you also to our minor player who volunteered to wear the costume for the photos which are on our online output. Players were provided with information booklets on the hazards of smoking to health and links to other support services on smoking cessation will be made available on the Harps website.
The club's next big off field initiative is our Four County Cycle Tour on May 13th. This fundraiser will have three courses to suit all ability levels, from 10k to 100k in length. This will be a big goal for a lot of cyclists in our area and beyond.
Derrygonnelly Harps GFC
The Harps Lotto jackpot, now £7000, was not won on Sunday night. The numbers were 8, 10, 11 & 19. £20 each went to the two Rosies, Derrylin, Brigid McManus, Derylin, and Paul Treacy, Lisnaskea. We are in Old Pals this Sunday night, with Garry Smyth, Kevin Dundas & Kevin Gallagher on duty with Mary Cox.
Thank you to everyone who supported and sold tickets for the National Draw, which has become a very important part of our ongoing fundraising. The draw itself takes place at Croke Park on Wednesday March 8th. We hope we can repeat last year's feat, and take a big prize for one of our subscribers!
Good luck to our Under 14s, who play their first league game of the year this Saturday at home against Derrylin at 2pm. Our minors start their league campaign on Sunday 26th. Please note that there will be a meeting for all coaches from Under 10 to Minor this Thursday evening to deal with arrangements and protocols for the year ahead. The meeting takes place at 8.30pm, and it is very important that all of our coaches and managers attend. Gavin Duffy has taken on the role of Youth secretary for 2017. We wish him well, and thank Garry Smyth very much for his work in this section of the club in recent years.
The Health and wellbeing Committee recently worked with the local primary schools in the area to promote the club’s Tobacco free policy which was formally adopted at the club executive meeting in August 2016, the first Fermanagh club to do so. A colouring competition was arranged for P1-P3 and a poster design competition for P4-P7 in both St Patrick’s PS and in Killyhommen PS, with the messages that smoking is no longer permitted on club grounds and that smoking and sport don’t mix. Thanks to the staff and pupils in both schools for their excellent work and congratulations to the winners from both schools. Signage is currently being erected in Canon Maguire Park and we are asking club members and players, the local community and visitors to respectfully adhere to this new policy. Club volunteers will also participate in training facilitated by the Public Health Agency, to help maintain the policy.
The club's next big off field initiative is our Four County Cycle Tour on May 13th. This fundraiser will have three courses to suit all ability levels, from 10k to 100k in length. This will be a big goal for a lot of cyclists in our area and beyond.
Finally, it was with great sadness that Harps members heard of the tragic passing of Michelle Reilly in Enniskillen last week, and condolences are extended to her family, especially the Flanagans within the Harps community.
The Harps Lotto jackpot, now £6900, was not won on Sunday night. The numbers were 1, 14, 22 & 27. £20 each went to Sinead McGurren, Boho, Seamus Greenan, Garrison and E & M Monaghan, Macken. We are in the Cosy this Sunday night with Eamonn Greene, John Ferguson and Mary Cox on duty.
Fixtures have been released for the upcoming U14 and Minor leagues, with our Under 14s commencing at home against Derrylin on Saturday 18th February at 2pm, and our Minors playing their first match on February 26th, away to Kinawley at midday. Both groups have been preparing diligently for their competitions, and good luck in these games.
This week is the last push for all players and non-playing members who are currently promoting tickets for the GAA National Club Draw. They are priced at £10 each and the top prize, which was won by one of our own club members last year, is a New Opel Corsa, with a variety of other really impressive prizes on offer as well. We hope that this event is well supported, and remind our promoters that we will be taking in returns until this Saturday Feb 11th, so keep up the selling! All sellers will be contacted over the next week by their co-ordinator to remind them of the upcoming deadline. Ticket returns to John McGovern or Ruairi Dundas.
Our Ladies' senior and Under 16 teams have started training for the season ahead. New or lapsed members, plus all our established players are welcome to get back out on Canon Maguire Park for the new season.
So the Harps went up to this year’s Ulster Club a bit under the radar, with 1-20 journos' favourites Slaughtneil not expected to break sweat on the way to a semi final slot (Have to say, a lot of journalists and columnists were pretty lazy in their informed punditry over the last week, they could have bothered to check us out at least). Things didn’t quite work out that way, and as Garvan Jones converted a free in the 58th minute, the Derry champions led by two points, 9-7, and they had to produce a very professional effort against our 14 men to take the thing home in the end. So in our fifth shot at it, the Harps have finally put in a performance in the Ulster Club. Slaughtneil deserved their win on the day, but there was plenty of food for thought for the Harps afterwards as well.
The half time score was 0-6 to 0-5 in favour of Slaughtneil, and Harps supporters would definitely point to the opening thirty minutes in terms of opportunities not converted, possession not turned into scores. Fifteen minutes in, Ryan Jones boomed over a great score to put us 4-3 up. Paul Bradley from frees was the key Slaughtneil scorer, while our first three points had come from Garvan Jones (free and play) plus Leigh Jones. Bradley levelled, Foss had a nice one from play to put us ahead again, Bradley levelled again, before Patsy Bradley capitalised on a turnover ball to send over the final score of the half off the outside of his boot 6-5 to Slaughtneil. Turnover ball gets punished.
Ten minutes into the second half, there was still a point in it, with Shane McGuigan and Leigh Jones (free), exchanging scores. Ref Noel Mooney of Cavan had black carded Patsy Bradley and also Harps’ Mo Cassidy by that stage, and he was to send Paul Ward to the line for a second yellow card with maybe fifteen to go - an obvious turning point in hindsight. On 50 minutes, Cormac O’Doherty had a point for 9-6 to Slaughtneil to put them in the kind of position they were unlikely to cough up, especially with a spare man. They absorbed a bit of Harps pressure, as Garvan brought it to 9-7 on 58 minutes, and went straight downfield to pick off scores from Shane McGuigan and then Karl mcKaigue. Finally Barry McGuigan gave them a five point margin and they were into the semi.
From a Harps point of view, a lot of things went right: the shape of the team when not in possession was top class, clear evidence of detailed preparation which all of the players bought into, the defensive play and turnover count must be pretty decent, the Harps more than matched their opponents in the middle third, with a few clean takes, but also a lot of secondary possession well secured. It was the move of the ball into the final third (or maybe the whole transition of play from defence into attack), which proved to be the most difficult part of the thing for us. In truth, that is always the case for the underdog who manages to compete well. Think most Fermanagh games, for instance. There's that point when a team is forty yards from an opponent's goal, from there onwards is key. It is a difficult part of the modern game.
For the Harps to have won today, they would probably have needed even more possession than they had (even though we did well on that front), virtually no wides (we had a few), Slaughtneil to have an off day and miss a few chances (their conversion rate was good), the ref to give us a few chancy decisions (he didn’t really) and we might have sneaked home by one. Some people might remember a St Michael’s MacRory Cup Final win over Maghera in 2012, or Fermanagh’s USFC semi win over Derry in 2008, or Roscommon in 2015 - that kind of thing.
But… there was a lot to admire in the performance: the collective effort (as opposed to a few brave individual performances in defeat), the fact that we were well able to compete with a top Ulster side, the know-how compared to last year’s well meaning but ultimately pretty headless performance (being kind there maybe..) and the belief. Now belief is pointless if you can’t back it up, but there was evidence today that the Harps can compete with anyone.
The trouble is, they are now as far away as ever from the Ulster Club. The first round of the Fermanagh SFC is the focus now.
Was 2016 our club’s best ever season in terms of performance? In this writers opinion, yes. So salute every single person who contributed to it in whatever way. Thank you.
HARPS 2-11 TEEMORE 0-6
The Harps are double champions for the second year in a row!!
They took the result completely deservedly on the back of an action packed first half, after which they held a twelve point lead! To be honest, there was never the slightest possibility that that lead would be overturned, but Teemore gave it a lash and emerged honourably from the second half anyway.
The Harps absolutely blitzed it in the first quarter, and Teemore had a torrid time, struggling to get past the middle and being turned over when they tried to work it out. Stephen McGullion had to settle for a point in our first attack when he was possibly thinking of a goal, and in the next attack, Ryan Jones steamed through the heart of Teemore’s defence only to see a screamer come back off the crossbar. Garvan Jones fisted a point, Mo Cassidy scored a Deccy Cassidy style point coming in from the right and Garvan Jones goaled from distance in the twelfth minute. The attacks kept coming, with Shane McGullion laying a handy one on for Leigh Jones, Neil Gallagher pushing up for a point, before the ball onto the dancefloor saw Stephen McGullion put the seal on his excellent first half contribution as he flicked home from the edge of the square. He was very impressive, and involved in a number of our other scores in the first period. Shortly before half time, Wardy and Shane had to carry the ball the length of the field between them, before Wardy clipped over the final score of the half. Bad news for Teemore before half time as Barry Owens, in an effort to rise the thing, drove at the Harps, but ended up in a tangle and receiving a red card. No complaints, it seemed. It looked grim for them, has to be said.
But they got a good start to the second half, Jason McCaffrey from play, and then Eoin McManus grabbed a point each, and then they made Peggy earn his keep with a bit of goalmouth action. The Harps play seemed to degenerate somewhat for the next fifteen minutes really. McManus scored a good free for Teemore, sub Damien Maguire had one from play and the Teemore crowd found their voice a bit. Mo Cassidy hit his second good score of the night from maybe thirty five yards out on the right wing, but we were generally underwhelming and you know a game is going nowhere when the spectators are able to chat away to each other ("It's great to get the slurry out etc."), and the announcer guy has to make an announcement about children running amok jumping head first over the seats, but anyway…
So, sub Keeves scored a Kevin Cassidy style point off the outside of his left boot from the left side on twenty minutes and the thing was freewheeling to an end. Eoin McManus kept the Teemore light on with two frees, but the three Jones brothers had a point apiece over the last ten minutes, all from play and all good scores to see us home to the final whistle.
For the second year in a row (same thing last year when we beat Ederney), everyone seemed strangely muted by it all, which this writer thinks is a pity. We have just enjoyed the best two years in our history and achieved a brilliant feat. If we start to take that for granted, we’ll be on our collective arses very quick. Maybe it’s night-time finals or something.. Anyway, gripe over.
For the Harps the damage was done in a brilliant early spell. They had obviously decided not to let Teemore get their confidence up at all (having been beaten by them last time the teams met in Brewster Park), and that worked well. In terms of performances, as already stated Big Mug had a very influential first half up front, whilst the very impressive Ryan and Garvan Jones controlled considerable passages of play throughout the game, with Ryan doing some top class work to stop Teemore attacks and initiate ours as well. At the back, Denis Greene and Mickey Jones in particular were very good in a unit which the Teemore forwards found hard to penetrate. Teemore can look back and think positively on how they dug out a decent second half effort to turn a potential savaging into a defeat.
But overall the Harps won a lot of the battles on the night and were worthy winners. That’s double double winners!! Come on!!
Harps 0-11 Erne Gaels 1.7.
The Harps claimed our club’s fifth championship on Sunday, and had to show the resolve of a great team to take the result in a tough final ten minutes. The lads have now added the achievement of back to back titles to their list and yesterday showed why they are a serious team: when the going gets tough, the lads dig it out.
Derrygonnelly held the upper hand for most of the first half, with Erne Gaels, perhaps understandably, reluctant to go for it very much in an attacking sense. Ryan Jones drove through for our opener, followed by a good Wardy score from play in the fifth minute, before Seamus Ryder had Belleek’s opener, followed by Barry McCann fisting a point in the 9th minute to level. Wardy and Leigh worked an opening for the ageing veteran himself to stick over, followed by a nice Garvan Jones free from the right. Ryder had a free, Wardy had a good score from play, and Neil Gallagher had a clinker of a score from the right. He has had a fine season, under the radar. 6-3 was about right. The quality of play wasn’t great. Erne Gaels commitment to closing down space with bodies created plenty of turnovers and slowed down play. They were working very hard indeed. We were possibly a bit reliant on Leigh and Wardy to make things happen, but they were definitely up for that task.
Erne Gaels started the second half up the field, and converted two frees through Seamus Ryder and Ryan Lyons. Foss had a few bits of good ballwinning under high ones before that man Wardy saw us two clear again with his fourth score of the day, followed by a Deccy Cass point to lift the crowd. But the Belleek lads had a great spell and rattled us big time! A Ryder free, a Ryder point deflected over by a brilliant Dermott Feely save (crucial moment!), and a Ryan Lyons goal as he got on the end of a break ball around the square to put them one up entering the last ten minutes! Time to show the character: Leigh Jones from a free, Leigh Jones from play and in the 28th minute, Deccy Cass, one of our greatest warriors, cuts in from the right to bang over the winner. We were secure in possession for the last few minutes, with usual suspects Ryan and Conall working the ball well, and after three minutes of injury time the New York Gold Cup was on the way back to Harpland! A hard game, joyless enough for neutral spectators no doubt, but compelling as Erne Gaels went toe to toe with the Harps, and came up just short. They will have to look at their approach after the goal, but had a number of decent performances through Seamus Ryder and Brian Mullin for instance, yet Derrygonnelly had possibly more contributors overall, including replacements like Mo Cassidy. Leigh was awarded man of the match, and it would be hard to argue with that, for his ball carrying, scoretaking and intelligent link play marked him out all day. Wardy must have pushed him close, but it is great to see the MoM title is back in Boho where it belongs (ahem). As usual, nobody even notices how well Mickey Jones plays and he is such a leader in our team nowadays. Elsewhere, honourable mentions go to Conall Jones, for his most disciplined hardworking performance of the season and Jedi Knight Peggy Obi Five Kinobe Feely for that save!!
Right, this is our fifth go at the Ulster Club, and we've very little to live up to so far. It’s time we showed that we’re a serious club. The next step awaits. Well done lads!
The excitement in the final quarter of this game means that it won’t be forgotten for quite a while. Fifteen minutes into the 2nd half, Roslea led by two on a 1-8 to 1-6 scoreline, having scored four points on the bounce in the third quarter to no reply from the Harps. Finally, in the 18th minute of the half, Garvan McGinley got us moving again, followed by another in the twentieth minute to level up. Still, we were struggling to get any conviction in our play, and Roslea’s excellent forward Niall Beggan put the Shamrocks one up with five to play. Lee Jones, who came on as a sub and put us on the front foot generally, went on a long solo run in the 28th minute. He carried the ball seventy yards, and, rapidly running out of ideas, was glad to give the ball to Kevin Cassidy. Keeves stepped inside his man and levelled from forty yards for 1-9 apiece! We’d have taken the draw for sure, but there were three minutes of injury time called. A minute later, Niall Clerkin, Roslea’s other excellent forward on the night, nailed a great score to put the Shamrocks clear again. Fair play to the Harps, they still wouldn’t lie down, and a 31st minute move involving Cassidy and Barry McGrath saw Shane McGullion get on the end of the high ball and have the cop on to slip the ball into the net rather than blast it at any defender! Huge cheers! Clerkin bagged another point, but a minute later, Shane found space again as Roslea committed forward and he nailed another score. Harps snatch victory from what looked like being a disappointing defeat in truth.
The first half saw the Harps lead 1-6 to 1-4 at the break. Petie Gall had a great opener in the third minute, and Conor Hoy sidefooted a point in the 9th, before 1-2 from Roslea via Cathal Lynam, Niall Clerkin from a 50’ and a good hard low finish from Shane Lynch off the post. We were a bit too deep and struggling to get out with any real drive, but a long ball out and good handpass from Kevin Cassidy put Foss through, he was hauled down, and Jonny McGurn banged home the penalty. Garvan exchanged points with Clerkin and Kevin Barry McCusker, before a three point burst two from Garvan, one good score from play by Jonny, saw us two up. Roslea had a good strong third quarter, and we had a pretty bad one, conceding four points and lucky that was all in truth, before we got it going again when it mattered. Well done lads.
For Roslea, they had two particularly good attacking performances from Clerkin and Beggan. Young Diarmuid McAleer handled a fair bit of ball for them as well, but they were always a wee bit vulnerable in defence if they hadn’t the numbers back. For the Harps, there were particularly solid performances from Stevie Jones at full back, marking the very dangerous Shane Lynch, plus Aaron Burke and later on Leigh Jones, gave us a bit of forward impetus. Jonny fetched and played a lot of ball throughout, and Garvan McGinley kept us in it at times. Credit also to Shane, and Kevin Cassidy for delivering at the death. Keeves won his first adult medal for the Harps in 1992, six years before Shane was born. That’s a good stat, that is.
Derrygonnelly Harps GFC is a sorrowful club today, having lost one of the most influential figures in its history with the sad passing of Master Michael Farrell. Michael’s involvement in our activities dates back almost a full seventy years, to when our club was relaunched in 1948, fielding firstly a Minor side, and then a Junior team. He and others such as Tom Fee were involved as we got moving again at Flanagan’s field at Drumadillar.
Over the decades which followed, our club has had the benefit of his leadership, guidance and wisdom as we moved to Sandhill, then opened Canon Maguire Park, and subsequently developed it to the fantastic facility which our members have today. Michael has been our club chairperson, County Board representative, Grounds and Infrastructure Development Committee member, referee, underage team manager and organiser, our club president, author of our club history and so much more. We are forever indebted for his work with the Sports Council and other bodies, securing funding and also liaising with awarding groups, ensuring that we were seen as a well run, forward thinking club, whose plans were likely to be successful and worthy of investment. As our Community Liaison Officer he foresaw the need for Gaelic clubs to be open to other groups in the community, and to develop relationships. Michael was a man of vision, but also a man of action, working with others to turn vision into reality.
We are a proud, successful club today, but we look back with great gratitude that we had Michael Farrell in our club, a man of great wisdom and calm, coupled with determination and commitment to move our club forward. The theme of legacy is central to many organisations like ours. He hands care of the club on to the next generation of members, whose duty it is to look after it and develop for the following generations. It is so important that we never forget the great work by people like Master Farrell and many others no longer with us. One can imagine his reunion with the likes of Charlie Farmer, Tom Fee, Eamon Maguire and many other Derrygonnelly people in Heaven!
So we are sorrowful today, but glad that we knew him and worked with him. We know that there a number of other organisations in our area who have lost a great friend and leader also, and we express our sympathies to them.
But our sincerest condolences go to his wife Nicolina, his daughters Catriona and Siobhan, his sister Josie and his entire family circle.
God rest his soul.
Michael’s remains will be leaving his house on Wednesday morning for 11am funeral mass. Every club member, young and old, from whatever unit of the club, who can attend is asked to be at St Patrick’s for 10.30 in club colours for a guard of honour.
Never Mind the Quality Feel the Result!
HARPS DO THE DOUBLE!
Ederney St Josephs 0-6.
When the final whistle went, it seemed to take us a few minutes to realise what we’d achieved! The Harps have done the SFC and SFL1 double for the first time in our just over 90 year history!!
Maybe it was the cold, maybe it was the slightly underwhelming elements of the match, whatever…It is a great occasion for our club.
In truth, Ederney will go home with plenty of regrets that their performance didn’t get at least the draw that they probably deserved, but that’s not our fault either. The Harps had the same experience last year against Roslea and nobody game them a trophy with ‘Deserved More’ engraved on it then either.
Anyway, the match: Ederney went three nil up in the first fifteen through Peter Gormley (2) and Paul McCusker. They started with a lot of good sharp movement, and troubled us plenty. Eventually, we got ourselves up the field more regularly, and had what would be our crucial spell from 15 – 25 minutes with five points on the burst. Wardy started the thing with a free after 16mins following a foul on Ryan Jones, Conall got on the end of a great bit of work by Ryan and Leigh to bring it down to one, then Stevie Burns found himself about forty yards out and not much happening around him so he bogged it over the bar, as much to his own surprise as anyone elses! Level scores.
Garvan McGinley had a super take in the square for us, and we were back on the front foot. Wardy got on the end of a Conall Jones generated turnover to point, before he was fouled for a free which Leigh converted. We hadn’t a lot of go forward play, but that spell was very good. Maybe we should have backed ourselves a bit more like that, but when things aren’t quite as crisp as you’d like, it was a bit of a reflex to play it defensive. Paul McCusker saw Ederney in 0-5 to 0-4 down with a point to end what hadn’t been a great half for the Harps, but one in which they had made it count when they got a bit of play going. Ryan Jones and Leigh Jones, plus Wardy were instrumental in the movement in this spell. Ederney were looking at their wide count…
The second half was grim enough for a while. Ryan Morris clipped over a score for Ederney, but we can say that we just took whatever they had in the spell that followed. And they had a lot of attacks that didn’t bear fruit, that’s for sure. A mixture of good defending collectively, plus by individuals saw the score stay unmoved until another instance of a player taking a gamble. Eamon McHugh was man enough to take it out (Both he and Ryan Jones never shirked this job once all night), then he worked a one two and kept going. 100 yards after he had started the move, he settled for skimming the crossbar. You knew it might be a big score. It was definitely the highlight of the match.
More defenders winning battles, followed by dropped shorts etc saw us at the 29th minute when a foul on Paul Ward saw Leigh Jones point to put us two clear. Ryan Morris had one for St Josephs in the 32nd minute, but we won the next kickout, and the whistle went to a strangely muted reaction! Come on! We just won the double!!!
Ederney will say that they got a lot of things right: support play, a few matchups, intensity etc. Quite a lot of their guys had a pretty decent game, McGrath, Deccy McCusker, Finbar Gillen, Snow and so on all had good bits of play. But the scores didn’t come.
That was because the Harps worked very hard defensively, and because they had leaders like Eamon McHugh, Mickey Jones, Leigh Jones, Ryan Jones and others like Foss and Stevie who did the hard work consistently. It would be interesting to see how many times Ryan Jones took possession of the ball in that game.
59, 95, 02, 04, 09… they all have a set of stories to tell, but the 2015 one ends with the double! Congratulations lads!