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!