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.