HARPS 3-16 ROSLEA 3-7.
Well it only started middlin enough, as we coughed up a soft goal to Roslea after less than two minutes, but thereafter, the Harps ran this game. For once, the scoreline is actually a fair reflection on the balance of play generally, and happily we played our best game in a long time in terms of using possession, posing a scoring threat and playing with real conviction.
After the early shock, the Harps steadied themselves and put in twenty superb minutes of championship intensity. Eight points on the bounce from Conall Jones, Wardy, Wardy (f), Leigh Jones (picking up a Stephen McGullion knockdown), Wardy (ran through maybe six of them), Wardy, Wardy, and Conall again. The hits from the likes of Eamo and Conall leading to turnovers were coming hard, and Roslea’s kickout was under big pressure.
Out came big Seamie, in went Sean and in truth, this got Roslea a wee foothold for a while and Sean scored a free, before the Harps had a massive two goal burst. First up, Shane McGullion (who had already hit the post) got on the end of a bit of serious graft from Conall and Ryan Jones to strike confidently to the net from eight yards! Then Wardy, still unmarkable, bagged a super goal, driving through, holding off a challenge and planting a super goal in the bottom right corner. His play during that twenty five minute spell was unbelievable. Roslea simply could not get a handle on him at all, 2-8 to 1-1! Sean Quigley had a free, then Ruairi McGuinness got on the end of a knock down to get Roslea going again, before Sean had another point. Roslea probably couldn’t believe that they had got to half time still in the hunt at 2-8 to 2-3.
We started the second half with Denis Greene bombing up for a point, Garvan McGinley hit a clinker before another score from the very influential Conall Jones. Things were looking good again before Sean Quigley, who is so hard to handle under the high ball, had another goal for the Shamrocks! However, we got the crucial goal straight away to reply as Leigh Jones carried it in, and fisted it across for Shane McGullion to palm home his second goal! 3-11 to 3-3. Surely we’d be ok now? But Conall Jones saw a red card for a tackle on Brendy Sherlock, and the doubts came again.
We weren’t quite safe as a series of Hail Marys onto Sean Quigley on the edge of our square had Stevie Burns, Tiarnan Daly and Ryan Jones plus Dermott Feely at the pin of their collars, but the line wouldn’t be breached again. Mind you, it was a treat to watch Sean make a bit of room for himself. Mickey, Deccy, Eamo and Ryan in particular ferried the ball upfield and Stephen ‘Mug’ McGullion just took over for a while. He had already caused problems for Roslea in the first half, leading to scores, but he took it to a new level with a series of four points to kill Roslea off, classy scores! What a spell! Suddenly we were 3-15 to 3-5! Harps fans knew were home then. Roslea had a couple of points from Shane Lynch and Conor Quigley but Neil Moffatt Gallagher bagged a good score from thirty five yards: party time!!
A super team effort by the Harps with a few headline performances from Ward, the McGullions and Conall Jones backed by a fantastic collective effort from Leigh Jones, Garvan Jones, Ryan Jones and the non stop Deccy Cass and Denis Greene. A real all round effort for sure.
Roslea will be disappointed, they never seemed to get themselves sorted collectively. Although with the mood Wardy was in, they would have had trouble sorting him, it was a surprise to see how much room there was for him to drive into. Their defensive unit, for once, let them down. Although he didn’t score, Seamie Quigley did try hard, taking one or two catches and tackling Wardy at one stage. Sean was threatening for sure but that really was it for them.The Harps squad and their management had done a great job in preparing, the lads had the motivation to do well for themselves and their supporters and we got a mighty lift at a time when we needed it. Damy must have been cheering in heaven on Sunday evening.