Youth News & Information
We had an excellent turnout at our Youth Presentation Night.
The night began with Garry Smyth Youth Secretary giving a comprehensive run-down on a very successful 2016 for our underage teams. Niall Smyth put together an excellent slide show of photographs from throughout the year. Presentations were made to our U14 Feile winners, U14 ladies League winners, U16 ladies League finalists, U16 Division 1 league winners and Championship winners.
Our special guests were Matthew Donnelly of Trillick, Tyrone, Ulster and Ireland fame, and Michael Jones of Derrygonnelly Harps, Fermanagh and Ulster fame. Both spoke very well on many topics such as nutrition, stats, improving yourself as a player and the black card! Both lads were really excellent guests, and no doubt are great role models for our young players. Thank you to them for taking the time out to speak to our players and pose for many photographs. On the night, Shane McGullion received the Spirit of Damian Award, an award close to the hearts of all Harps.
Thank you to everyone who made this night such a great success.
Congratulations to our entire Under 16 squad and their management on achieving a championship and league double with a good victory over Enniskillen Gaels today. The match might look one sided, but it was entertaining, after a remarkable first quarter in which neither side raised a flag!!
Eventually, spectators awoke in the 15th minute as Mattie McAleer flicked a high ball to edge of the Harps square into the net to put the Gaels up. The Harps put together a few nice attacks which ended up not converted before they registered through Gavin McGovern, plus two Micheal Glynn points, the second of which was a nice effort from play. Playing confidently, it looked like the Harps would assert themselves and move away, but they were rocked again by a second Gaels goal as Ryan McDonnell managed to put our defence under enough pressure to get the ball into the net in the 21st minute. Killian Corrigan added to this with a very nice point for the Gaels immediately afterwards. Gavin McGovern finished a good low goal in the 25th minute, followed by scores from Micheal Glynn and Rian McGovern to see us in at half time leading 1.5 to 2.1.
Gareth McGovern had an excellent point straight away, but the Gaels had an excellent goal from Jamie Robinson, to put them back in the lead. Josh Horan added a point on, and remarkably, they were back in front. However, the feeling was that the Harps would have too much, and with Leigh Green and Oisin Smyth driving things forward, they recorded five points in five minutes through Micheal (2), a super score from Jack Love, and Rian (2). Ethan Beresford had what would turn out to be the Gaels’ last point in the 16th minute, and the Harps were pretty much in charge with a further five points from Jack (2), a Micheal Glynn point after a super move, the length of the field, a free, plus a Gareth McGovern point to finish. In truth, they had a lot of wides, and could easily have added to their tally.
There was some good fielding by both sides. Best for the Gaels was probably Ethan Beresford, who played well throughout. The quality of the Harps general play as a team was very good at times, probably better than in the championship final, and there were excellent performances from Oisin Smyth, Leigh Green, Rian McGovern and Micheal Glynn in particular, but Jack Love really stood out as our top man with an all round exhibition of fielding, working, moving the ball and scoretaking. A fine achievement for the whole squad and managers Roger, Anthony and Aidy. Well done lads!
HARPS 1-11 Gaels 2-6.
What a brilliant effort! The pick of the two championship winning performances! Our Under 16s got the championship final day off to the best possible start as they overturned pre match favourites Enniskillen Gaels with a show of determination and teamwork.
The lads can definitely say that they got the maximum collective effort on the day, with endless contributions from all over the pitch. The Harps started brightly enough, with a well struck Gavin McGovern free, but the first quarter saw us hanging in there a bit as the Gaels looked to cut us open inside, and shaved the post on two occasions. Micheal Glynn and two monsters from Gavin McGovern saw us go 4-3 up before key Gaels’ man Conor Love grabbed the goal he had been threatening in the 18th minute. Nonetheless, Jack Love had a great distance effort followed by Gareth McGovern to tie things up at half time. Derrygonnelly had reorganised a bit by this stage, and the Gaels threat was clearly diminishing somewhat as Oisin Smyth and skipper Debhan McGovern sorted things out superbly. There were a lot of very hardworking efforts in that half, with Gareth McGovern revelling in the number 11 role, plus fellas like Darragh Burke knitting a lot of things together neatly with unselfish ball carrying.
Micheal had his second point of the day to start what would be a pulsating second half, and the hardworking Rian McGovern had a good score from the right as we were gaining momentum. Two Brandon Horan points for the Gaels kept the tension high, but the Harps were clearly edging it. Still, they were flying by the seat of their pants at times, none more so than when Brandon Curry appeared out of nowhere to make a massive goal-line clearance for us. Gavin McGovern grabbed a crazy score from out on the left, before the super economical Micheal Glynn got on the end of a lovely ball behind the Gaels’ defence and his low finish to the net in the 22nd minute was the key score. In the middle area of the pitch, Jack Love, Leigh Green and Ronan McHugh were massive in the final quarter, winning endless hard possession, showing the hunger needed to make the difference. On the stroke of full time, we led by five with two more frees, one from Micheal and one from Gavin, but there was still time for a Skucey special save as the Gaels gave it one last go, but could only grab one score from Callum Jones in the 31st minute to increase the tension further. But we got downfield again, and the ref blew his whistle. An Under 16 final to remember. Well done lads! There were so many excellent performances all over the pitch, but credit also to our management trio of Anthony Greene (our longest serving coach), Aidy Leonard and Roger McGovern. They made a lot of good calls this year. The Harps’ workrate from every player, the determination, and the mental strength were a pleasure to watch. Well done lads!
A determined all-round team performance from the Harps secured the U14 girls Division 2 League title against a spirited Knockninny Gaels team in an entertaining final played at Brewster Park on Saturday 6 August 2016. Having lost the league encounter between the sides by a point earlier in the season the Harps were determined to make a solid start and were 0.5 to 0.1 ahead at half time with the scores coming from Megan Maguire and Sarah Jane Jones. Some resolute defending by Niamh Duffy and Ciara Leonard in the full-back line and an assured display from Aoife Campbell in goals were crucial in the first period in particular. Determined work by Caitlin Duffy, Stephanie Jones and Reyka Robson in the Harps forward line also produced some key turnovers of Knockninny possession. The girls started the second half strongly and created a couple of goal chances which went narrowly wide. It looked as if the Harps would rue those misses when Knockninny forced their way back into the game with a well taken goal half way through the second half to leave a point between the teams setting up an exciting finish. The Harps however re-doubled their efforts in the middle sector with the influential Aoibhinn Jones and Sarah Jane Jones covering every part of Brewster Park to press for scores. There was strong support from half backs Natasha Cox, Georgia Moffatt, Shauna Elliott and second half sub Ciara Woods. A free awarded for a foul on Bronagh Smyth after an incisive run was kicked to the top corner of the net by Megan Maguire for a crucial goal with three minutes to go which eased the Harps nerves. A further point virtually on full-time saw the Harps win a very sporting game on a final score of 1.6 to 1.1.
Well done to the squad on their achievement and to the management of Louise Dundas, Garvan Jones and Claire Cox. There were a number of girls who unfortunately were not available for the game due to clashes with family holidays but the entire squad can reflect on a great season’s work in qualifying for the final and securing the Division 2 title.
Harps 10-12 Erne Gaels 5-5Our Under 14 Girls have played three excellent matches now, with a draw and two wins achieved so far this season. Tonight's was an excellent performance from 1 to 17. Best at the back were Ciara Leonard and Georgia Moffat and we dominated midfield with Sarah Jane Jones and Aoibhinn Jones. Up front Bronagh Smyth and Emily Cassidy led the line well, and all the forwards got on the scoreboard. A very solid performance. Next up is Kinawley away on Monday - a major league challenge! Thanks to Garvan, Louise and Clare for helping out with this team. Keep it going girls!
Girls U16 FL Final.
Our girls excellent league campaign came to an end on a losing note on Saturday in the final against what was a better Derrylin performance on the day. Our girls worked to the very end, but our opponents played really well throughout and deserved their win. We actually had the first two scores of the game from Sarah Jane Jones and Eimear Smyth frees before Derrylin had a burst of scores through their very impressive inside forward pairing of Jade Murphy and Niamh Watterson. We were under a lot of pressure in our own territory and our backs repelled a lot of attacks. On isolated raids, we picked off a few points from Eimear Smyth. Nonetheless, the half time score was 4.5 to 0-5, reflecting their possession.
We started the second half similarly well with a point from Aoibheann Rainey, and a free by Eimear Smyth, but Derrylin had two key scores in the twelfth and fourteenth minutes through the strong running Alannah Leonard plus Niamh Watterson again. That made our task a pretty insurmountable one. But we kept at it and had a goal from Eimear Smyth in the twenty-fifth minute, but Derrylin finished in the ascendancy through Weronika Prusakiewiecz and Ciara Clarke. They were a very well balanced side, with defenders Ciara McCaffrey, Cara Boyle and Blathnaid McGuinness all very safe and impressive.
Our ‘keeper Megan Maguire and our back five of Neasa Corrigan, Tammy Millar, Emma Leonard, Naomi Jones and Savannah Leonard all put in good shifts, they had a lot to deal with, but Naomi and Emma in partiicular came out very strongly with the ball. Eimear Smyth and Aoibheann Rainey were very hardworking in a competitive middle of the park, with Sarah Jane Jones and Caoimhe Rainey offering a good outlet up front, well supported by Katie Thompson, Leah Miller, Aoibheann Jones, Niamh Duffy and Phoebe Johnston. The team missed the energy of Emer McGlone, who had contributed very well in previous games.
Congratulations to Derrylin. Hard luck to our Harps girls, but still well done on a great campaign. Thank you very much to Donal Corrigan and Louise Dundas for their work with the team.
This was much more of a contest than the scoreline might suggest, with the Gaels only finally taking the game away in the final twelve minutes or so. That said, they were clearly deserving winners and are a very impressive team. From our point of view, it was firstly about competing to win, and competing to the end, filling the jersey so to speak. Happily for the Harps, the lads did that very well. Acknowledgement at the outset for referees supremo Noel Davis who took this fixture on at short notice following an SOS call, drove over and reffed the game well.
The Harps had a significant breeze in their back in the first half, and they knew that they had to make the most of it. They conceded an early score to Conor Love, but thereafter the Harps got a good grip of the game in key areas. They took the next four points over a twelve minute period through Odhran McBrien from a free, Gavin McGovern from play plus two very well worked points from Aidy McKenna and Aaron McGlone. These were excellent scores in particular, but the Gaels had a very valuable wee three point burst in reply from Ronan Quinn (2) and Conor Love. Aaron McGlone had a great goal in the twentieth minute, fielding, turning and finishing intelligently, he was fouled for an Odhran McBrien free, before he pointed again from play. The Gaels struggled with Aaron’s excellent play in the first half. Nonetheless, another Conor Love point saw them only 4 down at half time on a 1-6 to 0-5 scoreline. You would have fancied them, given the breeze, and they did look sharp upfront through Ronan Quinn and Conor Love in particular. The Harps had worked very hard in the first half, and managed to gain plenty of turnovers and force plenty of errors.
They made a decent enough start to the second half, but were guilty of kicking a bit aimlessly into the breeze, when maybe try to work it, or hit the ball low and crossfield would have worked better. However, a massive blow came in the fifth minute, when Conor Love got an absolutely brilliant goal for the Gaels. With very little space and under pressure, he fired bullet finish into the top corner. The best score of the game. The next ten or twelve minutes continued with the Gaels punishing the Harps when they didn’t retain possession, and pressurizing our kickout into the wind. Scores followed from John Rehill from play and frees, maybe five points for him. Cahal Beacom had a good distance point as well, while Ethan Beresford got on the end of a ball over the top for a tap in goal late on. Still the Harps persevered, but they tired a bit as well. A good win for the Gaels in fairness. Their best players were Conor Love, Ronan Quinn, John Rehill and Johnny Cassidy. Quinn and Love were very sharp, while Rehill had a very influential second half in particular. Cassidy won a few hard balls and covered very well defensively throughout, with help from Brandon Horan as the game wore on.
The Harps had a lot of great efforts from younger players like Ronan McHugh, Rian McGovern and Leigh Green, both of whom kept playing against the odds and significantly older players. Aidy McKenna, Aaron McGlone, Gavin McGovern and Odhran McBrien worked very, very hard throughout and were involved in a lot of good play, but Oisin Smyth in particular kept working all the time, and chose the right option all the time in a very good performance. The group generally gave its supporters what we wanted, an indication that they understood what wearing the Harps jersey means: togetherness, workrate, and good attitude.
U14 FL1 FINAL
Observers felt that this game might be competitive enough, and that proved to be the case at Belcoo this evening. Ultimately the Gaels had a bit of scoring power in good bursts, and made their good spells count. Derrygonnelly played well and did a lot of the right things, but the scores didn’t come with the same fluency, and spells of dominance weren’t quite as fruitful.
The Harps were first on the scoreboard when Darragh Burke made his way upfield for a good point towards Lough MacNean, Caoilte Hamill replied for the Gaels, before Conor McGovern worked his way in for a lovely score from the left. The Harps had a few more chances during this period, but didn’t manage to register again and then the Gaels had a good spell, in which they had a lot of possession. Conor Love banged over the first of a number of scores on the left peg from mid range. He had three more, plus one apiece for Fergal Quinn and Hamill again. Derrygonnelly had been close to a score on a few occasions before Rian McGovern had a close range goal in the 25th minute. Crucially, Love had a razor sharp goal at the other end almost immediately, before Micheal Glynn had a nice point for the Harps in the 28th minute.
The Gaels burst into the second half with two points from Josh Horan and a Caoilte Hamill goal before Conor Love was on the scoreboard again in the sixth minute. The Harps were to shade the next 15-20 minutes of the game, but couldn’t manage to convert that into a run of scores. Rian McGovern had a penalty in the 8th minute and two points in the 14th and 17th, before Cian Corrigan had a good finish in the 23rd minute when he got on the end of a Darragh Burke centre. The margin was back down, but it would have taken another goal or a volley of scores to really rock the Gaels, and that didn’t happen despite a lot of great efforts. So Love and James O’Donnell had a few scores to see the Gaels home. Both ‘keepers, Lee Skuce and Feidhlim O’Connor, had plenty of work to do, and were up to the task throughout the final quarter in particular.
From the Harps point of view, there was no shame here at all. They were very competitive and played some good football. They will regret that they became a bit disjointed and turned over some possession when they were going well in the second half with a few kicks to the extra defender. However, they worked the ball out very well on a number of occasions, they showed a good appetite to work hard and keep their opponent under pressure and they can be confident that they’ll get a real rattle at a title in the future. Even if they don’t, they are developing all the time. Rian McGovern had an outstanding match this evening, and whilst the Gaels’ Conor Love had a fine performance it was also the case that our full back Ronan McHugh did a Trojan amount of good strong work. Ronan is coming on all the time. Darragh Burke, Ronan McGovern and Leigh Greene worked well throughout, whilst Conor McGovern is a young player who plays with his head up and looks to create something all the time. There were lots of other bits and bobs and guys who played well in other league games to suggest that this group have a bright future if they keep at it with the right attitude. The Gaels had a number of very good performances, with Jack Tierney Barrai O’Keefe and Josh Horan players who mightn’t get the same headlines as Conor Love or Fergal Quinn, but are very effective. Caoilte Hamill, Jordan Deery and James O’Donnell are the kind of players who will always be up for the challenge as well. Fair play to them.
But the Harps should be up for the challenge of taking them down!
Lee Skuce, Aaron Jones, Ronan McHugh, Niall Maguire, Robert Grannell, Gareth McGovern, Darragh Burke, Rian McGovern, Leigh Greene, Micheal Glynn, Ronan McGovern, Conor McGovern, Jonathan Duffy, Brandon Curry, Cian Corrigan. Rhys Campbell, Conor Burns, Owen Smyth, Brian McKenna, Jarlath Flanagan, Oisin Harbinson.
HARPS CLAIM TITLE WITH POWERFUL PERFORMANCE!
U16 FC FINAL 2014.
Congratulations to our Under 16s who emerged comfortable enough winners in the opening match of County Final Day with a performance which paired a better cutting edge with excellent workrate and defensive organisation.
It is not always easy to carry the favourites tag into a final but the team got the benefit of a two goal burst in the first five minutes as first Jack Love in the third minute got on the end of a rebound off the post to palm home, followed minutes later by Gavin McGovern, who stabbed home a rebound after good play by Conor Cassidy. Nathan Jones had a really significant number of key contributions, and controlled our play very effectively in the first period, he nailed a good point from play in the seventh minute, before the Gaels had their one spell when they got at the Harps a bit. They goaled through the elusive John Rehill in the tenth minute with an excellent low finish, and Ronan Beattie converted a 45’ to bring them right back into it. Colm Jones and Odhran McBrien pointed for us, before Ronan Quinn got on the end of a Gaels’ move from the left wing to goal from close range. But that was as close as they would get. Our key forward Colm Jones delivered the goods in the next passage of play. He simply took over in the final ten minutes, bagging two goals, (one an absolute cracker off the inside of the post from maybe twenty yards), and two points, (one a monster from nearly forty yards). John Rehill nicked another point for the Gaels, but the half time margin of nine points was about right. Derrygonnelly were clearly on top in all of the key areas through full back Conor Cameron, midfielders Shane McGullion (a number of very good takes from kickouts) and Odhran McBrien, plus Aidy McKenna linking the play and using possession all the time.
Colm Jones got his third goal in the third minute of the second half, and it was hard to see the Gaels making a serious dent on the Harps’ ambitions after that. In truth, the Harps will be wondering why they didn’t pick off more scores, but they managed to extend through Aidy McKenna and Colm Jones points, before a long period of aimless enough play was ended by scores from Nathan Jones and Jason McGlone in the final spell of play. Oisin Smyth had an excellent low save in the twentieth minute to ensure that a pointed free from Conall Quinn and a Matthew Dixon point would be all the Gaels would score in the half. It wasn’t that we didn’t have the ball, because we had plenty of possession, but we didn’t maybe move it as quickly as we had in the first period. We probably were happy enough to keep the thing contained and controlled as well, with James McGrail and Conor Maguire particularly vigilant and strong in that regard. The game was won between the 20th and 40th minutes when excellent working of the ball out of defence, followed by good kickpassing into space for runners and support players to use first time saw us grab 3-4 and only concede 0-2.
Either side of that, when players had to be diligent and hardworking, they were. The likes of Gavin McGovern and Aaron McGlone, Aidy Maguire and Stephen Leonard were alert to the need to track back, and intercept attacks. But definitely a richly deserved victory for the whole panel and their managers Peter Jones and Anthony Greene.
Captain Conor Cameron lifted the cup and gave a very well delivered speech emphasising that the victory is to be shared by the whole squad and all of the people who work hard coaching young players for the Harps. Very important points to make.
Oisin Smyth, Adrian Maguire, Conor Cameron, Stephen Leonard, Conor Maguire, James McGrail, Aaron McGlone, Odhran McBrien, Shane McGullion, Aidan McKenna, Nathan Jones, Gavin McGovern, Jack Love, Colm Jones, Conor Cassidy, Rian McGovern (DG), Rian McGovern (Monea), Jason McGlone, Debhan McGovern, Shane McGrail, Gareth McGovern, Darragh Burke, Ciaran McGovern, Ronan McHugh, Jonathan Cameron, Leigh Greene, Caolin Love.
Managers: Peter Jones, Anthony Greene.