THE HARPS CAMOGIE CLUB: Barneys Bonus Bonanza Results: July winner – Stephanie Phelan; August winner – Ciara McEvoy; September winner – Joe Dooley. The club recently purchased underage jerseys funded by this lotto. Thank you to all who have contributed.

Thank You: Thanks to Harps GAA for their co-operation with pitches and facilities.

U6s and U8s: This group played in their County blitz on 14th Sept concluding their year at camogie. The Harps girls were excellent. Thanks to all the parents for bringing them along all year to training and matches. The U8s fielded two teams, both of which were very successful displaying all the skills they learned during the year. All credit goes to
Nicola Brophy who trained this large panel of girls. She was assisted by different people during the year, including her Dad Martin, Mike McEvoy and Claire Walsh at the Blitz. The U6s were also super, playing with great determination, they displayed no fear as they took on the other teams. Usual coaches Andrea Kavanagh, Patricia Dunphy Clancy and Mary were unable to attend this blitz so Colin Lawlor and Catriona Phelan Ellis took charge for the day guiding these young girls successfully though their matches. Over the course of the two blitzes The Harps girls put on winning performances and there is great potential and promise amongst all these young girls. Thanks to the other club players who assisted with training and refereeing at blitzes.

U10s: The U10s took part in the County blitz recently bringing an end to this year’s season. Fielding two teams, the girls played three games each. Both teams were brilliant. They displayed great skill and determination throughout all their games. Great credit is due to Siobhan Aylward, Colin Lawlor and Aiden Kavanagh for their tremendous work with this group of girls during the year. The improvement of their skills and self confidence was very evident on Saturday. The girls were presented with their medals by members of the successful Laois U16 camogie team.

U12s: The U12s had a super campaign this year, reaching the A semi final. They played Portlaoise and although they took the lead twice in the game they lost by the narrow margin of one point. Portlaoise went on to win the final.

U14s: The U14s made it two in a row: The Harps 7-03 v 5-02 St Brigids: The Harps and St. Brigids provided spectators with a nail-biting final in Mountrath on Sunday evening. St. Brigids led for the first twenty minutes, but it was The Harps who went in two points ahead at half time. Early in the second half, St Brigids regained the lead but again The Harps fought back to claim the U14 championship title for a second year in a row. In the opening 2 minutes, St. Brigids rattled the net twice, both from the hurl of Eimear Hasset,putting the Harps on the back foot at the outset. This determined Harps team did not let the score margin ruffle their feathers in the slightest as they ploughed ahead with determination. The strong half back line of Kayla Dwyer, Abbi Gibbons and Eva Dunphy led the comeback bursting out of the defence and delivering good supply into our forwards. Eventually after eight minutes, Harps opened their tally. Aoife Gee retaliated with a goal and Lisa Kirby with a point from a free to bring the score to 2.0 to 1.01.

Lisa Kirby slotted over another point but good play by Brigids earned them another goal to keep their lead. Superb efforts by Harps midfielders Kirby and Katie Healy resulted in a good ball into Aoife Gee who passed into Aoife Kirby who cleverly hand-passed in her goal bringing the Harps tally to 2.02 with 14 minutes to go in the first half.
With 8 minutes to go before half time, and The Harps trailing by 1 point, Rachael Dollard added her trademark goal allowing the Harps support to breathe again. This brought them into the lead for the first time in the game. No score followed this, leaving the half time score: 3.00 to 3.02 to the Harps.

The rain became heavier as we ventured into the second half of this neck and neck battle. St. Brigids opened their second half account immediately with a goal bringing them back into the lead. They added a point from an Eimear Hassett free to secure a 2-point advantage. Aoife Gee was quick to respond with a goal for the Harps bringing the Harps back into the lead.

The Harps defence continued breaking down the threats by St. Brigids with Caoimhe Doheny in full back leading the defence. The first draw of the game followed with a point from a free by sharpshooter Hassett once again. 13 minutes to go and it was anyone’s game. The speedy Catherine Kirby was excellent for the Harps on the half forward line, sometimes found in the half back line when necessary. The dangerous Aoife Gee slotted over a point with 13 minutes to go to bring the Harps into a one-point lead.

The Harps then began their home run with three consecutive goals, A shot in from Rachael Dollard picked up by Aoife Gee ensured the first goal, and at 4 minutes to go, Aoife Kirby hit the back of the net. The hard-working Amy Lacey then earned Harps a free allowing the Kirby sisters to combine efforts to score the last goal. St. Brigids were not done yet, knowing that County Finals are not easy to come by. They pursued the Harps to the bitter end, slotting in another goal over the Harps’ goalies head from a Eimear Hassett free. But with less than a minute to go in normal time, it was not enough to get the better of this Harps side.

The Harps: Mia Henderson; Orla Brophy; Caoimhe Doheny; Orla Holland; Eva Dunphy; Abbie Gibbons (Joint Captain); Kayla Dwyer; Lisa Kirby (Joint Captain); Katie Healy; Aoife Gee; Rachael Dollard; Catherine Kirby; Éadaoin Whyte; Amy Lacey; Georgie Holland-Rome. Subs: Aoife Kirby; Emma Delahunty; Sersha O’Connor; Amy Muldowney; Paige Boyhan; Abby McEvoy; Annalee Fitzpatrick; Olivia Hovenden; Aimée Lennon; Lorraine Bergin; Niamh Kelly. St. Brigids:  Ciara Gaffney; Sophie Kelly; Emma Campion; Anna Cribbin; Chloe Doyle; Eva Carroll; Anna Wynne; Casey Crous; Cesira Healy; Kacey Carroll; Eimear Hassett; Katelyn Bowe; Sinead Rafter; Hannah Fitzpatrick; Robin Farrell. Subs: Katie Hanrahan; Emily Ryan; Niamh Hayes; Brianna Bergin; Amy Daly; Megan Carroll; Erin Hassett; Jessica Keegan.

U16s: The U16s have commenced their campaign. It is quite evident that Laois camogie is going from strength to strength with 9 teams competing for the U16 title. The Harps have beaten CRG, St Lazarians and St. Brigids. They were defeated by rivals Portlaoise. With four matches remaining The Harps will be hoping to reach the A semis. This U16 team were unlucky two years ago to lose out to Portlaoise in the U14 final by one point.

U18s: Minors are training hard but no matches have been played yet.
Juniors: The Junior Team, in their first year in existence, had a mixed experience this year. There was five teams competing for this honour. The Harps, upon beating Naomh Eamonn, secured a semi final spot against Portlaoise. Taking place in Trumera, Portlaoise proved to be too strong and comfortably overcame a hard working Harps side. Great positives to be gained from competing in this grade as many old and new faces came on board thus strengthening the club.

Intermediate: Under new management this year led by Ross Young, The Harps competed well in their semi final against Camross. 5 points proved to be the difference in the end with Camross going on to win the county final a week later. The club would like to wish Claire Walsh safe travels as she leaves us for Australia in the coming days.