The Harps Junior A hurlers, plying their trade in Division 2 of the league welcomed Clough-Ballacolla to Durrow on Thursday night last in the sixth round of the league. Clough-Ballacolla who are top of the table came to Durrow with four wins and a draw against opposition elsewhere in this division. The Harps on the other hand had picked up two wins against Castletown and Shanahoe were needing a win here to have any chance of making the league semi-final.

It was a fine evening with light winds making conditions ideal for hurling, and indeed a thriller of a game ensued from the throw-in. After six minutes, both sides were level at 0-03 a piece with Gareth Singh, Eoghan Doheny and Ross Young all pointing from play as both sides were impeccable in their long range shooting efforts. Over the following eight minutes, Clough-Ballacolla added three further points from play, but Ross Young kept the home side in it with a ’65 and two frees converted to see out the first quarter.

The Harps then seemed to switch off for the next twelve minutes as Clough-Ballacolla scored at will in a very intense purple patch that yielded 3-06 for the visitors putting the homeside 15 points in arrears – the scoreline: The Harps 0-06 v 3-12 Clough-Ballacolla with just four minutes remaining in the half. The Harps management though encouraged the team to ignore the scoreboard and battle hard, and indeed The Harps did. In the 26th minute, Eoghan Doheny carved out a beautiful goal from play that lifted the homeside’s morale. From the resulting puck-out The Harps went on the attack again and when Garth Singh was pulled down on the edge of the square, Ross Young buried the ball to the net to continue the comeback. Half time: The Harps 2-06 v 3-12 Clough-Ballacolla.

In the second half The Harps continued their comeback, firstly with a pointed Ross Young free, then Garth Singh and Pauric Dunne both raised green flags followed by a Shane Donoghue point from play to leave the homeside just a point in arrears with only five minutes gone in the half! (The Harps 4-08 v 3-12 Clough-Ballacolla). Following that score, the management introduced Michael Lanigan for Rory Moore. Clough-Ballacolla scored a point from play soon after as they sought to stave off this strong Harps comeback, however the resulting long range puckout was worked to Garth Singh who was pulled down on the edge of the square and up stepped Ross Young to plant the ball to the net and give the homeside the lead – The Harps 5-08 v 3-13 Clough-Ballacolla.

Clough-Ballacolla replied with a point from play before Ciaran Costigan replaced Darren Maher for the homeside. Ross Young continued to dominate the scoresheet with a ’65 in the forty fourth minute as the game entered a nip-and-tuck phase. Eoghan Doheny, Ross Young and Michael Lanigan all pointed from play over the next ten minutes whilst Clough-Ballacolla managed just two points from play in this period giving the homeside support great hope of grabbing a win as the clock wound down with a two point lead. However, Clough-Ballacolla staged a massive comeback and with two minutes of normal time remaining, they grabbed a goal and scored two further points from play to go back in front.

On the stroke of full time, Michael Lanigan won a free on the edge of the square, however his shot went agonisingly over the bar by inches to leave two between the sides again. Into injury time Clough-Ballacolla grabbed three unanswered points from play to run out five point winners on a scoreline of The Harps 5-13 v 4-21 Clough-Ballacolla. Overall, The Harps can be proud of their hard work in clawing back a fifteen point deficit and going two points in front, however they will be equally disappointed in losing this tie after such an incredible turnaround. The Harps travel to Trumera next Wednesday, June 20th for a 7.30pm throw-in as this Division 2 League enters it’s final round.

The Harps: 1 – Liam Dunphy; 2 – Cathal Phelan; 3 – Sean Cahill; 4 – Eoin Sullivan; 5 – Conor Brophy; 6 – Daniel Delahunty; 7 – John Dunne; 8 – Padraig Dunne; 9 – Brian Clancy; 10 – Ross Young; 11 – Rory Moore; 12 – Eoghan Doheny; 13 – Garth Singh; 14 – Shane Donohue; 15 – Darren Maher.

Subs: 38mins off: Rory Moore – on: Michael Lanigan; 43mins off: Darren Maher – on: Ciaran Costigan.

Scorers: Ross Young 2-07  (2-05f); Eoghan Doheny 1-02; Garth Singh 1-01; Padraig Dunne 1-00; Michael Lanigan 0-02 (0-01f); Shane Donohue 0-01.