HARPS CAMOGIE: U16 Shield Final: The Harps 5-01 V 3-02 Portlaoise: Harps U16s concluded their year on a very positive note when they defeated Portlaoise in the Shield Final. Camross and St. Brigids contested the U16 Final the previous week with Camross coming out as winners. After their first fixture being postponed due to weather conditions, Heywood C.S grounds was the alternative fixture under lights on Wednesday evening.

Portlaoise started the game very strong and put Harps backs under severe pressure for the opening 7 minutes. It wasn’t until the 8th minute that good interlinking play between Lottie O Toole and Roisin Phelan enabled Bronagh McEvoy to test the keeper. However, McEvoy’s shot was blocked by Portlaoise keeper Niamh Graham. Upon the puck out pressure from Eimear Fitzpatrick caused a poor clearance from Portlaoise and the ball was swept up by Mollie O Connor and delivered into sharp shooter Lucy O Connor who finished it to the back of the net.

Portlaoise player Shauna Dooley gained vital possession near Harps goalmouth and was unlucky not to score as her shot came off wide. Sophie McCabe’s puck outs were long every time and in the 10th minute Alice Walsh, upon sweeping up Harps puck out, made a good run through to allow Emily Duggan to hang the ball up for Harps second goal. Duggan added a point to the Harps tally soon after that. However score of the match came in the 12th minute when centre back Molly O Connor soloed straight through the Portlaoise defence only to send a rocket of a shot past keeper Graham. This left Harps up 3.01 to no score but it was in no way a one sided affair as Portlaoise continued to test the Harps defence again and again.

Molly O Connor pulled off a good save on the goal line along with Sophie McCabe stopping another shot just after. Portlaoise were finding it difficult to break down the solid full back line with Jade Bergin letting very little through. It wasn’t until the 26th minute that Portlaoise finally got their well deserved, opening score when Ciara Byrne’s long range effort sailed over. Another attack by Portlaoise resulted in a wide and signalled the half time whistle. Harps 3.01. Portlaoise 0.01.

Two minutes into the second half a strike in from Fitzpatrick found Lucy O Connor who beat the keeper once again. However, Portlaoise responded well to this and grasped a goal of their own in the 10th minute, coming from Grainne O Reilly. Continued hard work paid off for Portlaoise once again as Niamh Crawley added a point to their tally. Portlaoise were gaining momentum and created another goal in the 20th minute leaving the score 4.01 to 2.02.

Emma Delaney and Alice Walsh continued to work tirelessly in midfield, delivering good supply into Harps forwards and in the 25th minute Lucy O Connor struck for goal again to give herself a hatrick. Portlaoise kept working hard and a free in resulted in a final goal for Portlaoise but there was no time for any more attacks.

Final score :Harps 5.01 Portlaoise 3.02. Captain Molly O Connor received the cup from Laois chairperson Barney O Connor on behalf of her team.

The Harps: Sophie McCabe, Mhuire Fitzpatrick, Jade Bergin, Una Brophy, Meabh Deegan, Molly O Connor, Ruby McEvoy, Alice Walsh, Emma Delaney, Eimear Fitzpatrick, Roisin Phelan, Lottie O Toole, Emily Duggan, Lucy O Connor, Bronagh Mc Evoy. SUBS: Cara Henderson, Fay Bryan (50mins), Orla Joyce(50 mins), Dervla McDonagh (50 mins), Roisin Fitzpatrick, Aoife Dunne, Lauren Healy, Orla Whyte, Brid Drennan, Rachel Deegan, Ruby Whyte. Team Management: Pat Barnville, Louise Mahony, Theresa Bennett.

Congratulations to Elaine Dollard who won the October Barney’s Bonus Bonanza with number 13. Thank you to all who continue to support our lotto.