Harps do just about enough to get by...

posted 11 May 2018, 15:22 by Derrygonnelly Harps
SFL Division 1
Harps 1-13 Ederney 1-11

Despite a serious bout of Squandermania from the Harps, they remain unbeaten at the top of Division 1 after this starred round of SFL at Harpland tonight.

Missing several regulars, the Harps started well with Wardy hitting a good score from play in the opening minute but Ederney responded immediately with a free from Mark McCauley.  Wardy hit a free with McCauley responding from a free and half way through the first half it was apparent that Ederney were very tight defensively and they packed their half back line, making it very difficult for the Harps to penetrate.  All too often we ran into trouble or took that solo-too-many. Ederney took the lead at this stage with a point from Pol McKervey from play, followed up by McCauley with a majestic point following an Ederney turnover.  Midfield was crowded and little was won by the way of break ball as Ederney further extended their lead with a superb point from play from Finbar Gillen.  Colm Jones limped off injured and was replaced by Leigh Jones.  We were on the ropes a bit here, no point in denying it.  But then the goal came.  Jack Love showed a bit of strength to take the ball and played a superb pass to Shane McGullion, who palmed the ball over Enda Ferris head to notch the major score.  After that we settled a bit, Wardy with a free and then a typical Textbook Wardy score from play after a Lee to Leigh Jones move.  Foss pointed two frees to see out the half and at half time and we led 1-6 to 0-5.

The second half started frantically enough, McCauley with a free, Decy popped up for his obligatory point after a quickly taken Wardy free.  Enda Cassidy had been moved from defence into attack by Ederney and he hit a wonderful point from play.  Ferris hit an Ederney kickout over the line, Mugs with the sideline to Aidy McKenna for a simple score.  Chris Snow hit a monster off the ground, 50+ yards out, a great score for them.  The hits were going in hard, fast and Ederney were definitely sharp looking.  Keeves came on to settle things a bit and set up the move of the night between him, Wardy and Decy but no score at the end of it #SquanderMania!  McKervey again hit a nice point from play before the Classy Veteran Keeves hit his point to keep a goal between the sides.  Decy was strong here and full of drive, while Foss and Moffat were beginning to exert that influence we normally expect from our half back line.  Oisin Smyth pointed from play but Ryan Morris hit two quick frees to reduce the deficit to two points again.  Moffat pointed after great work from Decy and then we sat back while the rain started to fall.  Aidy McKenna pointed from play with time up to leave four in it, but there was always the feeling that Ederney had a goal in them.  And it came via Mark McCauley who had been their danger man all night, palming the ball into the net.  That left one point in it but we had time to get a free from Foss before referee Gerard Gallagher blew the full time whistle.  Full Time score was Harps 1-13 to Ederney 1-11.

Ok, so here we go.  It wasn't pretty at times to watch. There were misses; by Jesus there were misses galore!  We are just lucky that it didn't cost us tonight. 
Ederney were well organised, they had some key players who played well, they are fit and strong and they were up for it!  They have good forwards like Morris, McKervey and especially McCauley who can take scores.  Chris Snow and Enda Cassidy got more involved in the second half for them, Stevie McElrone as well.  They packed their defence and with their county men back, they'll be worth watching.
John Murphy had a fine hour in nets for the Harps.  He made some good catches in the air and his kick-outs were sound.  Fair play.  Our Half back line was a bit more assured as the game progressed.  Decy was his usual self; grafted, took the hits, and played ball very well.  No shock there.  Midfield had their moments with a one-handed catch from Mug being a real highlight, but with a crowded midfield it was always going to be difficult to be winning clean ball.  Up front Jack Love and Oisin Smyth got settled into the game as it progressed.  Keeves showed calmness and great vision with his passing.  Watching him and Wardy you'd have thought it was 2009 again. Class is permanent. 
For all the positives though, they have to reflect on the fact that they had 65% of the game but they were hanging on a bit by the end #Execution  They will need to be a bit more clinical.  Ok, perhaps quite a bit more clinical.  And they will... #NoSteppingBack

Next up is Erne Gaels in Harpland on Sunday 20th May at 12pm