posted 1 Aug 2017, 16:23 by Derrygonnelly Harps   [ updated 2 Aug 2017, 01:41 ]

Devenish 1-8

Harps 1-9

Back in the nineties, when dinosaurs grazed the land on Knockmore etc, the Harps and Devenish used to have a few ding-dong battles as Garry Smyth, Mick Glynn, Sean Flanagan Kevin Cassidy and the Greenes locked horns with the O’Briens, Mulrones, Mark Gallagher and all. This game was a wee bit like those days in terms of the tension as the final quarter played out, the roars from the stand at times, the endless pressuring of the ref (more on this later) and the fact that the next generation of the surnames were floating about, especially for Devenish. A closely fought derby is always hard to beat. However, this match definitely wasn’t like the old days in terms of the quality of the play. Sometimes that gets missed with the focus on the result.

The Harps led by five at half time, having played towards the changing rooms. Garry McKenna had three scores in the first quarter and was a real threat, but ended up being underused as the game continued, our goal came from a turnover, as Kevin Cassidy dispossessed a Devenish defender and laid the ball to Deccy Cassidy who showed a bit of composure to evade the keeper and tap the ball into the net.

Terry O’Flanagan had two good scores for Devenish, and Ciaran Mulrone got on the end of a move, but Devenish had a lot of visits to our final third with no score due to misses or blocks by Harps defenders. Kevin Cassidy and Paul Ward had the other Harps points in the half.

Wardy turned Marty Doherty inside out at the start of the second half for a point, but thereafter, Devenish inched their way back into the game, starting with a Terry O Flanagan score. They missed an absolute sitter of a goal chance, but things really came to life just before the three quarter mark, as Joe O’Brien bagged 1-1 in consecutive attacks. The Harps were struggling to get the ball out of their defence, and were being turned over repeatedly. Barry Mulrone had a few quality scores to level from the right, then put Devenish ahead! The noise was deafening! Kevin Cassidy and Stephen McGullion got Wardy in for a point to level against the run of things. It was looking more like a Devenish win, but young Aidy McKenna managed to nose the Harps ahead again, only for Terry to level things! After that, the Harps made it upfield before Deccy Cass found Wardy with a great ball over the top, and he was fouled for a free which he converted for the win. In truth, both teams had a few ropey wides in the final quarter as well.

Derrygonnelly might have been happy with the two points, but that’s probably where it ends. The debrief will tell them that they were absolutely destroyed on break ball in particular for a lot of the game. But they won. Other positives: Tiernan and Eamo both played and did well. Kevin Cassidy’s performance was very admirable. When we had lost our composure he was the guy who went back and got the ball out of our half for us. Our management made a few substitutions which somehow seemed to get us a wee foothold in the game in the final ten minutes, with Neil Gallagher in particular able to get us upfield as well.

Devenish will be positive in the sense that they matched and maybe bettered the Harps for intensity, and had them on the ropes, but they didn’t quite nail it when it was there for them. Their workrate as a unit was very good at times. Jason Love was a massive figure for them, particularly on restarts, but in fairness, his man Stephen McGullion had a lot of bits and pieces in the game as well, just maybe not as spectacular as Jason. Devenish will be saying to themselves that they deserved at least a point, and they’d be right. They will probably look at the low scoring first half and ropey goal conceded as the key things for them to sort out. They also might note that they played better in the second half when they cut back on endlessly giving the ref a hard time! The guy was fine. He got the vast majority of his calls correct and got a few wrong, but they broke both ways. #jussayinlike. 

Harps are at home to Roslea on Friday evening.