posted 28 Oct 2017, 14:08 by Derrygonnelly Harps   [ updated 31 Oct 2017, 05:09 ]

Well, what a big game for our club.

There was a feeling this week, that we would win. A sense that we never really had before the other games. And we won it, deservedly.

2-8 to 1-8, with their goal in the last kick.

We were super efficient in the early stages, with Garry McKenna and Conall Jones clearly troubling the Armagh defence. Big downer for the Harps in the first few minutes as Tiarnan Daly was carried off. What a pity for our big full back, we can only wish him all the best. Nonetheless, moments later, Garry McKenna was hauled down, peno, up stepped Wardy- proper low finish!!

Conall on the loop almost next minute, quality point. Poor kick-out down Conall’s throat, he soloed in and buried it. What a position to be in!

But the intensity in our play didn’t drop one bit, and we had them under pressur eon the ball all over the pitch. A few ropey wides from them, finally a point from their 11 Joe McElroy, and a monster from Conall, a total monster, after Mickey Jones and Ryan Jones combined.

Ultan Lennon had a two step 45’ over the bar for them, and a free, and they were trying to run at us at pace, but it wasn’t really a night for that kind of craic, and Foss and Shane had a few great bits of defending, the kind of stuff that gets little credit but shuts the whole thing down. Then you have Keeves in the middle third, chasing and stopping and working so hard for the team.

Lennon had another free, before Stephen McGullion clipped over a settler for us,, and they had a nice free from freshly introduced sub Gareth Swift. Still, Wardy was fouled on the fifty and Conall smashed it over. He was having that kind of night. 2-4 to 0-4.

Armagh went a bit agricultural for the third quarter, trying the ‘bog it onto the square’ route. I can’t say it was overly successful, although they had one close shave off the post and ping ponged about before being cleared. Peggy had to grab another from under the crossbar. Eventually they flicked a ball from the wing over the bar, but they were beginning to run out of ideas a bit. Conall Jones scored a trademark Conall Jones point. Denis Greene and his man were red carded for wrestling and throwing boxes, according to the umpire, poor oul Denis is such a cracking competitor, and he’ll say he was hardly supposed to lie there and get smacked in the mouth, he clung on to his man and ended up walking off with him – a tough one.

Armagh lost the big fella Swift straight after that on a straight red, to resigned, knowing sighs from Armagh Harps' supporters. Garvan Jones had one for us, they had a point from Ryan McShane, we had one from Conall, and with ten to go, you couldn’t see us losing. 

Garry saw his second yellow to bring the total reds to four. (I know the ref never seemed to truly relax in the game, but three of the cards were following good consultation with his umpires/linesman –fair’s fair, that’s what he’s supposed to do. There was a bit too much ref bashing at times, I thought).

Mark McConville and Conor Murphy from the left saw Armagh still alive, but they were going to need a goal, if not two.

We had a few chances to finish the thing, before Stevie Jones threaded through a sliderule pass, pure playmaker the lad, to Moffatt, who got it to Garvan = six clear and time well up!

Then, a bit of panic as they had a goal from a goalmouth scramble through Ultan Lennon, but it was the last kick. What a night for our club!!!

A fantastic effort. So many fellas did endless graft, chasing, turning opponents back, pickpocketing possession. But Ryan and Deccy just controlled our possession superbly, taking it out and using it. Mickey put out all the usual fires that he’s supposed to put out, and was sniffing to break upfield a few times. Cool the jets Mickey!! Then, Conall Jones just had one of those night’s when he worked like mad (he really did put a shift in), then he nailed just about everything. Great stuff. But Garry McKenna’s workrate and taking the thing on was also very impressive, he has really stepped up this year. So we have an Ulster semi final to get ready for. Wow!