The Harps stage dramatic injury time comeback to claim Division 5 honours

Andrew Egan

Reporter:

Andrew Egan

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sport@leinsterexpress.ie

Entering into injury time it looked like Portlaoise had done enough to secure the Division 5 hurling title, but they were outdone by a goal from substitute Justin Brophy. The Harps tagged on a further two points to confirm victory, as Portlaoise sunk to their knees in disbelief.


The Harps 1-12 Portlaoise 0-12


Portlaoise began very much on the forefront, scoring the first four points. Diarmuid Lalor, Seán Cotter, Tommy Mulligan and Brian Mulligan all got their names on the score sheet early on. The Harps could only muster a Greg Alyward point in response.

The Portlaoise team that lost the Division 5 final
Portlaoise were cleaning up a lot of ball in the middle of the park, and that allowed them to be so dominant in the first twenty minutes of the first half. The Mulligan brothers, Brian and Tommy, added a point apiece to stretch the lead to five. Ed O'Dwyer split the posts soon after for Portlaoise, and they were in a healthy position.


However, The Harps woke up from their slumber, and finished the half strongly. Greg Alyward landed a long-range effort over the bar, before four more points were added before the break. Three of those came from the impressive Evan Deegan, as they trailed 0-6 to 0-7.


Evan Deegan hit the equalizer on the restart from a free, but Portlaoise finally got up and going again thanks to Diarmuid Lalor and Tommy Mulligan points.


Evan Deegan and Tommy Mulligan swapped frees throughout the half, as Portlaoise maintained that distance for most of the half. However, Shane Keoghan cut the gap to the minimum, before Evan Deegan landed another placed ball to level the teams.


Tristan Tobin and Jack Dooley put Portlaoise back in front, but then the drama unfolded. Justin Brophy flicked on a Shane Donohue free in the square to raise a green flag, before two more points confirmed victory for the Durrow men.


The Harps


Scorers: Evan Deegan (0-5 frees) 0-8, Justin Brophy 1-0, Greg Alyward 0-2, Thomas Dillon and Shane Donohue 0-1 each


Team: Kieran Shortall; Joe Ryan, Fionn Whelan, Emmett Fitzpatrick; Alan O'Connell, Sean Cahill, Barry Moore; Shane Donohue, Freddie Townsend; Evan Deegan, Brian Farrell, Greg Alyward; Thomas Dillon, Eoghan Doheny, Kevin Madden. Subs: Rory Doyle for Moore (half-time), Niall Donohue for Ryan (half-time), Shane Keoghan for Dillon (33 mins), Justin Brophy for Madden (41 mins), Tom Ryan for Emmett Fitzpatrick (47 mins), Enda Fitzpatrick for Doheny (47 mins)


Portlaoise


Scorers: Tommy Mulligan (0-3 frees) 0-4, Brian Mulligan (frees) and Diarmuid Lalor 0-2 each, Jack Dooley, Tristan Tobin, Ed O'Dwyer and Seán Cotter 0-1 each


Team: James Brown; Mark Mulligan, Darren Murphy, James Grennan; Seán Cotter, Brian Mulligan, Brian Delaney; Tommy Mulligan, Niall Fitzpatrick; Tristan Tobin, Jack Dooley, Eoin Fitzpatrick; Ed O'Dwyer, Diarmuid Lalor, Michael Fogarty. Subs: Kieran Drea for Fogarty (20 mins, inj), Jamie Dooley for Dwyer (41 mins), Lorcan Duff for E Fitzpatrick (43 mins), James Nerney for Delaney (48 mins), Geoff Phelan for M Mulligan (52 mins)


Referee: Padraig Dunne (Colt)