MIDLANDS PARK HOTEL U15 'A' HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL
The Harps were crowned U15 Hurling Champions on Saturday morning after an impressive victory over Mountrath in the Laois Centre of Excellence. Impressive performances from Eoghan Murphy, Justin Duggan and Shane Shortall laid the foundations for the win.
It was a brave Mountrath performance, who did put it up to The Harps at times, but the third quarter was where the damage was done, when Mountrath failing to score and The Harps rallying off six points to end the game as a contest. The fourth quarter was full of goals, but The Heath held on to claim victory.
The Harps 4-16
The Harps started the brightest and raced into a four-point lead in the opening 10 minutes. A long range Eoghan Murphy free opened The Harps’ account. Mark Downey doubled their lead before two points from full forward Justin Duggan left them four ahead after seven minutes of play.
Their intent was clear from the start but Mountrath fought back and hit three on the bounce courtesy of two from Ruadhrí Kavanagh and Caelum O’Brien left them within a point before disaster struck for Mountrath when Justin Duggan broke through and buried the ball to the back of net to give The Harps a four-point lead at the first water break.
The Harps continued their good form after the water break and another free from Murphy before Downey rattled the net again to increase their lead. It looked as if The Harps would push on, but Mountrath battled away, and they got their break 26 minutes in when a ‘65’ dropped short in around the goal area and Josh Dempsey pulled on a loose ball to give Mountrath some hope. Cian Hill and Donal Deegan traded scores to leave it a six-point lead at the half time break.
It was all Harps in the third quarter and they took complete control of the game. Eoin Delaney was introduced as a half time substitute and he was immense, slotting over a hattrick of points early in the second half to increase their lead.
With The Harps in control now, Mountrath became frustrated and they gave away some needless frees, which Eoghan Murphy took advantage of and pointed three frees in a row, which all but ended the game as a contest. They won all their battles, in all sectors of the field and they carried a 13-point lead at the second water break.
The fourth and final quarter was a goal fest, and The Harps started the goal fest just after the second water break with a fine taken Mark Downey goal. Mountrath replied almost immediately when substitute Donnacha O’Neill pulled on a loose ball and it flew into the net.
Ruadhrí Kavanagh then got another goal for Mountrath but The Harps responded through Justin Duggan who finished neatly to the net. Duggan added another fine point to round off the day’s scoring as The Harps powered to victory in an impressive all-round performance.
The Harps: Justin Deegan: 3-3, Eoghan Murphy 0-6 (0-6F), Mark Downey 1-2, Eoin Delaney 0-3, Donal Deegan, Lochlan Curran 0-1 each.
Mountrath: Ruaidhrí Kavanagh 1-2 (0-1F), Donnacha O’Neill and Josh Dempsey 1-0 each, Caelum O’Brien and Cian Hill 0-1 each.
The Harps: Ethan Lafferty; Cormac Dunne, Shane Shortall, Ned Duggan; Hugh Whelan, Eoghan Murphy, Aaron Mahon; Donal Deegan, Cole Brennan; Ross Deegan, Mark Downey, Lochlan Curran; Jimmy Whyte, Justin Deegan, Darragh Townsend. Subs: Donnacha O’Neill for Paige (43).
Mountrath: Alex Phelan; Zach McGuinness, Dion O’Connor Cuddy, Dooachadh Carroll; Sean Foot Doheny, Eoin Brennan, Cormac Farrell; Corey Doheny, Cian Hill; Ben Meade, Caelum O’Brien, Cormac Paige; Jack Rice, Ruadhrí Kavanagh, Josh Dempsey. Subs: Cillian Bowe for Ned Duggan (34), Rory Walsh for Aaron Mahon (37), Rory Walsh for Cormac Dunne and Liam Townsend for Lochlan Curran both 56, Eoin Holland for Hugh Whelan (59).
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