Harps make immediate return to the top flight.

posted 14 Nov 2018, 01:01 by Skerries Harps
Round Towers Clondalkin 0-12 1-12 Skerries Harps

Following on from last year’s agonising relegation play off defeat to Cuala, Skerries Harps made an immediate return to Division 1 following this hard fought but well-earned victory in the promotion play off final in Clondalkin last Wednesday night.

On a cold night in Clondalkin were the pitch was in immaculate condition Harps made the trip at nearly at near full strength with the absence of regular goalkeeper Alun Cullinan a big blow. However, the fine recent form of young Cormac Rocks meant he was a suitable replacement for this big game

The game started with Harps playing with a slight breeze in their favour and they started brilliantly with a brace of points each from the ever-reliable Stephen Smith and Harry Dawson put harps into a 0-4 0-0 lead after 10 mins. This lead was stretched to 0-6 0-0 with former dubs star Bryan Cullen playing in a deeper role added two exceptional long-range points. Too their credit Round Towers were not dis spirited and they tagged on 2 points fine points.

However, the aforementioned Smith showed the huge travelling support that he had added long range frees to his skill set and he landed two beauties off the ground from close to 50 yards. This put the Harps in control of 0-9 0-2 after 20 mins. However, some poor discipline in the Harps defence led to a number of scorable frees being conceded and Towers managed to cut the deficit to 0-9 0-7 @ HT much to the accuracy of free takers Jason Joyce & Conor L'Estrange

On the resumption both teams traded frees before the decisive score arrived in the 40th minute. A brilliant move started by full back Sean Rocks and Jack Smith put Cullen through and his lay off to Dawson who finished expertly to the net. This put Harps 5 up and with both teams tiring some of the Harps keep ball was a joy to watch as the clock kept ticking away. With 3 between the sides substitute Killian Mc Ginnis pointed to put Harps clear by 4. Another free from Joyce left a goal between the sides and a couple of bad wides by Towers meant there was a goal between the sides entering injury time. Despite having centre back Donnacha Reilly sent off for 2 bookable offences Harps kept the ball. Some poor discipline and constant fouling from Towers meant Harps were well in control. A missed free from Mc Ginnis in the 5th minute of injury did not herald the much-awaited full time whistle and Towers launched a high ball into the Harps square that was cleared and the incoming shot was scuffed well wide and this was followed by the final whistle to send the harps players, management and supporters into great celebrations. It was a huge effort by the players and management team lead by Ciaran Roche to get back to where the club feel they belong and can look forward over the winter to the challenge of Division 1 next season

Stephen Smith 0-7 (5frees)
Harry Dawson 1-2
Bryan Cullen 0-2
Killian McGinnis 0-1

Cormac Rocks, Ross Mc Garry (capt), Sean Rocks, Eoin Smith, Eoghan McGinley, Donnacha Reilly, Jack Smith, Conor OBrien, Donal Mc Ilgorm, Kevin Gilmore, Harry Dawson, Conan Doherty, Tommy Ryan, Bryan Cullen, Stephen Smith

Kevin Dalton for Conor O’Brien, Killian Mc Ginnis for Doherty, Fionn O Leary for Dawson and Rob Mc Key for Mc Ginley.