Harps u13s Conquer in the Kingdom!!!

posted 10 Sept 2014, 01:30 by Skerries Harps

Harps under 13 footballers, sponsored by Moriarty's Super Valu, recorded a major achievement by winning the Colm Cooper Invitational Tournament in Killarney on 6th September. The tournament which is dedicated to the Kerry great, focusses on kids playing in a sporting environment with the emphasis on skills development and enjoyment.

The North Dublin men set out for Kerry at 7am on Saturday morning as the sun shone over their impressive clubhouse development at the Harps – 22 Skerries men headed off to take on the big clubs from Munster, Connaught, Leinster and a team from Scotland. The long journey took its toll on the youngsters as they suffered a big defeat in their first match versus Oranmore/Maree from County Galway.

However a short rest and some reorganisation, saw the lads chalk up a big score against a gallant Kilmurry/Ibrickane from Co. Clare and went on to emerge from their group by defeating a fine Gneeveguilla  team from Co Kerry.

The lads stook rigidly to Joe Kelly’s nutritional plan during the break before the semi-finals with a feast of crisps, capri suns and wagon wheels  …..and boy did it do the trick. Harps faced Corofin from Galway who won the tournament last year and were highly fancied around the tournament grounds on the day. Harps conceded two quick goals which looked like an unsurmountable challenge considering the games were 10 minutes per half. But with the wagon wheels now run off them, the Boys in Blue hit the jackpot three times in five minutes to leave us two points ahead at half time. The second half was a ding dong battle with Harps edging out the Galway men to reach the final in style.

The final stage was set when the teams were paraded into the packed ground led by a local piper. Oranmore/Maree from Galway, unbeaten all day with the scoreboards recording big wins in all their games, facing the mighty Fingal men who had suffered earlier at the hands of their opponents.  Both teams gave an exceptional display despite many players showing the effects of a long day and the score ebbed and flowed with Harps leading into the final five minutes by 1-4 to 1-2. The Connaught men threw the kitchen sink at the Dubliners but some fine tackling, goalkeeping and just sheer guts, kept the Westerners at bay. With time almost up, the Harps put together a fine passing movement to nail it with another rattle of the onion sack – Result 2-4 to 1-2.

After the presentation of the silverware by the very impressive Colm Cooper, the Harps retired to their hotel for a celebratory meal. Following a big breakfast they headed East to be met at Barnageeragh by the local Skerries/Balbriggan Gardaí where they were treated to an escorted cavalcade of noise and colour into their beloved town, to announce to Skerries that we were home triumphant.

A great experience for the lads and mentors who were great ambassadors for Skerries and Dublin GAA all weekend. Thanks to Killarney Crokes GAA Club for their great organisation and hospitality.

The players who travelled were :

Harry Archer, David Boyd, Liam Byrne, Sean Campbell, Finn Chatten, Robert Delaney, Matthew Dooley, Jack Drumm, Vamie Elawure, Adam Fearon, Jacob Grimes, Matthew Kelly, Robert Kenny, Eoghan Mc Donald, Cian Mullarkey, Conor Nulty, Daniel O Driscoll, Clinton Opara, Daragh Smith, Emmet Trant, Paul Wilde & Adam Wynne.

Trip Mentors: Joe Kelly, Joe Drumm, Peter Kenny, Brian Trant, Peter Mullarkey, Paul WIlde & Pat Delaney