Minors advance to Championship semi final

posted 20 Oct 2013, 14:28 by Skerries Harps

Skerries Harps minor footballers advanced to the championship semi final after a hard fought one point win over Whitehall Colmcilles in Skerries on Sunday. Harps got off to a fine start when corner forward Stephen Smith blasted to the net after just five minutes followed quickly with a pointed free from the boot of  midfielder Sean Rocks.

The visitors gradually got to the pace of the game and their very strong  midfield started to dominate which resulted in three unanswered points to bring the margin down to just one. Full forward Jack Boyd showed well for the ball throughout the half which give the Harps midfield and half forwards opportunities to swarm forward and take the ball form the advancing Boyd which resulted some good points taken by the home side.

There was some discussion between the referee and umpires after Eoin Murray pounced  and slotted the ball to the Whitehall net after the goalkeeper failed to hold on to a high ball but to the delight of the home fans the green flag was raised and Harps led by six points.

As the game entered the final ten minutes of the half there was further joy for the home side when Skerries number eleven  Luke Timmons gathered the ball and used his electric pace to cut through the visitors defence and dispatch the ball to the net for Skerries third goal. A couple of well taken points from Whitehall late in the half brought the score to 3-4  to 0-6 as the half time whistle blew.

Whitehall knew they would have to turn things around quickly and so they did as the pressure on the Harps defence was relentless for most of the second period . Despite valiant efforts from wing back Kevin Gilmore and the ever impressive centre back Eoin Smith there were to be two breaches of the home defence in the half, these two goals really lifted the Whitehall spirits and when Harps lost both Rocks and Timmons to injury there were ominous signs that maybe this team were going to exit the championship at this stage.

However the work that these lads put in during the year gave them the strength to fight back with Niall Joyce coming off the bench and giving extra momentum to the full back line to repel the constant pressure.

A superb individual point from Ross Gordon with five minutes left gave the home side a two point lead however when that was cut to just one the last few minutes were tense moments for all. Whitehall pressed hard for the equaliser but two crucial interceptions by the brilliant Eoin Smith despite playing with an injury saw the Harps lads across the line and into the semi final.

Final score Skerries Harps 3-6 Whitehall Comcilles 2-8.


Harps: Shane Rice, Cian Archbold, Jack Carroll, Liam Smart, Tommy Ryan, Eoin Smith, Kevin Gilmore, Sean Rocks, Kian Coleman, Eoin Murray, Luke Timmons, Ross Gordon, Robbie O Connor, Jack Boyd, Stephen Smith, Niall Joyce, Cathal Azzorpardi, Darragh Grimes, Daniel Graham, George Harrington.