Harps go scoreless in second half to beat Vincents!! Harps 4-5 St Vincents 3-7
Yes you read it right. Harps travelled to Fairview Park to play St Vincents on a lovely summers evening to record, an unheard of, if not historic win. Winning by 4-5 to 0-2 at half time, they failed to score in the second half , hanging on to victory by the narrowest of margins - not good for the heart, this one.
Harps sprinted out of the traps and with two points in the first minute by Aaron Walsh, the Skerries lads meant business. Minutes later Clinton Opara found the net before pointing to lead 1-3 to no score after 7 minutes. A great move which started with a great pass out of defence by the inform Adam Wynne linking up with the stylish Emmet Trant who split the defence with a penetrating run, fisted to Walsh who burst the net much to the delight of the lone Skerries supporter!! Jacob Grimes was enjoying himself, giving a great half-forward display with some fine runs at the Vins defence.
Vincents got a hold on midfield but the defiant defending by David Mellowes and Brian Brennan kept the Marino men at bay. Harry Archer in his maiden appearance for the team gave a masterclass display of fielding, passing and tackling and alongside Ben Browne, the seasiders played with a swagger and confidence not seen before from this group.
Mikey Joyce had little to do early on but his pinpoint kickouts set up several attacks for the Harps. Another great Harps move involving a six pass movement ending with a great handpass by Stephen Byrne which resulted in Ben Browne slotting the ball home for a goal and with Walsh on fire he found the net again following some great work by Femi Elauwue. A point from Trant, left Harps leading 4-5 to 0-2 at half time - the lone supporter had been joined now by two passers-by who became instant fans of this quality team display.
Half time talk by Bainisteoir Trant revolved around "more of the same, boys" but unfortunately someone turned the switch to off as the performance collapsed. Vincents scored three goals within the first ten minutes of the second half but somehow the Harps defence held them goalless for the remaining 15 minutes. Mikey "Octopus" Joyce made over a dozen point-blank saves and the crossbar had little paint left with the pounding the goalmouth received - the sole Harps supporter, now all alone again ,as the fickle admirers jumped ship!!
Brian Brennan put his body on the line several times showing great bravery and Archer gave some relief to the Harps backline with some great possession but they were in real trouble throughout the pitch. Vincents got ever closer to a win but unfortunately for them time ran out and Harps claimed victory by a single point despite remaing scoreless for a full half - something I have failed to remember witnessing ever before over three decades.
The mentors, having recovered from blurred vision and lack of oxygen, tried in vain to find a reasonable explanation for what had just happened. The kids???...they sang all the way home to tunes blasting out of the car radio - not a care in the world. Ohhhh, to be a kid again!!