Harps got back into their stride after the summer break with a great win over a fine Kilmacud outfit in the Ballast Pit on Saturday. The game was end to end for a while before Harps took advantage of a huge gale to take control of the first half. The game came alive when Liam Byrne cracked the back of the net after 15 mins and this seemed to inject an energy boost into the boys in blue. Dara Smith, our stand-in keeper, was sound in goals and his clearances allowed Harps to build and set up Eoin Winters and Robert Delaney to score some fine points. Tiernan Wilde grew in confidence and not only held his man scoreless but began to create attacking moves, taking pressure off the Harps defence.
Crokes pressed hard but solid performances from Harry Archer (straight off the cricket pitch), David Duffy and Cian Mullarkey didn't allow the Stillorgan lads to settle. The ever dangerous David Boyd found a hole in Crokes defence to rattle the onion sack. This was followed shortly after by a Daniel O'Driscoll cracker, finishing to the net after a hugely industrious performance at full-forward. With Matthew Kelly creating havoc at No. 11, the sea-siders were now dominating. Kilmacud sneaked a goal of their own just before the half-time whistle to leave the score 3-11 to 1-2.
Skerries now facing into the gale battled hard but three early goals in the second half saw their lead depleted. Hard won points from Paul Wilde and Matthew Kelly were inspirational and helped keep their noses in front. Adam El Shamy was outstanding at half-back and Finn Chatten, at midfield, worked his socks off to deter a very strong Crokes midfield.
Matthew Dooley, flown in especially from hols (at great expense!!), began to assert himself at half back and it was looking good for the home team. Delaney landed the ball in the net with 15 minutes to go but Crokes showed their quality and would not lie down.They hit 1-5 without reply to set up a nail-biting finish. Some big tackles by Mullarkey and the introduction of Dara Archbold and Alan Joyce helped steady the ship and Harps held their nerve to hold out for a three point win.
Well done lads...keep it up !!