Minor Hurling, Harps v O’Tooles, Sunday June 27th.
The 27th of June saw the Harps minor hurlers commence their Division 2 north league campaign away to O'Tooles.
The home team started brightly gaining an early three point advantage early on but Harps midfielder and free taker Simon Connolly got the lads off the mark with two frees. O'Tooles scored a quickfire 1-1 after the water break and took control of the game despite that Skerries fought back thanks to a converted 65 from Simon and a well-taken point from his midfield partner James Kenny.
The O'Tooles centre forward was their dangerman and he added to his total with another 1-1 just before half time but Simon Connolly tapped over another 65 to reduce the deficit to seven. 2-7: 0-6 was the half-time score.
Harps fought extremely well against the wind in the second half to work their way back into the game with captain Luke Whelan and James Kenny scoring a point each early on. Luke then found the back of the net to bring the Harps within three points of the lead. Harps kept O'Tooles at bay with some great saves from Tom Leach in goal and Daire Finnegan, Callan Kelly, Eoin O'Connor in the full back line putting the pressure on the O'Tooles Forwards.
Eoin Thorne at centre back worked and hassled hard and Darragh Ferguson and Fionnan O'Connor supplied some great ball to the forward line where Calum Herbert, Dan Holland and Oscar McIvor Lynch battled for possession. Substitutes Ben Hogan, Joe Rogers and OisínQuinn brought fresh legs and a boost to the team especially after the water break.
Harps scored a well deserved goal when a free sent into the square from Simon Connolly was pulled on by Rory Boylan and found the net which left the sides level. Both teams traded a few scores each with Luke Whelan adding a second point to his total and the reliable Simon Connolly converting too. However,O'Tooles found some momentum scoring 1-2 in quick succession to widen the gap. Despite the setback, Harps fought valiantly with every player giving one hundred percent to the end. Simon split the post again to finish with a personal total of seven points and Conor Moore popped up at the back post to grab Harps second goal.
Unfortunately, this was to be the final act of the match with O'Tooles coming out as 3:15 - 3:11 winners, however a superb team display gives the Harps plenty of encouragement heading into a crucial derby game vs local rivals St Maurs on the 7th of July in Skerries.