Dulwich Harps GFC Club Notes

Dulwich Harps GFC Club Notes

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Dulwich Harps GFC Club Notes

September 26, 2017

Club Notes 25 September

It was a perfect sunny day in Ruislip as Dulwich Harps lined up against Thomas McCurtains in what was the pinnacle game in the season for the junior football scene in London. The teams had previously met on four separate occasions throughout the season in the league and various cup competitions and standings between the sides were 2 wins a piece with McCurtains winning the most recent encounter in the league final by 2 points. 

McCurtains started the game brightly with two pointed frees which were then quickly cancelled out from the boot of Ciaran Stone and a spectacular ’45 from keeper Niall Russell. The game ebbed and flowed throughout the first half with both sides deploying sweepers and opting to take short kick outs. The Harps fullback line of Walsh, Lynch and Fitzpatrick remained resolute throughout the first half and effectively nullified any possible goal threat from McCurtains and forcing them to shoot from distance. 

The midfield pairing of Clarke and Devlin were getting plenty of possession in and around the middle third and the early deliveries into Stone and White were proving effective and paying dividends on the scoreboard as the Harps opened up a 0.5 – 0.2 lead. McCurtains had brief reassurance and scored a number of long range points and then with a few moments left until the break, Dave Draper done excellently to dispossess the McCurtains fullback and slip the ball to the onrushing Stone who was one on one with keeper. However his low, hard shot was saved and McCurtains went up the field to get a point to leave the minimum between the teams. Ryan Brolly tagged over another point to give the blues a slender lead going into the break on a score line of 0.7 to 0.6.

The second half started with the same intensity as the first, and McCurtains came out and tagged over two early scores to go in front once again. However to their credit the Harps kept coming back and two brilliant points from Darren White put the blues back in the lead. Both teams were trading scores in what was an enthralling game of football and when Sean Lavery came on to kick the Harps into a one point lead heading into the last 10 minutes of the game it looked like the cup was heading to south London.

Then with six minutes to go, McCurtains got a run on the Harps defence and for the first time in the game got in behind the fullback line and their on rushing attacker effectively dispatched a low shot from distance to beat Russell in goals. McCurtains then popped over another point to leave three between the sides heading into the last five minutes of the game.

Knowing that the game was in the balance the Harps pushed right up on the McCurtains defence and threw everything they had at them in final minutes of the game. This resulted in two frees being won which Stone tapped over to leave a point between the teams with two minutes left on the clock. 

However to their credit, McCurtains kept possession in the final moments of the game and effectively extinguished any hopes of the Harps getting an opportunity to get a shot off to level the game and when the final whistle came from the referee it was McCurtains who came out on top on the scoreline of 1.10 to 0.12.

Starting XV:

N Russell (0-1), D Walsh, D Lynch, D Fitzpatrick, A Higgins, D Rogers, T Russell, M Clarke, R Devlin, D Draper, R Brolly (0-1), J McDermott, C Stone (0-6), D White (0-3), E Tuohy,

Subs used;

S Lavery (0-1) D Donohoe, M Malone, R McAnearney

This game was wonderful spectacle for junior football in London and both sets of players and management deserve huge credit for the level of performance that was delivered on the day. In the end it was heartbreak for the Harps as they failed to cap off what has been an outstanding season in securing promotion to division two, winning the McArdle Cup and getting to three finals along the way.

The management team of Alan Grogan and Enda Tuohy thanked the players for the mammoth effort they put in on the day and indeed throughout the season and with the majority of the panel still available next year, it certainly is an exciting year coming up for the south London outfit in 2018.  

The girls are back in action this weekend as they take on Tir Conail Gaels in the league. The game is scheduled to take place in Greenford on Saturday 30th of September at 12:30pm. The girls are continuing to train on a Thursday evening at the George Green School, Island Gardens, E14 3DW at 8pm.

For more information please contact Aisling on 07961 577433 or email us at dulwichharpsladies@gmail.com

The club dinner dance has been set for the 4th of November at the Bromley Court Hotel in Bromley Hill, BR1 4JD. Tickets are priced at £45 and are selling fast! Tickets will be available for purchase from any committee member and everyone is welcome to attend. There will be more details to come in the following weeks so watch this space!