Dulwich Harps GFC Club Notes04-07-2017

Dulwich Harps Club Notes 3rd July

The previous week was one of the most successful weeks for the club in recent memory with three significant victories each bringing championship progression, silverware and league promotion.

On Tuesday 26th of June, the ladies defeated St Anthony’s in a second round championship match in Greenford on the scoreline of 5-07 to 2-08. The game was played on a wet and windy night but an early goal by Maria O’neill and points by Diane O’brien and Lisa Darby got the Harps off to a great start. St Anthony's came into the game in the last 10 minutes of the first half leaving the sides even on 2:5 each at half time.

Once again Dulwich started convincingly in the second half with an early goal by Lisa Darby followed by a goal by Clare Caffney and Maeve Wylie. Dearbhla Mackin made some great runs from the back line to slot over 2 points in the second half. Dulwich stayed on top of the game for the majority of the second half with some great defending starting in the forward line. Overall it was a great team effort with standout performances from Louise McNulty, Ursula Murphy and Aisling Irish

This victory means that the girls will now proceed to the championship semi final and manager Anthony Stafford commended the girls for a fantastic effort in what was a difficult night for football.

The next game for the girls is on Wednesday 5th of July when they take on Tara’s in the Tom O’Connor Cup. The game is scheduled to take place in Peckham and has a 7:30pm throw in time.

Then on Sunday 9th July they will face the same opposition in the semi-final of the championship. The game is scheduled to take place in Northholt and starts at 12:30pm.

The ladies continue to train on Monday and Wednesday evenings on Peckham Rye Common at 7:00pm.

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

Then on Thursday 29th of June the senior men’s team travelled to Greenford in earnest for their first final in a number years as they matched up against Eire og in the Cara Stationary McArdle Cup.

The game started with ferocious intensity and both teams traded early points with Dave Draper getting the blues off the mark. This was quickly followed by a point from Mickey Clarke and another from Sean Lavery. The Harps found particular joy in running the ball from deep and wing backs Adam Clarke and Sean Lavery exploited gaps in the Eire og defence with their marauding runs which gave half forwards Andrew Arkins and Ronan Devlin a platform to attack from.

Whilst this cavaliering approach proved to be fruitful, it also came with high risk and after a great catch by an Eire og midfielder, the ball was lumped forward over the top of the Harps defence to the onrushing full forward who dispatched the ball to the back of the Harps net.

But this did not phase the Blues and to their credit they responded in the best possible manner and kicked two points, once again from Clarke and Lavery. An Aaron Harpur free put the Harps two ahead before Eire og got one just before the break to leave the Harps going into the second half with the slenderest of leads on a scoreline of 0.06 to 1.02.

The second half re-started with the same intensity as the first and it was evident to see that both teams were willing to lay it all on the line. This fervent attitude was characterised by Ryan Brolly and Damian Rogers who were at times, literally throwing themselves into tackles!

Both sides were struggling to take their scores due to the quality of defending which was on display and for a brief time the Harps struggled to get a foothold in the game. It was within this 15 minute spell that Eire og tagged over 2 points to give them a one point lead heading into the final quarter of the game. However this was to be their last score of the match as the Harps sized the initiative and took the fight to their opponents. The full back line of Walsh, Fitz and Russell remained resolute throughout and Niall Russell’s goal became an impenetrable barrier for which Eire og could not find could not find the answer.

Enda Tuohy and Darren White were starting to become a real handful inside and it was White who initiated the Harps come back as he swung a point over from the edge of the ‘D’ to end a 20 minute scoreless spell. The introduction of Ryan McAnearney and John O’Sullivan provided fresh legs to carry the fight back and when Adam Clarke stepped up from wing back to split the posts it looked like it was going to be the Harps night. Sean Lavery added another point to cap a fine display from wing half back and as the game headed into the closing stages the Harps were up by two.

With the game in the balance the Harps needed leadership and this was epitomised by none other than Mickey Clarke and Dave Draper and when the latter won a ball around the middle he surged forward and was subsequently fouled just outside the 45 yard line. Niall Russell stepped up to hit the resulting free and there was only one outcome as he floated the ball over the bar in what was the final kick of the game. Final score: Eire Og 1.04 – Dulwich Harps 0.10

Then on Sunday the Harps travelled to Wormwood scrubs to take on Moindearg in a league fixture in which victory would secure a return to intermediate football for 2018.

The Harps started the game brightly and early points from Mickey Clarke, Ryan Brolly and Ronan Devlin helped settle the nerves. The relentless pressure and ball retention of the Harps paid dividends as they scored a number of goals from Darren White, Enda Tuohy and Ryan Brolly from the penalty spot.

The second half continued in the same vain as the first and points from Mick Malone and Ronan Devlin kept the scoreboard ticking over. In the final minutes of the game came arguably the goal of the season to date as the ball broke on the left hand side of the square to John Keyes who instinctively side footed the ball on the half volley into the top right hand corner of the goal to leave the final score of the game at Dulwich 5.15 Moindearg 1.11.

Manager Alan Grogan would like to thank each player for their effort and contribution over the previous week and indeed season and it is testament to the strength and depth of the squad that there were 22 different players involved in both games.

Focus for the men’s team will now turn to the upcoming league final and championship campaign.

Training will continue on Tuesday and Thursday evenings @ 7:15pm on Peckham Rye Common. For more information contact Alan (07472 211445) or Enda (07522 723765).

On Sunday 25th June, the South London under 14 Boys Gaelic football team captured their 5th Féile Peile na nÓg title in seven years at a sun drenched St Tiernach's Park in Clones. On route to the final, the boys recorded victories over the host club Bailieborough Shamrocks (Cavan), Magheracloone (Monaghan), NaGaeil (Kerry), Naomh Padraig (Donegal) and Clontarf (Dublin). Going into the final the boys’ were confident but knew they would have to produce something very special if they were to defeat a very strong and skilful St Gabriel’s side from Galway. With 3 minutes remaining on the clock, South London found themselves playing with one player less. More significantly, they were a point behind and desperately trying to stop St Gabriel’s from increasing their slender lead. However, the boys have displayed all year that they do not know how to quit. The boys had it ingrained into their brains not to give up if they were behind or let up if they were in front. After some heroic defending from Nathan Donnelly, the boys found an equalising score through the boot of Armani Orji before going in front with a Michael Akala point. It was then St Gabriel’s turn to try and rescue the game and they threw everything at the South London team bar the kitchen sink. The pressure on the defence was immense and it was clear that any mistake would be punished by the skilful St Gabriel’s players. St Gabriel’s committed almost every player forward to equalise but when the ball was eventually turned-over, south London had the opportunity to counter attack at speed and put the game to bed. Again, man of the match Armani Orji found himself in acres of open space to run into and struck another point to extend the lead to two with only a matter of seconds left to play. It felt like an eternity for the final whistle to sound but when it did there were wild celebrations on the pitch with mentors and players overjoyed. Many years of hard work and dedication paying-off in just one glorious afternoon.

The victorious team consisted of sixteen players from Dulwich Harps, two players from Round Towers and two players from Thomas McCurtain’s. The pane of players have worked very hard since the first training session at the end of February. Congratulations to the players, the management team of Michael Donnelly, Ciaran Harrington, Michael Maher and Brian Smyth. We also acknowledge the unstinting support to both the coaches and players from Tim O’Sullivan and Danny O’ Donovan throughout the competition.

The South London team were delighted to be joined by Tom Denning, Chair of Dulwich Harps GFC for the competition. It was Tom’s vision and drive that ensured South London were allowed to enter the Feile for the first time in 2007. Our record over the last seven years has been magnificent!

Well done lads!

Finally the club would like to thank the Irish World for sponsoring the senior men’s jersey for the upcoming season. Pictured below is Senior captain Niall Russell, club chairman Tom Denning and Paddy Cowen from the Irish World. The club would like to thank the Irish World for all of their help and support to date. Go raibh maith agat!