Harps played winning tune

dulwich harps eire og mcardle cup final
Gerry Keany, Director of Cara Stationery, presents the cup to Dulwich Harps captain Niall Russell

Cara Stationery McArdle Cup Final

Dulwich Harps 0-10
Eire Og 1-04

By James McDermott

Dulwich Harps’ rich vein of recent good form saw them see off Eire Og at Greenford to lift the McArdle Cup – the club’s first final appearance for a number of years.

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.

Intensity

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 Dulwich 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 0-6 to 1-2.

The second half restarted 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.

dulwich harps eire og mcardle cup final
Dulwich Harps Chairman Tom Denning and County Board Delegate Sean Reid with Paddy Cowan, owner of the Irish World, who sponsor Dulwich Harps

Dulwich Harps: Niall Russell, Dara Walsh, Damian Fitzpatrick, Timothy Russell, Adam Clarke, Damian Rogers, Sean Lavery, David Draper, Michael Clarke, Ronan Devlin, Ryan Brolly, Andrew Arkins, Enda Tuohy, Darren White, Aaron Harper

Eire Og: Leigh Ralph, Michael McDonagh, Barry O’Dowd, Peter Sweeney, Caolon Conroy, Brian Digney, Ronan Campfield, Eoin Conway, Stephen O’Keefe, Anthony Rogan, Shaun Brennan, Trevor Draper, Joe Macmahon, Conor Fitzgerald, Patrick Tobin

Pick up a copy of this week’s Irish World for full match report


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