Harpers Vs Rathcline in Div 2 - Match Report

November 7, 2018

Moydow Harpers 2-06            Rathcline 4-10

After a thrilling game in Moydow Park on Saturday evening, the Harpers were left to rue missed opportunities and a below par first half leading to defeat at the hands of Rathcline.

A difficult match on paper was made even tougher with the late withdrawal of Darren Madden and Ronan Mac an Bheatha for different reasons. In addition, both Goalkeepers Brendan Conway and Tom Hobin both failed late fitness tests prior to the game. As a result, Ryan Higgins returned from his recent knee surgery to mind the Harpers net.

The Harpers were slow to get going and were on the defensive for most of the first quarter. At this point Rathcline were 1-02 up. Moydow finally registered their first score from a Paul Stuart free. However, this point was followed by a raft of Rathcline scores including a well taken goal where the stand-in Harpers keeper had no chance. It could have been worse but for some excellent tackling during this period from David Tiernan, Sean Farrell, Niall & Conor Keenan.

It was looking daunting for the home side at this stage with 9 points separating the sides. However, Moydow’s never say die spirit showed when they drove at the Rats defence and landed 1-01 just before half-time. The goal was a well taken effort from Paul Stuart following a surging run from Fergal Keenan combined with good link up play by Gerard ‘Slab’ Slevin.

Half Time:    Moydow Harpers 1-02      Rathcline 2-04

The 2nd half started with Mark Quinn and Fergal Keenan swapping positions and this seemed to make an impact to the flow of the game. Mark caught some good ball at midfield and Fergal opened the ‘Rats’ defence on a number of occasions with direct running from centre forward.

With the Harpers starting to gain parity in most positions, they were dealt a sucker punch when Rathcline scored a controversial goal midway through the half. To compound matters Ryan Higgins was given his marching orders after questioning the referrees parentage.

This ignited a passion in the Harpers and they replied with their best football of the season so far. Points from Niall Keenan, David Tiernan (a rare gem!) and Fergal Keenan followed. The Harpers maintained this momentum when a brilliant drive from Fergal Keenan set-up Paul Stuart for a one to one with the keeper, only for the shot to clip the cross-bar and go over for a point.

Rathcline got back into the game periodically and slotted their 4th goal past the injured Brendan Conway. Moydow seized control again and were unlucky when a terrific save from the Rats keeper denied Paul Stewart a certain goal. The Harpers never give up and eventually got a consolation goal through a Gerard ‘Slab’ Slevin 'tap in' following good play from Paul Stuart, Niall Keenan and Colin Clyne.

Team: Ryan Higgins, Chad Costello, Conor Keenan, Matthew ‘Gooch’ Lee, Luke Costello, Sean Farrell, David Tiernan (0-01), Fergal Keenan, Niall Keenan (0-01), Cathal Hilliard, Mark Quinn, Frank Twaddle, Gerard Slevin (1-00), Paul Stuart (1-04), John Doyle.

Subs: Colin Clyne for John Doyle (inj); Shane Connell for Matthew Lee; Philip McDermott for Fergal Keenan (inj), Brendan Conway for Cathal Hilliard.