On a wet blustery Saturday July afternoon Harps took on Dunedin Connollys Intermediate side in what was a must win game for Tir Conaill if the harbored any real ambition to reach the league final. However much like the weather the result and performance were somewhat underwhelming.
Harps had started of the league campaign with vital point away from home against Dlariada in Aberdeen. However, they have since failed to capitalize on that positive start with two poor results since. The most disappointing aspect of it all was the manner of the defeat in each of these games.
The Edinburgh side took the initiative early on by taking the first point of the match in the second minute. Less that a minute later they had a second point and in the 7th minute they had the ball in the back of the net. Harps managed to pull a point back but before they knew it Dunedin has scored another goal and with only 10 minutes gone Tir Conaill trailed 2-3 to 0-01. It was a disastrous start for the boys. The game did settle down after the initial ferocious start from Connollys, and halfway through the first half Kieran Turner managed to convert a score to narrow the margin. Dunedin fired back with two scores of their own before Connaire Shannon popped up to score on the stroke of half time to leave the score at 2-05 to 0-3 to Dudein Connollys.
Tir Conaill Harps started brightly in the second half scoring three points early on, and Aidan Brennan had a golden opportunity in front of goal to bring Harps right back into the game. Unfortunately he couldn’t quite get the angle on the turn and put the ball narrowly wide. Tir Conaill Harps looked reinvigorated coming back out from half time but this was as good as it got as Dunedin then scored three unanswered points between the 45th and 47th minute mark. Daniel Gallagher converted a point half way through the second half and Muiris Bartley managed to get on the scoresheet with the last score of the game. The game ended Tir Conaill Harps 0-08, Dunedin Connollys 2-14.
The boys will have been bitterly disappointed with the result and performance, but this is a team that pushed all the way for the Championship title before the season was cut short last year. They will endeavor to put this bad start behind them and push on to recapture their form from last year, and if they manage to meet their potential, success will be sure to follow.