Harps U15s season came to an end today with a spirited 4-1 defeat to league finalists, Shamrock Rovers, at the Curragh.
Early morning showers cleared leaving the Curragh in superb condition and it was Rovers who imposed themselves on the game by going ahead in the first minute. A neat interchange between Cruise and Conlon on the left, allowed Conlon to cross to Zefi, who finished neatly beyond McGettigan in the Harps’ goal.
Harps settled after that early setback and went close to breaking even through, Donnelly and M’buli. Harps found themselves two down after 11 minutes when Cruise and Conlon again set up Leppy who finished after a great initial save by Milford man, Eoin McGettigan.
Harps got the goal that their efforts deserved when McGlynn’s through ball found the impressive M’buli on the run, and he coolly slotted past Reece Byrne in the Hoops’ net.
At this stage Harps looked the likeliest to score and it was from a Harps attack the Rovers scored their third just before half time. A swift counter attack put the Harps defense under pressure and a poor clearance allowed Rovers captain, Ben Curtis to pick out Abidoye beyond Harps’ left back, Noah Barrett. Abidoye’s first touch allowed him time to finish to the near post to give Rovers’ a 3-1 half time lead.
The second half saw both teams make personnel changes which ensured the tempo remained as high as the first. Rovers dominated possession for long periods. A resolute performance from Lynch, Dalton, O’ Donnell, Barrett and McGettigan in goals ensured that the scoreline remained 3-1 until the last kick of the match, when a through ball found Leppy arched run perfect and the young Dubliner finished well to the Harps’ net.
Overall, an impressive performance from the visitors today saw them qualify for the League Cup semi final next weekend. Harps season at U15s came to an end today.
Speaking after the match, Harps’ head coach, Paul McBride, was proud of his lads today and he has taken a lot of positives from his first season with the U15s, “I’m really proud of how the boys performed today. I feared the worst with the first minute concession, but I felt we re-grouped after that and again after the second goal to do really well up until half time. The third goal destroyed us because we were on top for a period before and after Mark’s goal and that was a knock before half time. Rovers came here today with an impressive team and we matched them for periods. They were clinical in front of goal and unfortunately we didn’t create enough to worry their keeper. Overall we’re disappointed in losing but we can hold our head high knowing that we gave them plenty of problems too. Our season started a year ago with assessments and I’d like to think that we have helped improve every single one of the lads in our squad.”