By Manus Loughran
Armagh Harps beat Pearse Og by four points in the first round of the Senior Championship at the Athletic Grounds on Sunday.
This was fairly close encounter throughout, Pearse Og managed to build an early lead and were two points up midway through the first half. The Harps managed to fight back much thanks to the accuracy of Ultan Lennon, and lead at the break. The Harps held on to their lead throughout the second half and managed to stretch it to six when Lennon grabbed a goal. The Ogs tried to fight back but their efforts were unsuccessful and the game finished 1-11 to 0-10 in favour of The Harps.
Sean Moore got the opening score of the night with a free kick from 45 yards to put Pearse Og ahead, this was shortly followed by a second from Paul Duffy. Duffy’s long range effort was helped over the bar by Paddy Morrison in the Armagh Harps goal.
The reliable Ultan Lennon got The Harps rolling with a free kick from the ground. The Ogs soon responded with scores from Connor Clarke and Sean Moore.
Lennon got The Harps back on level terms on the 20th minute when he scored a great point with his right foot.
Things stayed tight in the closing stages of the half as both teams frustrated each other with some strong defending. A point from the impressive Karol Loughran put The Harps ahead just before half time.
A long range point from Pearse Og captain Darnell Parkinson levelled things up again early on in the second half. Harps soon regained their lead with two consecutive scores, the latter of those was from Simon McCoy who caused real problems for The Ogs with his pace.
The Harps hit a great spell in the second half, they really got a hold of the game and began to dominate all over the pitch. Ultan Lennon fisted the ball into his rival’s goal on the 52nd minute to put The Harps ahead by five.
Former All-Star Jamie Clarke was introduced for Pearse Og to help trigger a comeback, he made a strong impact and kicked over three points for the trailing side.
Despite Clarke’s best efforts, Pearse Og fell short in this one, and the Harps came out on top by four points. It was a deserved victory for Armagh Harps on the day, Pearse Og will take this as a wakeup call and will be thankful for a second chance in the qualifiers.
ARMAGH HARPS: Paddy Morrison; Kevin Morris(0-01), Conal McKee, Mark McCoy; Mark McConville, Joe McElroy, Rory McGrath; Charles Vernon, Declan McKenna (0-01); Simon McCoy (0-01), Ultan Lennon (1-05), Karol Loughran (0-02); Ryan McShane, Pauric Rafferty (0-01), Paddy McCoy.
No substitute scorers
PEARSE OG: Tim Harney; Shaun Gribben, Gerald Barton, Lee McGinley; Sean Hughes, Chris Rafferty, Malachy McLaughlin; Justin Graham, Darnell Parkison (0-01); Shea Freeman, Conor Clarke (0-01), Paul Duffy (0-02); Marc Cullen, Sean Moore (0-03), James Freeman.
Substitute Scorers: Ronan Clarke (0-03)