Silver Hill Foods Reserve Hurling League Final
Monaghan Harps 1-11 Truagh 0-10 21/7/11
Monaghan Harps won the Reserve Hurling League with a four-point win over Truagh in the final at Scotstown on Thursday evening. The only goal of the game, scored by Alan Lee, proved crucial for the Harps, while it was heartbreak once again for Truagh, who had finished top of the league but who have now lost three RHL deciders in a row. The Harps had seven scorers, including all six starting forwards, while Truagh were too reliant on the free-taking of Pat O’Connell. Alan and Raymond Lee, Conn O’Hanlon, Ross Murray and the veteran Robbie Healy were to the fore for the Harps, while O’Connell, John McAnespie, Damian McCarron and Ryan McKenna led Truagh’s challenge.
Truagh were first off the mark with a ’65 from Pat O’Connell and although the Harps responded with points from play by Conor Curley and Jack Lee, O’Connell won and scored a free to level it up. Another O’Connell free and two points from play by Damian McCarron saw Truagh take charge, but a 30-metre free by Jack Lee, after a foul on Conn O’Hanlon, kept the Harps in touch and Alan Lee reduced their deficit to a point at the end of the opening quarter. Alan Lee fired to the net on 20 minutes to give the Harps a two-point lead, before his brother Paul hit a point from play. Raymond Lee added a point at the end of a strong run, but O’Connell got on the end of a Niall Cadden sideline cut to hit a well-taken point. Pauric McKenna then won a 60-metre free, which O’Connell converted to make it a two-point game at half-time: Monaghan Harps 1-6 Truagh 0-7.
The Harps made a bright start to the second half with a fine point by O’Hanlon after Alan Lee had made a great catch from a James Gallagher puck-out, but a good point by John McAnespie kept Truagh within touching distance and they were almost in for goal when O’Connell got away from his marker, but his shot was blocked by Gavin Baxter. O’Connell pointed his second ’65 of the game, followed by a 45-metre free after a foul on Ryan McKenna to bring Truagh level, but despite losing captain Jack Lee to injury, the Harps made the better finish, scoring four unanswered points in the last 12 minutes. Maurice McKenna converted two frees – the first from 50 metres after a foul on Frank Burke and the second from 20 metres after a foul on Curley– before O’Hanlon linked up with Alan Lee to send over a good score. A 40-metre free by McKenna, after a foul on Paul Lee, gave the Harps a four-point lead and they were able to see the game out with relative ease to win
Monaghan Harps: J Gallagher; M Ó Mordha, P McGrath, R Murray; N Flynn, R Healy, G Baxter; A Lee (1-1), A Connell; M McKenna (0-3f), C O’Hanlon (0-2), R Lee (0-1); P Lee (0-1), J Lee (Capt., 0-2, 1f), C Curley (0-1).
Sub: F Burke for J Lee (inj., 36 mins).
Truagh: N Farrelly; Cathal McKenna, Proinsias McKenna, N McCarron; S McClave, K McKenna, Conor McKenna; R McKenna, J McAnespie (0-1); P Kelly, N Cadden, Pauric McKenna; A Coyle, P O’Connell (Capt., 0-7, 4f, 2 ‘65s), D McCarron (0-2).
Subs: N Coyle for Kelly (36), K Skeath for Pauric McKenna (44).
Referee: M Rafter (Castleblayney).