Heartbreak for Harps as Urney get upperhand

Stewartstown Harps attacker Gareth Devlin. TT2210-726DCA
Stewartstown Harps attacker Gareth Devlin. TT2210-726DCA
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Stewartstown 0-8 Urney 1-7

A determined second half display from Stewartstown wasn’t enough to prevent Urney advancing to the Intermediate championship final.

The Harps, after a poor first half performance, raised their game in the second half and could well have stolen the game at the death as a late Dan Lowe effort was saved on the line by the Urney full back Colin Campbell.

In truth few could have complained if Stewartstown had rescued a draw from the game given the manner in which they had dominated the second period.

Their management team and players will be left to rue a lack of composure in shot selection as they managed ten second half wides.

Urney had the better of the opening exchanges although it was Stewartstown who got on the scoreboard first with Paul Dillon firing over the bar after two minutes.

The next score may well have been the defining score of the game with Jonah Lafferty finding himself in behind the Harps defence and the young forward finished high to the roof of the Stewartstown net.

This marked the beginning period of dominance for the north Tyrone men as they outscored Stewartstown by 0-5 to 0-2 over the rest of the half.

Johnny Lafferty was constantly offering a threat to the Stewartstown rearguard and he got the next score, a point from play.

Cathal Devlin responded with a great individual effort before Gary Lafferty restore the St Columba’s three point advantage with a point from play.

By the twelth minute Stewartstown got their third point of the game from Gareth Devlin asfter a goalmouth scramble that could well have seen the Harps goal but from there, they failed to score again over the course of the rest of the half.

The Lafferty’s, Jonah, Gary and Johnny all added points from play to give Urney a commanding five point lead at the break. Stewartstown almost got a late goal but somehow the ball didn’t cross the Urney line.

Stewartstown emerged in a much more determined mood and after riding out an early Urney onslaught without conceding, inspite of a number of good goal chances, the Harps began to gain the upperhand at midfield with Eddie Laverty and Mickey Mulgrew becoming more influential.

It took Stewartstown 11 minutes of the second half to narrow the gap, with James Kelly slotting over a free, before Peter Armour scored from play, as the Harps began to believe they could overturn the deficit.

Fergal McNulty got a point from play to steady the nerves of the north Tyrone men, but the Harps hit back once again with efforts from Gareth Devlin and then from Ryan Devlin after a slack Urney kickout.

Stewartstown were within striking distance but didn’t help their own cause kicking a number of poor wides, 10 in all in the second half as Urney held on.

Stephen Lafferty added to the Urney tally as Fergal McNulty and Niall Dillon both got their march orders from Martin Sludden as the game moved towards it’s conclusion.

Stewartstown were still attacking however and had a late goal chance as the ball broke to Dan Lowe inside the large square but full back Colin Campbell got himself back on the line to deny the Harps a final place.

Stewartstown: Johnny Campbell, Blake Smyth, Darren Devlin, Niall Dillon, Conor Quinn, Edward Laverty, James Campbell, Peter Armour 0-1, Mickey Mulgrew, Ryan Devlin 0-1, Ryan O’Neill, James Kelly 0-1, Paul Dillon 0-1, Gareth Devlin 0-3, Cathal Devlin 0-1. Subs: Dan Lowe for Dillon, Maculey Quinn for O’Neill.

Urney: Keith Nelis, Anthony McGonagle, Colin Campbell, Adrian Maxwell, TJ Duffy, PJ McMenamin, Paul Logue, Ronan Lafferty, Fergal McNulty 0-1, Shane Coyle, Stephen Lafferty 0-1, Gary Lafferty 0-2, Johnny Lafferty 0-2, Jamie McAleer, Jonah Lafferty 1-1. Subs: Plunkett Langan for Coyle, Chris Bogle for S Lafferty.