Hanover Harps 6
Mill Celtic 1
By Aaron Doyle
A STUNNING first-half performance by Hanover Harps set them up for a convincing win over Mill Celtic to clinch their second KCLR Carlow Shield in three seasons at Hawkins Lane, Tullow.
Hanover started off brighter and Graham Delaney had the first opportunity of the game when his shot was saved by Stephen Hickey after three minutes. Mill had an opportunity themselves when Paddy Dunne’s volley was saved by Jamie Hennessey four minutes later.
After that, it was all Hanover as the Premier Division side piled on the pressure on their opponents, who play two divisions below. Delaney had two chances with the best being a shot that was tipped onto the post by Hickey after 13 minutes. A cross from Kevin Power looked to be goal-bound, but Hickey tipped it over the bar. The resulting corner gave Hanover the lead as Paul Core found Delaney and he headed it in.
Core’s corner was headed in by Jason Murphy to make it 2-0 after 23 minutes. Mill were starved of chances in the first half, but they were given a lifeline when Paddy Mackey was taken down in the penalty area and Paul Kirwan made it 2-1 from the spot with 11 minutes to go to the break.
The Carlow town side were having a lot of joy from set pieces and their third goal also came from a corner when Phil Neenan found Sean Kavanagh and the captain headed in to make it 3-1. There was enough time for Delaney to get his second of the game when he hit a shot from 25 yards out to make it 4-1 at half-time.
The introduction of Jayo McHugh at half-time made a difference for the Ballitore side as he had four good chances in ten minutes. The pick of these was when he slalomed through the Hanover defence after a 40-yard run, but he couldn’t find the finish to go with the skill. While Mill pushed on, it was Hanover who got the first goal of the second half with ten minutes to go when Core played in Alan Shaw and he rifled it in to secure the game. Core had a great game and he capped off a man-of-the-match performance when he rounded the ’keeper and, on the second attempt, made it 6-1. Mill’s Shane O’Neill was sent off on 90 minutes for two yellow cards, but it was not going to dampen the celebrations for Hanover as they lifted the club’s fourth-ever Carlow Shield.
Hanover Harps: Jamie Hennessey, Jason Murphy, Stephen Chalton, Sean Kavanagh, Kevin Power; Phil Neenan, Cathal Coughlin, Murt Bambrick, Simon Doyle, Paul Core, Graham Delaney. Subs: Eric Robinson for J Murphy (57 mins), Alan Shaw for M Bambrick, Eric Dowling for K Power (both 63 mins), Derek Hayden for C Coughlin (72 mins).
Mill Celtic: Stephen Hickey, Gary Lambe, Paddy Mackey, Paul Kirwan, Shane O’Neill, Brian Mackey, Andy Moran, Eric Mackey, Brian Thackaberry, Daniel Mackey, Paddy Dunne. Subs: Tommy Hayes for B Thackaberry (15 mins), Jayo McHugh for P Dunne (HT), Wesley Mackey for T Hayes (59 mins), Dylan Wynne for D Mackey (68 mins), Brandon O’Rourke for G Lambe (84 mins).