Dulwich Harps are going to their second championship final in two years after winning a thoroughly entertaining game against St Anthony's Reading in Greenford on Sunday afternoon.
The Reading outfit started the game brightly and both teams exchanged early points. The Harps quickly got to grips with their opponents running game and started to exploit gaps in the opposition defence. This culminated in Ryan Brolly slipping in James McDermott who clinically despatched the ball to the bottom right hand corner of the goal.
The inside forward line of Lavery, White and Kealy drifting out, were proving too hot to handle and the Harps once again got in for another goal chance, this time Lavery emphatically blasting the ball to the roof of the net.
The impressive White tagged over another four points from play to leave the score line at the break, 2-08 to 0-06.
We've all heard the worn out cliché that football is a game of two halves and that proved to be the case in this semi-final.
The Harps started the second half sluggishly and St Anthony's tagged over 3 unanswered points. Momentum was in their corner until the effervescent Ryan Brolly picked up the ball outside of the '21 and soloed past two defenders before blasting the ball to the top left hand corner of the goal.
This should have gave the Harps the initiative to close out the game but to St Anthony's credit they never lay down and kept the scoreboard ticking over and when an opportunistic goal went into the top corner, there was a glimmer of hope for the Reading outfit.
Scores from Devlin, John O'Sullivan and his replacement Brian O'Sullivan kept St Anthony's at bay but complacency crept into the Harps in the final minutes and when they were over turned on their own ‘21, the Reading attacker drove the ball to the back of the net to leave just 3 points between the sides.
The Blues managed to keep their composure for the final few minutes of the game and saw out a well-deserved win on the scoreline of 3.13 to 2.13.
N Russell (0-1 '45), R Butcher, D Fitzpatrick, D Walsh, T Russell, S Monaghan, A Arkins, D Draper, R Devlin (0-1), J McDermott (1-2) R Brolly (1-1), J O'Sullivan (0-1), S Lavery (1-0), D White (0-5), R Kealy (0-1)
Subs; G McNamee for S Monaghan, B O'Sullivan (0-1) for J O'Sullivan
The lads will now face the winners of TCG Juniors or Wandsworth Gaels with the final scheduled to take place on the 23rd of September in Ruislip.
A special word of thanks to all our supporters who travelled up to Greenford. Your support is greatly appreciated and we hope to see you all in the final!
Training continues for the lads this week in Prendergast Ladywell School on Tuesday and Thursday evening at 7:45pm. As always, we are on the lookout for potential players and if you are interested in joining our welcoming club, contact Enda on 07522 723765.
Our ladies are continuing to train away and still have an outside chance of securing a league title. Their next fixture is on the 29th of September (opponent TBC). The girls are currently training in Island Gardens on Thursday evenings from 8-9pm and on Peckham Rye on Saturday morning at 11am. For more information on training or playing contact Maeve on 07907 301806.