A mixed bag of results for Harps and the Irish


IT’S BEEN a bit of a mixed bag in terms of results for both Edinburgh Harps FC and Glasgow Irish FC in the past month.

In the Capital City, the new management team of Tommy Hammill and Gordon Young have given Harps their swagger back and this was evident as they battled back twice from two goals down to defeat Premiership side Muirieston United 4-3 in the Logan Cup.

After finding themselves two goals down early on, Jack McLachlan managed to slot home from a Cormac O’Brien corner just before half time to reduce the deficit. However, Murieston added their third soon after the break and continued to probe the Harps defence. Harps midfielders began to get a foothold in the game after that setback though and when another O’Brien corner caused havoc in the box, one of the Murieston players turned the ball into his own net. Buoyed by this this, centre half Michele Convertino found John McClarey in the box and his looping header flew over the Murieston keeper’s head for the equaliser. Sensing an upset the Harps continued to create chances with the ball eventually breaking to Ewan McLean in the box for the midfielder to calmly fire home to complete the turnaround booking Edinburgh Harps a place in the next round of the Logan Cup.

Next up was a 5-1 demolition of Costorphine Dynamo in the league, with strikers Craig Lamb and McClarey helping themselves two a hat-trick and a brace respectively. Harps had actually gone 1-0 down in this game, but inspired performance in midfield from new signing Michael McCafferty and Ross Burns helped supply the ammunition for the deadly duo to turn the game on its head and secure an emphatic win.

The Edinburgh side were brought back down to earth somewhat in the following encounter with Saughton Sounders in the East of Scotland Cup. Despite leading 2-1 at half-time thanks to goals from Stephen Faller and McCafferty, the second half didn’t quite go the Harps way as they struggled to carry on the momentum from the first half, giving away two penalties in the half, which were both dispatched by Sounders as they ran out 3-2 winners.

In Glasgow, meanwhile, the Irish (above) began their recent run of games extremely well with a convincing 5-2 Sunday Trophy second round victory over Colts Athletic.

With almost a full squad to choose from, the Irish raced into a 5-1 lead in the first half courtesy of goals from Mark Paterson, a brace from Paul Ruby—the man of the match—captain Tony Garth and Juan Carlos Verdejo. The game became somewhat more open in the second half as Colts pulled one back, but the result was never in doubt as Glasgow Irish ran out 5-2 winners.

Returning to league action, it was a different story, unfortunately, as the Irish ended up on the wrong end of a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Pollokshields. The match was evenly balanced in the first half and Glasgow Irish actually opened the scoring through Darren Young who netted after a sweet left-foot strike from a free-kick. However, the lead wouldn’t last long as their opponents equalised via a debatable penalty to leave the scores level at the break. Despite starting the second half brightly, Pollokshields made it 2-1 and added two more before the end, while Harps were pushing to get themselves back into the game.

However, the Irish weren’t too downbeat, having created a number of chances in that match, chances that they would convert into goals in their next outing against Dumbarton United in the first round of the West of Scotland Cup.

Having had to play the match at the indoor facility at Toryglen Football Centre after the Donald Dewer pitches were deemed to be waterlogged, the Irish adapted well and raced into a 1-0 lead courtesy of an Owen O’Donnell strike. Continuing to pile on the pressure, a second goal duly arrived via Dylan Murray, whose low strike meant Glasgow Irish went in at half-time with a two-goal cushion. Things were to get better for the Glasgow side in the second-half as Mark Leckenby made it 3-0 before Jay Mathieson secured their place in the next round with a shot that
nutmegged the keeper to make it 4-0.

Next up was Barrhead United in league action, who had beaten the Irish in a pre-season encounter. There was to be no opportunity for redemption though as Glasgow Irish fell to a 3-1 defeat in what was a scrappy affair. Murray had fired the Irish ahead before half-time but enforced changes forced them to shuffle the pack and Barrhead managed to equalise on the hour mark. Two more necessary changes unsettled the Irish further and Barrhead went on to score a further two goals and close out the game. Glasgow Irish will be looking to mirror their cup form in the league in the coming months in order to climb up the table.

Off the pitch, the Irish enjoyed a well-deserved, long-awaited night out, as the players got dressed up and headed out for Halloween at Malones Irish Bar.

“It was a brilliant night,” a club spokesperson said. “Malones let us have a section to ourselves before we headed into the main area to watch the live bands. Everyone had a great night and want to say thank you to Malones for it.”