Annual event a major success

Taghnaven Harps
Taghnaven Harps

The annual Bap Shanks Memorial Cup this year between Taghnevan Harps and a Lurgan Summer League Select side prove a major success.

Played in the Lord Lurgan Park the last five seasons the venue was changed to Solitude, home of Irish League champions Cliftonville, a ground Bap visited on many occasions as a staunch Reds supporter.

Both sides set off with a strong side of veterans and youth and a noisy set of supporters.

When proceedings got under way it was the Taghnevan side who took the lead with Dermy Kearney scoring from inside the box.

The Summer League select were soon back level when former Harps player Kevin Campbell found space in the box to make it 1-1.

Paddy Curran tried his luck from long range in the Solitude surroundings but his 30 yard effort hit the crossbar and within minutes of that effort the Summer League Select side also hit the woodwork, only this time Neil Toman was on hand to fire home the rebound to make the halftime score 2-1.

The second half saw more of the same and the Harps soon drew level. Pol Smyth took his time at the edge of the box before slotting home to make it 2-2 and Colm Murphy made an instant impression when coming on when he went through five minutes later to give the Taghnevan side the lead.

As time was running out the for the Summer League Select young Shea Duffy swung a cross into the Taghnevan penalty area which saw a clash in the middle and Daniel Reid pointed to the spot for a penalty. Kevin stepped up in the last minute beating goalkeeper Tommy Moore to make it 3-3 and bring the game to penalties.

Moore would save in the shoot-out and the Select team would miss the target, and with Pol Smyth, Stevie Shanks, Jerome Eagers and Dwyer Hill scoring all the Harps kicks Taghnevan took the cup for the fifth year in a row.

Niall Heaney picked up the player of the match award while Kevin ‘Sheedy’ Campbell picked up the Summer League Selects award.

The day proved to be a resounding success with the money raised going to the suicide awareness group PIPS Upper Bann.