Finn Harps 1-1 Shelbourne
Ollie Horgan watched as Finn Harps had to settle for a draw in their opening League of Ireland First Division fixture against Shelbourne in Ballybofey. On-loan striker Michael O’Connor scored on his debut for Harps but the experienced Shels frontman David O’Sullivan steered home the equalizer for the visitors just before half-time.
Horgan also handed league debuts to defenders Aidan Friel and Sam Todd while Mark Coyle made his first full start. And Keith Cowan made a welcome return to the League of Ireland stage after that long injury lay-off.
The hosts took the lead on 16 minutes when Michael O’Connor found the back of the net after Mark Timlin’s initial effort was parried by Dean Delaney. Shelbourne got back on level terms three minutes before the interval when an unfortunate slip by Harps keeper Ciaran Gallagher was capitalised upon by O’Sullivan for a simple finish.
Earlier Gallagher had made a couple of super saves. Sub John O’Flynn making his debut from the subs bench came closest to getting a winner for the home team with a late header that came back off the crossbar.
Finn Harps – Ciaran Gallagher; Aidan Friel, Sam Todd, Keith Cowan, Ciaran Coll; Mark Coyle, Paddy McCourt, Tommy McBride, Mark Timlin; Michael O’Connor, Ciaran O’Connor. Subs: B.J. Banda for Coyle 60 mins, John O’Flynn for C O’Connor 71 mins, Lee Toland for Friel 82 mins. Subs not used: Gareth Harkin, Jesse Deevers, Mark Hannon, Peter Burke (Gk).
Shelbourne – Dean Delaney; James Brown, Aidan Collins, Dave Mulcahy, Adam Evans, James English, David O’Sullivan, Lorcan Fitzgerald, James O’Brien, Dayle Rooney, Jamie Doyle. Subs: Aaron Molloy for Collins 50 mins, Gavin Boyne for Rooney 91 mins. Ref: Mark Lynch
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