Tommy McBride

Dundalk 2-0 Finn Harps 

As expected the Finn Harps unbeaten run of eight games stretching back to the end of June came to a halt at Oriel Park on Friday night as Premier Division table toppers Dundalk proved their pedigree once again but Ollie Horgan and Paul Hegarty will be at least pleased that there was only two goals in it at the final whistle. Horgan was sent to the stands a couple of minutes after the second goal was conceded.

However, it was a good night for Burnfoot man Georgie Kelly who scored his first Dundalk goal since moving from UCD at the beginning of last month. It was the striker’s fifth time to find the net against Harps this season, having notched a hat-trick at the Belfield Bowl and then got the third in the Student’s 3-1 win at Finn Park in the middle of June. The visitors did make an encouraging start with Mark Timlin just inches wide from a free-kick. However, Stephen Kenny’s men went ahead on 24 minutes courtesy of a controversial penalty when Dane Massey was adjudged to have been taken down in the box. Ronan Murray’s converted spot-kick saw Ciaran Gallagher concede only his third goal in nine games.

Kelly swooped for the decisive second goal on 51 minutes after a super Dundalk move which saw Murray’s pinpoint cross being met by a perfect header from the striker that gave Gallagher no chance. Shortly afterwards Horgan was sent from the touchline by referee Paul McLaughlin. After that second goal the hosts were never really threatened although Harps battled to the end and would have been happy that it was only a 2-0 defeat as Dundalk did have other decent chances to win by more.

On the positive side the game against quality opposition will hopefully stand Horgan’s men in good stead for the final three games of the First Division season starting with Galway Utd next Friday night at Finn Park (kick-off 8.00).

Dundalk – Gabriel Sava, Sean Gannon (Stephen Folan 89 mins), Sean Hoare, John Mountney, Patrick McEleney (Michael Duffy 77 mins), Dane Massey, Dylan Connolly, Ronan Murray, Daniel Cleary, Dean Jarvis, Georgie Kelly (Patrick Hoban 85 mins).

Finn Harps – Ciaran Gallagher; Jacob Borg, Keith Cowan, Niall Logue, John Kavanagh Gareth Harkin, Tommy McBride (Mikey Place 65 mins), Mark Timlin, Mark Coyle, Ciaran Coll; Nathan Boyle (Oluwatunmise Sobowale 65 mins), (Jesse Devers 78 mins). Not used: Peter Burke (Gk), Paddy McCourt, John O’Flynn, Aidan Friel.

Ref: Paul McLaughlin

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