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Finn Harps 2-0 Galway Utd

Finn Harps recorded their third win over Galway Utd this season to make sure of a place in the promotion play-offs in Ballybofey last night. Goals in either half from Mikey Place and Mark Timlin helped secure the precious three points and sets Ollie Horgan’s men up for another big match against UCD at the Belfield Bowl on Friday week. A victory there would leave the destiny of the automatic promotion spot undecided until the last night of the season. The Harps win along with Drogheda United’s defeat by UCD means that the Donegal outfit can now look forward to an extended season with the aim of returning to the Premier Division, just a year after being relegated. With Shelbourne only drawing against bottom of the table Athlone, Harps, at the very least now, are in a very strong position to finish second in the table which would make the promotion bid route a bit easier.

It’s been a superb second half of the so far with a magnificent job being done by manager Horgan and his assistant Paul Hegarty who have gone over and above the call of duty to get the team into this position. Those efforts are now paying off for Finn Harps F.C. and the fans who are really appreciating what the manager and his assistant have achieved with limited resources. However, the job is far from done with Horgan and Hegarty now concentrating all their energies on having the squad ready for the big game against leaders UCD on Friday week.

Last night the hosts started well and could have taken a very early lead when a Place header forced Galway keeper Tadhg Ryan into a fine save. Keith Cowan then came close following a corner and Nathan Boyle had a goal disallowed for an off-side infringement. Harps broke the deadlock on 18 minutes when Timlin’s cross was steered home at the near post by Place at the river end of the ground after some poor defending from the visitors. Horgan’s outfit were much the better team in the first half with Timlin having arguably his best game of the season.

The Buncrana man was denied five minutes before the break when Ryan made a super save again. Harps continued to press for that crucial second goal from the start of the second half and on 61 minutes a Boyle effort was stooped by Ryan’s legs.

Fittingly it was Timlin who got the all important second goal on 67 minutes as his fancy footwork took him into the penalty area before unleashing a super left-foot strike into the top corner of the net.

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Finn Harps – Ciaran Gallagher, John Kavanagh, Keith Cowan, Sam Todd, Niall Logue, Ciaran Coll; Mark Coyle (Tommy McBride 72 mins), Gareth Harkin, Mark Timlin; Nathan Boyle (John O’Flynn 85 mins), Mikey Place (Jesse Devers 69 mins), . Subs not used: Peter Burke (Gk), Paddy McCourt, Aidan Friel, Oluantumise Sobowale.

Galway United: Tadhg Ryan, Christopher Horgan, Sean Russell, Robbie Williams, Adam Rooney, Ryan Connolly (Donal Higgins 78 mins), Aaron Conway, Conor Melody, Carlton Ubaezuonu (Colin Kelly 78 mins), Conor Barry, Evan Coyne (Darragh Costello 74 mins).

Ref: Eoghan O’Shea replaced by Garvan Taggart (63 mins).

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