Finn Harps will face Derry City in the Brandywell Stadium twice in a week as they progressed in the EA Sports League Cup second round with a 3-1 win at Celtic Park against Castlebar Celtic on Tuesday night.
Goals from Thomas Bonner, Marc Brolly and Matthew Crossan were enough for James Gallagher’s side to progress at the expense of the Mayo team. And with Harps already down to play their rivals Derry on the Lone Moor Road in the league on Tuesday, 4th May, they will get another opportunity make the short border hop with the EA Sports League Cup tie between the rivals scheduled for either Monday, 10th May, or the day afterwards. Derry made it through after a 3-2 home win over Premier Division Galway United on Tuesday.
Thomas Bonner, who scored the winner for Harps against Wexford Youths on Friday night, continued his good form with the opening goal on 11 minutes with a well-taken header. The lead was doubled courtesy of Brolly’s volley on 32 minutes in front of a small crowd in the region of 100.
Gallagher stuck with a reasonably strong hand, and although he left Kevin McHugh out Fintan Bonner was given a starting role. Jason Noctor from Killybegs made first senior start for the club. A spectacular volley from Crossan from 20 yards, straight into the top left corner of the Celtic net, made it three on 58 minutes and a great run from Fintan Bonner from midfield brought a great save from Danny O'Leary late on.
Castlebar got their consolation goal in the 88th minute when Chris Rowland was upended and although Shane Hynes’ initial penalty was saved by Liam Mailey in the Harps goal, the Castlebar striker stuck home the rebound.
Castlebar Celtic: Danny O'Leary; Paul Walsh, Stephen Ryan, Declan Flynn, Andrew Neary; Eoin Torphy, Stevie Gavin, Alan McDonnell, Shane Hynes; Patrick Fitzgerald (Peter Dravins 50), Sean McHale.
Finn Harps: Liam Mailey; Jason Noctor, Packie Mailey, Matthew Crossan, Gary Whoriskey; Mark Forker, Thomas Bonner (Michael Funston 60), Johnny Lafferty, Marc Brolly (Oisin McMenamin 46); Davitt Walsh, Fintan Bonner.