FINN HARPS SEALED THEIR place in the promotion play-off semi-final thanks to Friday’s 3-0 win over UCD – here are some of the talking points.
- Harps get the job done
FROM the first whistle on Friday night, it was clear that Harps were intent on, not just making their place in the play-offs safe, but also of making sure they finish the League season as runners-up to Wexford Youths.
They did some with some style, too.
Having had much the better of a first half in which they created no fewer than 12 chances, Harps secured a deserved win with three second half goals from Nathan Boyle, Gareth Harkin and Raymond Foy.
The night might well have been a rout such was the dominance enjoyed by the home side.
As it was, a 3-0 win represented a superb night’s work and the job – this one, at least – is done for now with Harps safely into the play-offs following their best 90 minutes of the season.
Picture caption: The Finn Harps team that defeated UCD on Friday night. Picture courtesy of Stephen Doherty.
- Spread of goals will be vital
WITH Harps not possession a goalscorer of Danny Furlong’s prowess, obtaining a spread of goalscorers has been so important for Ollie Horgan’s side, particularly since the mid-season return of Ruairi Keating to Sligo Rovers.
Despite having some scoring deficiencies throughout the season, Harps remain the third top scorers in the First Division.
Both Raymond Foy and Gareth Harkin have talked in recent days of the importance of players in their positions chipping in with goals – and that will become even more vital in the coming weeks.
- Kieran McDaid outlines his promise
UNTIL now, Kieran McDaid was most famous for the internet prank when a group of his friends in Buncrana congratulated him on a move to Exeter City in February and even Sky Sports News were duped into believing it.
McDaid had excelled for Buncrana Hearts and was one of the main players on the Oscar Traynor Cup-winning Inishowen League panel before being signed by Ollie Horgan.
So far, McDaid’s game time has been limited, but he delivered a fine cameo off the bench on Friday night and one mazy dribble down the right flank certainly deserved a goal.
It was a lively display by McDaid, who is biting at the heels for more regular action.
- UCD in danger of missing out
HAVING gone on an unbeaten run of 17 games at one stage, UCD are now in grave danger of missing out on a play-off spot.
Collie O’Neill’s Students are without a win in their last five games with just one point claimed from a possible 15 in that spell.
It’s a sequence that they could be doing with breaking, particularly with Shelbourne now only a point behind them.
With Cabinteely and Waterford to come in their last two games, UCD should have enough about them, but without the likes of Robbie Benson, Gary O’Neill and Conor Mackey, they’re certainly not as formidable as they can be.
- Harps deserving of a support that still needs coaxing
FRIDAY’S was the biggest game Finn Park has hosted for a considerable time and a win secured the club’s best finish to a season since their promotion-winning campaign of 2007.
Ollie Horgan has worked wonders on a minimal budget and it will have heartened Donegal soccer fans to see 10 Donegal natives on the starting 11 for the game against UCD.
Derry man Nathan Boyle was the only exception but, yet, on a night when Harps confirmed a spot in the promotion play-offs, only 853 paid through the turnstiles to witness it.
For long periods of the season, Harps have been efficient and effective without being exhilarating, but on Friday night there was a real verve and buzz about their play.
There remains the hope that lapsed supporters will be coaxed out of the woodwork over the next month.Tags: