Finn Harps concede seven as Dundalk demolition sees champs maintain their lead
Finn Harps 0 Dundalk 7
DUNDALK COASTED to an easy win over Finn Harps in Ballybofey tonight.
Robbie Benson’s early brace set the tone as the champions cruised to their biggest win of the season, their seventh away win in a row.
David McMillan addded two more, with Andy Boyle, Daryl Horgan and Paddy Barrett also netting for the ruthless table-toppers.
It took Dundalk only five minutes to find a way past Harps as Benson headed Sean Gannon’s cross past Ciaran Gallagher.
Even at that early stage, it meant that Ollie Horgan’s blueprint designed to keep the champions at bay for as long as possible was tossed in the Finn.
Last season, Benson, then with UCD, was name-checked consistently by the Harps manager.
Stephen Kenny clearly concurred and added the midfielder to his ranks.
Benson doubled his tally on 20 minutes when a majestic shot from 15 yards that gave Gallagher no chance after John Mountney touched Daryl Horgan’s centre into his path.
Horgan added a third when a wonderful, dipping shot from 30 yards flew beyond Gallagher into the top corner.
A lung-surging burst up the left flank by Horgan carved out the opening for the fourth, just before half-time. Ronan Finn’s goalward shot was steered home by McMillan.
13 minutes into the second half, McMillan had the beating of Packie Mailey before slotting in Dundalk’s fifth and Boyle headed home 18 minutes from the end of a sorry night for Harps.
The Donegal side purred into this game, energised by a pulsating 2-2 derby draw with Derry City at the Brandywell on Tuesday night, when Sean Houston rescued a dramatic point.
The zip was quickly removed from their step and the night quickly developed into an ordeal for Ollie Horgan's team.
Barrett netted in stoppage time to seal Harps' worst EVER League defeat.
Finn Harps – C Gallagher; D McNulty, P Mailey, K Cowan, C Coll; D Scully (E Boyle h-t), B Molloy (K McHugh 65), S Houston, G Harkin; A Hanlon; R Curran (L Flatley 76).
Dundalk – G Rogers; S Gannon, B Gartland, A Boyle, D Massey; D Horgan, R Finn (D Meenan 65), C Shiels (G Poynton 74), J Mountney, R Benson; D McMillan (P Barrett 59).
Ref – T Connolly (Dublin).