Wednesday 29 March 2017

Scully and Curran spark Harps' derby celebrations

Finn Harps 2 Derry City 1

Finn Harps' Kevin McHugh and Derry City's Conor McCormack. Photo: David Maher / Sportsfile
Finn Harps' Kevin McHugh and Derry City's Conor McCormack. Photo: David Maher / Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Finn Harps broke a 15-and-a-half-year derby hoodoo last night to record only their second league win over Derry City.

New signings Dave Scully and Ryan Curran netted the goals in a famous win for Ollie Horgan's newly-promoted side.

It was their first league win over bitter rivals since February 1998 when Donal O'Brien - now Derry's assistant manager - scored in a 1-0 win. There were echoes of O'Brien in the air when Harps stole a march in first-half stoppage time. Adam Hanlon curled in a free kick and Scully rose at the far post to fire a header beyond Gerard Doherty.

The goal came not long after Harps survived a real scare at the other end as Ciaran Coll hooked off the goal-line from Ryan McBride's header, with City claiming the ball had crossed the line. Jordan Allen, somehow, couldn't direct a follow-up header to the net.

The introduction of Tony McNamee for the injured Sean Houston in the 19th minute breathed life into the Harps engine room. The change helped spice up the encounter, too, putting McNamee into direct combat with his older brother, Barry, with whom he travelled to the game.

Close-on 5,000 supporters wedged into Finn Park for the venue's first Premier Division game since 2008. The visitors had early chances for Allen and Gareth McGlynn, but Harps survived and Finn Park erupted when Scully nodded home.

Chances were at a premium in the second half, but 15 minutes from the end Harps bagged their second. Keith Cowan headed the ball through a static Derry defence and Curran, who beat a poor offside trap, was coolness personified as he sent the home crowd into a state of delerium, even if they had to endure a late scare when Rory Patterson prodded home on 92 minutes.

Irish Independent

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