Thursday 14 December 2017

Defeated Harps still hopeful of earning points

Soccer: NEFL Premier Division

Boyne Harps were docked three points for inadvertently fielding an ineligible player against Kingscourt Harps earlier this season, but they may be about to get them back following Friday night's seven-goal thriller against Navan Cosmos.

Navan Cosmos 4 Boyne Harps 3

There are reports that title contenders Navan started the game with a player who was banned due to an accumulation of yellow cards, although it's not clear whether they were officially informed about the suspension ahead of the game.

The matter is likely to be discussed at the next meeting of the League's Disciplinary Committee and the outcome of that hearing will have a major impact on both the title race and relegation dogfight.

From Harps' point of view another three points at this stage of the season - particularly from a fixture they were always likely to lose - would be a massive boost to their survival hopes.

Their luck was out in the early stages of Friday night's match as a harmless-looking ball ricocheted off Anto McGuinness straight into the path of Colm Carney who found the bottom corner of Jason Lowney's net.

However, Harps hit back with an excellent equaliser when Richard Gibney played a one-two in midfield before dribbling out to the flank. He subsequently crossed, Ian Devine dummied and Ryan Connor popped up behind the striker to slot to the bottom corner for 1-1.

That was as good as it got for Harps in the first half, however, and further strikes from Paul Delaney and Conor McManus had Cosmos in a commanding position at the interval, 3-1 ahead.

Harps changed their formation at the interval as they chased the game, and they pulled one goal back through Devine after fine approach play from Gibney and Connor, only for Carney to restore Cosmos' comfortable cushion with an excellent strike.

The Drogheda side weren't quite finished yet, though, and entering the 90th minute some fine build-up play involving several players ended with Devine applying a finish to match - 4-3.

Harps launched a few high balls towards the Cosmos penalty area during injury time as the home side seemed to suffer a bout of the jitters, but in the end Cosmos held on for the win.

Whether they will be able to hang on to those hard-earned points remains to be seen.

BOYNE HARPS: JASON Lowney, Darren McCann, Conor Healy (Jamie Dunne), Anto McGuinness, Kevin Walsh, Richard Gibney (Alan Dyas), Danny Coyle (Leon Campbell), Jonathan Deegan, Paddy O'Boyle, Ian Devine, Ryan Connor.

Drogheda Independent

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