Coll puts Harps in control
UCD 0 Finn Harps 1
Finn Harps took a huge step towards promotion last night by beating UCD at the Belfield Bowl in the first leg of the First Division play-off.
The visitors swept into the lead after just 25 seconds when Wilfried Tagbo darted down the right wing before crossing for left-back Ciaran Coll to head home.
Dominant Harps could have extended their lead by the break.
Veteran Kevin McHugh saw his close-range shot deflected wide, while Gareth Harkin should have tested Conor O'Donnell after getting a clear run on goal only to smash his effort wide.
UCD struggled to recreate their mid-season form, with Michael Leahy closest to equalising with a header in first-half stoppage-time which angled wide.
Even the introduction of Robbie Benson failed to spark the Students into life.
It took until two minutes from full-time for Ciaran Gallagher to be worked and that was to bat away Jack Watson's drive from point-blank range.
FINN HARPS - Gallagher; McNulty, Cowan, P Mailey, Coll (Crossan 29); J Mailey, Harkin, Foy, McNamee; Tagbo (Banda 61), McHugh (Funston 77).
UCD - O'Donnell; Leahy, T Boyle, Kouogun (Tobin 34), Langtry; O'Neill, Watts (Benson 57); Swan, Watson, Doyle; Cannon (D O'Connor 68).
Ref - B Connolly (Dublin)