Monday 19 November 2018

Dominant Harps return to top flight as McCourt limps into retirement

Limerick 0 Finn Harps 2

Paddy McCourt endured a tame end to what has been a memorable career. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Paddy McCourt endured a tame end to what has been a memorable career. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Finn Harps will be back in top-flight football next season after comfortably seeing off Limerick at the Markets Field in the second leg of their promotion/relegation play-off.

Leading 1-0 from the first leg, Harps produced a dominant display that was reflected on the scorebaord thanks to goals from Mark Timlin and Nathan Boyle.

Mark Timlin, left, of Finn Harps celebrates after scoring his side's first goal. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Mark Timlin, left, of Finn Harps celebrates after scoring his side's first goal. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

The game started at a frantic pace and Harps had two yellow cards inside the opening quarter, with Mikey Place and John Kavanagh going into referee Graham Kelly's book.

It was the home side that had the first decent effort on target on 14 minutes when Killian Brouder got on the end of a Shane Duggan corner but his header was scrambled away from danger.

Harps then lost the influential Paddy McCourt to an injury moments later - a tame end to what has been a memorable career.

Curling

Harps nearly went in front after a Peter Burke goal-kick wasn't dealt with by Brouder and Timlin hit the post with a curling strike when clean through on Limerick goalkeeper Jack Brady.

Finn Harps players celebrate after the game. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Finn Harps players celebrate after the game. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Timlin was at it again on the half-hour. His decent run opened up the home defence but his effort from 25 yards failed to test Brady.

Danny Morrissey had another shot on goal for Limerick, before Timlin put Harps two up in the tie right on the stroke of half-time.

He latched on to Place's through ball and turned inside the penalty area and coolly stroked a high shot into the roof of the Limerick net.

Limerick started the second half at a ferocious pace and almost got a goal back when Barry Maguire sent in a low cross from the right, but Ellis was unable to finish at the back post.

Boyle put the result beyond doubt on 80 minutes with a crisp, low finish from the edge of the penalty area and deservedly booked Harps' place in the Premier Division next season.

Irish Independent

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