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Double from McHugh puts Finn Harps into FAI Cup semis

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Kevin McHugh celebrates with Keith Cowan after scoring the third goal for Finn Harps during their FAI Ford Cup quarter-final replay against Avondale United at Finn Park. Photo: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

Kevin McHugh celebrates with Keith Cowan after scoring the third goal for Finn Harps during their FAI Ford Cup quarter-final replay against Avondale United at Finn Park. Photo: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

Kevin McHugh celebrates with Keith Cowan after scoring the third goal for Finn Harps during their FAI Ford Cup quarter-final replay against Avondale United at Finn Park. Photo: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

Kevin McHugh fired a second half brace as Finn Harps booked their place in the semi-finals of the FAI Cup for the first time since 1999 at the expense of Avondale United.

McHugh is the sole survivor from that campaign and last night the veteran striker secured Harps' passage to the semis.

Leading through first-half goals by Gareth Harkin and Damien McNulty, McHugh hit the third – his 176th in Harps colours – on the hour, firing home after a mix-up from Harkin’s corner.

McHugh made it four just five minutes later, drilling a penalty past Dave O'Keefe, the Avondale manager who donned the gloves McHugh double puts Harps into semis after Danny O'Leary was sent off for taking down man of the match Harkin, who intercepted Mark Horgan's back pass.

Harkin fired Harps in front after eleven minutes, sliding in to convert Brian McGroary's superb cross from the right. Four-time Intermediate Cup winners Avondale threatened early with Harps 'keeper Conor Winn denying Ray Lally.

A jittery Finn Park crowd could relax when McNulty made it 2-0 in the 38th minute minute as McNulty drilled home after racing on to McHugh's through ball. Roy Long scored a late consolation for the visitors, but with McHugh copper-fastening the win Harps are eyeing up a money-spinning semi.

Finn Harps: Winn; Cowan, P Mailey, McMonagle; McNulty, Funston (O'Callaghan '69), J Mailey, Harkin, Coll; McGroary (McCann '38); McHugh (Tiofack '76).

 O'Leary; Horgan, Mulconry, Spratt (Kiely '76); Kelly, McCarthy, Murphy, Lally; Warren (Connolly '62); R Long, D Long (O'Keefe '64).

Referee: R Matthews (Westmeath)

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