Dundalk bounce back from European disappointment with emphatic win over Harps
Dundalk 5 Finn Harps 0
Dundalk stretched their unbeaten domestic run to 17 games with a comfortable dispatch of 10-man Harps.
Patrick McEleney’s double helped the Lilywhites put their Europa League disappointment to bed.
Daniel Kelly, Georgie Kelly and Jamie McGrath also netted as Dundalk maintain their seven-point lead at the top of the table.
Three days after their Europa League sojourn was ended with a 3-1 loss to Slovan Bratislava, a much-changed Dundalk took some time to come alive here.
But the breakthrough arrived via a gift in the 36th minute. Harry Ascroft’s wayward pass paved the way for Kelly, who made no mistake with a clinical finish.
Harps’ woes deepened when Mark Russell saw red just four minutes later, the Scot booked for the second time following a late tackle on Daniel Kelly.
Just after the hour, Dundalk picked Harps’ pockets again to finish high to the net – Donegal native Georgie Kelly sliding home against his native county men.
McEleney nipped in three minutes later for a third and sub Jamie McGrath slammed home 16 minutes from the end. There was still time for McEleney to break clear and loft over the advancing McGinley for a fifth.
Dundalk: Rogers; Dummigan, Gartland, Hoare, Massey; Murray, Shiels (Mountney 73); D Kelly, McEleney, Duffy (McGrath 65); G Kelly (Hoban 71).
Finn Harps: McGinley; O’Reilly, Cowan, Todd; Borg, R Harkin (McNamee 65), Ascroft (Cretaro 78), G Harkin, Russell; Place (Smith h-t), Boyle.
Referee – G Kelly (Cork).