Dundalk's Daniel Kelly bags hat-trick as Lilywhites pick up much-needed win over Finn Harps
Dundalk 3 Finn Harps 0
Daniel Kelly had a very Good Friday by helping himself to a hat-trick as Dundalk swept Finn Harps away.
A scrappy first half saw both sides lose players to serious-looking injuries with Dundalk skipper Brian Gartland and Harps ’keeper Ciarán Gallagher leaving with damage to their jaw and arm respectively.
Dundalk made the breakthrough in the second of nine additional minutes when Kelly met Michael Duffy’s cutback with a classy first-time finish from 18 yards.
The 22-year-old doubled his tally just 99 seconds after the restart, smacking an unstoppable right-footed effort into Peter Burke’s top corner. Struggling Harps, who went close through Robert O’Reilly and Mikey Place early on, never recovered from conceding a second.
Kelly completed his hat-trick with eight minutes to go when he swept the ball across Burke after a good move involving Patrick Hoban and Seán Gannon.
And the former Bohemians man should have had a fourth before the end but lost his footing just as he was ready finish off a Hoban pass.
DUNDALK – Rogers; Gannon, Hoare, Gartland (Cleary 12), Massey; Shields, McEleney (McKee 71); D Kelly, McGrath, Duffy (Mountney 80), Hoban.
FINN HARPS – C Gallagher (Burke 28); Kavanagh, Cowan, Todd, O’Reilly; Coyle (M Gallagher 74), McNamee; McAleer, Cretaro (Boyd 56), Boyle; Place.
REF – R Harvey