Wednesday 20 November 2019

League of Ireland round-up: Finn Harps win relegation battle while Galway record impressive home win

Drogheda United 0 Finn Harps 2, Galway United 3 Limerick 1

7 July 2017; Eoin McCormack, second from left, of Galway United celebrates after scoring his side's third goal with teammates, from left, Gavan Holohan, Kevin Devaney, and David Cawley during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Galway United and Limerick at Eamonn Deacy Park in Galway. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
7 July 2017; Eoin McCormack, second from left, of Galway United celebrates after scoring his side's third goal with teammates, from left, Gavan Holohan, Kevin Devaney, and David Cawley during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Galway United and Limerick at Eamonn Deacy Park in Galway. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Eddie Dsane and Danny Morrissey netted goals in each half as Finn Harps defeated Drogheda United in this relegation battle at United Park.

Dsane's early strike was added to by Morrissey's second as Ollie Horgan's men claimed a vital win, keeping just a third clean sheet of the term in the process.

Harps took the lead after just four minutes when Dsane stepped up to curl a delightful free-kick past the helpless Stephen McGuinness in the Drogheda goal.

It was certainly a fine way for Dsane to bag his first Harps goal as a delicious strike curled to the net.

Harps included new signing Thomas McBride among their subs, the midfielder from Derry making a return to the club he lined out for in 2012 and 2013 while Horgan is awaiting international clearance to enable French-born striker Ibrahim Keita take his place in the squad.

A raft of changes on the Drogs side saw Lloyd Buckley, Kevin Farragher, Sean Thornton, Jake Hyland and Thomas Byrne all given starting berths, although Farragher’s evening lasted little more than 23 minutes before he was replaced.

Drogheda haven’t won since a 2-0 success against Harps in Ballybofey in April and had scored just once in their last eight outings before this.

They almost hit back four minutes later, but  Byrne saw a superb 30-yard strike cannon off the Harps crossbar.

Caolan McAleer tested McGuinness, who gathered well after Ciaran Coll made the chance. Soon after, McAleer was gifted the ball by Drogs’ sub Ciaran McGuigan, but the Harps winger was denied by McGuinness when he might’ve done better.

On the stroke of half-time,  Thornton lined up a free-kick right on the edge of the Harps box, but his effort was always rising.

McGuinness thwarted the lively McAleer again ten minutes into the second half while Lloyd Buckly and Luke Gallagher both headed over at the other end as Drogheda sought a way back into it.

But, 16 minutes from time, Harps added a second when Morrissey latched onto Sean Houston’s through ball before lifting over the advancing McGuinness.

McAleer almost made it three, but McGuinness saved with the tips of his fingers.

Elsewhere, Galway United recorded an impressive 3-1 win against Limerick at Eamonn Deacy Park. Ronan Murray and Padraic Cunningham gave the home side a two goal half time advantage before Eoin McCormack put the game beyond reach for Limerick, who netted a late consolation goal through Garbhan Coughlan.

Drogheda - McGuinness; Buckley, Farragher (McGuigan 23), Gallagher, Kane; Brennan, Byrne, Hyland, McEvoy; Thornton (Hollywood 80); Masterson.

Finn Harps: Gallagher; McNulty, Cantwell, Mailey, Coll; McAleer (Millien 89), Boyle, McCourt (Harkin 72), Dsane; Houston, Morrissey (Molloy 79).

Ref - G.Kelly.

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