Monday 25 March 2019

Rovers stroll as Harps feel strain

Shamrock Rovers 3 Finn Harps 0

Dylan Watts of Shamrock Rovers has a shot saved by Finn Harps goalkeeper Peter Burke. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Dylan Watts of Shamrock Rovers has a shot saved by Finn Harps goalkeeper Peter Burke. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

The odds were stacked in favour of the victors before a ball was kicked.

For a part-time club such as Harps, a second successive Monday in Dublin was brutally unfair - especially as this was a rescheduled fixture brought forward from May due to Tallaght's key role in the U-17 European Championships.

Ollie Horgan's men would need a lot of things to go their way to trouble a professional Rovers side in normal circumstances.

But it's the quirks of the League of Ireland fixture list that really expose the gaps between the haves and the have-nots.

Harps were down bodies; Rovers were able to rotate their deep squad.

Horgan's side succeeded in frustrating St Pat's seven days ago, but they couldn't repeat the dose here as Rovers moved the ball around the wide pitch and dominated.

Roberto Lopes celebrates his goal with his Shamrock Rovers team-mates in last night’s win over Finn Harps. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Roberto Lopes celebrates his goal with his Shamrock Rovers team-mates in last night’s win over Finn Harps. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

A short corner led to a Roberto Lopes opener and Dylan Watts atoned for a penalty miss by adding a second from distance.

Injury was added to insult for Harps as skipper Gareth Harkin was carried off on a stretcher before the break, and Aaron Greene added another in the resultant stoppage time.

It guaranteed a miserable trip home for Horgan who was sent to the stands in odd circumstances as his team dug in to avoid further goal difference damage.

Shamrock Rovers - Mannus; Bone (O'Brien 66), Lopes, Grace, S Kavanagh; Bolger; Byrne (Vojic 66), McEneff, Watts, Carr; Greene.

Dylan Watts misses from the penalty spot. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Dylan Watts misses from the penalty spot. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Finn Harps - Burke, Kavanagh, Ascroft (Deasy 69), Cowan, O'Reilly; Borg, Harkin (McNamee 45) ; McAleer, Boyle (Russell 56), McGinley; Place.

Ref - B Connolly (Dublin).

Niall McGinley tries to block a cross from Shamrock Rovers' Daniel Carr. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Niall McGinley tries to block a cross from Shamrock Rovers' Daniel Carr. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

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