Sunday 21 April 2019

Shamrock Rovers extend lead at top of table as Greg Bolder strikes late against Finn Harps

Finn Harps 0 Shamrock Rovers 1

Greg Bolger, left, of Shamrock Rovers celebrates with team-mate Sean Kavanagh after scoring
Greg Bolger, left, of Shamrock Rovers celebrates with team-mate Sean Kavanagh after scoring

Table-toppers Shamrock Rovers grabbed a dramatic win over Finn Harps at Finn Park, with Greg Bolger’s 85th minute pile-driver from the edge of the box proving decisive.

This result puts Rovers seven points clear at the summit while Harps are still seeking their first win. It was rough justice on the battling Donegal side who will feel that they merited a share of the spoils.

Harps had the first chance of note on 13 minutes when Caolan McAleer sent a free deep into the box but Daniel O’Reilly was unable to make the telling connection.

It took Rovers 18 minutes before they first tested Ciaran Gallagher, who got down well to save a Dylan Watts strike after a neat exchange of passes.

Watts fired over from inside the box on 35 minutes, but that was to be their last chance in a first 45 minutes that struggled to come to life.

Harps had a scare right after the re-start when goalkeeper Gallagher spilled a Joey O’Brien cross but Keith Cowan was on hand to clear.

Aaron Greene had the ball in the net shortly afterwards but he was clearly offside.

Sean Kavanagh wasn’t far off target with a 30-yard drive on 66 minutes but Rovers were finding it hard to break down a stubborn defence.

Nathan Boyle was nearly in for Harps on 73 minutes but Alan Mannus was quickly off his line to intervene.

In a tense final ten minutes both teams pushed for a winner and Bolger obliged as the ball fell to him 20 yards out and he fired home.

A minute’s silence was observed before the game in memory of the late Brian Wright, who scored Finn Harps’ first ever senior goal in a match against Shamrock Rovers at Finn Park in 1969.

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