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Dublin: 16 °C Wednesday 18 July, 2018
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Late drama as Sligo Rovers triumph in relegation six-pointer

It seemed as though Paddy McCourt’s goal eight minutes from time would’ve salvaged a draw for Finn Harps.

Sligo Rovers Rhys McCabe (left) and Vinny Faherty (right) both scored tonight (file pic).
Sligo Rovers Rhys McCabe (left) and Vinny Faherty (right) both scored tonight (file pic).
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Finn Harps 1
Sligo Rovers 2

Alan Foley reports from Finn Park

SLIGO ROVERS CLAIMED a massive three points in their bid to avoid the drop in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division against their north-western rivals Finn Harps.

It seemed as though Paddy McCourt’s goal eight minutes from time would’ve salvaged a draw for the home side in Ballybofey, levelling out a first-half opener from Vinny Faherty.

However, there was to be one last dramatic twist to the tale and in the 91st minute Rhys McCabe found himself in space to shoot a winner past Ciaran Gallagher following a flick-on from Faherty. The result takes Sligo out of the bottom three and plunges their hosts below the relegation line.

Rovers had been stung by the concession of a last-minute Harps winner six months ago, on their last league visit to the Twin Towns.

Without the services of the suspended quartet of Raffaele Cretaro, Michael Leahy, Craig Roddan, and John Russell, Sligo took the lead on 16 minutes, when Faherty headed home following some good approach play from Gary Boylan.

Harps, in front of a crowd of 1,743, had started the better, although their chances came merely from set-pieces. Having conceded, the home team continued to press and Sean Houston was narrowly off the mark on 34 minutes.

Ollie Horgan’s troops had plenty of the ball without creating much but battled on gamely.

Harps looked to have produced enough to get a point when McCourt scored a sublime goal on 82 minutes, as the former Celtic winger weaved his way past a series of challenges before finding the corner of the net.

It looked as though that was how it would end, only for McCabe to pinch it right at the death for Sligo.

Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; Ethan Boyle, Damien McNulty, Ciaran Coll, Gareth Harkin (Jonny Bonner 73); Caolan McAleer, Paddy McCourt, Tommy McBride (Danny Morrissey 57), Mark Timlin; Shaun Houston; Eddie Dsane (Ibrahim Keita 85).

Sligo Rovers: Shaun Patton; Gary Boylan, Seamus Sharkey, Callan-McFadden, Regan Donelon; Jamie McDonagh (Benny Igiehon 73), Christopher Kenny, Rhys McCabe, Daniel Kearns (Omar Houghton 89); Greg Moorhouse (Jack Keaney half-time), Vinny Faherty.

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Alan Foley

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