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Ciaran Culligan/INPHO Jamie McGrath found the back of the net for Dundalk.
Dundalk on the double in Donegal as Cork City's title celebrations put on hold again
Brian Gartland and Jamie McGrath bagged the second-half goals.

Finn Harps 0

Dundalk 2

DUNDALK KEEP CORK City waiting to spray the champagne as Brian Gartland’s goal helped gave the Lilywhites a win over relegation-threatened Finn Harps.

It was a game that had all the hallmarks of a stalemate until Gartland rose to head home from Jamie McGrath’s 66th minute corner.

With the final swing of a boot, Jamie McGrath added the gloss with a delicate chip over Harps ‘keeper Ciaran Gallagher.

Gartland’s goal arrived just when Harps — who will now need their own version of the Great Escape to preserve their top flight status — looked like they might hang on.

But their defending was generous in the extreme when Gartland headed in with the far post unguarded.

Harps, though, did have justifiable cause to complain as they argued that midfielder Sean Houston had been fouled in the build-up to Dundalk winning the corner.

Brian Gartland celebrates scoring his sides first goal Ciaran Culligan / INPHO Brian Gartland broke the deadlock. Ciaran Culligan / INPHO / INPHO

Harps were incensed as they left at the end of the game and Ollie Horgan’s men now have a huge task to avoid making the drop.

In five meetings since Harps’ return to the top flight, the Donegal men have failed to score against Dundalk – but they had a glorious chance on 23 minutes.

Eddie Dsane could scarcely believe his luck when Gary Rogers, the Dundalk ‘keeper, got his wires tangled with Gartland and presented him with an open goal, but the striker couldn’t keep his shot on target.

Earlier in the game, Rogers raced out to save at Dsane’s feet after a Houston through ball cut Dundalk open.

Dundalk clearly had one eye on Tuesday’s FAI Cup replay with Shamrock Rovers and the likes of David McMillan, Patrick McEleney, Michael Duffy, Stephen O’Donnell and Niclas Vemmelund were all left out.

Carlton Ubaezuono and Ethan Boyle Ciaran Culligan / INPHO Dundalk’s Carlton Ubaezuono and Ethan Boyle of Finn Harps. Ciaran Culligan / INPHO / INPHO

Dundalk were inches away when Robbie Benson glanced a header just past the target and Ciaran Gallagher, the Harps netminder, superbly saved from Thomas Stewart.

Gallagher also had to deny Carlton Ubaezuonu, one of the new faces deployed by Kenny.

Just after half-time, Sean Gannon tested Gallagher, who gathered at the second attempt from a thumping effort by the full-back.

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Late in the game, Gallagher magnificently turned over a header by sub Duffy, but McGrath dinked in the second in the fifth minute of added time.

Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; Damien McNulty, Kilian Cantwell, Ciaran Coll, Gareth Harkin; Ethan Boyle (Ibrahim Keita 80), Sean Houston, Tommy McBride, Mark Timlin; Paddy McCourt (Caolan McAleer 55); Eddie Dsane (BJ Banda 74).

Dundalk: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Sean Hoare, Shane Grimes; Robbie Benson, Jamie McGrath; Dylan Connolly (Michael Duffy 80), Jake O’Connor (Stephen O’Donnell 61), Carlton Ubaezuonu (David McMillan 56); Thomas Stewart.

Referee: Paul Tuite (Dublin)

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