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Harps earn precious point at much-changed Dundalk

Harps move a point further clear of Cork City in the battle for Premier Division survival.

Dundalk’s Nathan Oluwa is closed down by Harps defenders.
Dundalk’s Nathan Oluwa is closed down by Harps defenders.
Image: ©INPHO

FINN HARPS EARNED A crucial point in their battle for SSE Airtricity League Premier Division safety as they held Dundalk to a 0-0 draw at Oriel Park.

For all of Dundalk’s European heroics last week, Sunday’s result was a significant blow towards the Lilywhites’ chances of returning to continental competition next season, leaving them stranded in sixth.

Manager Filippo Giovagnoli made 10 changes to his side which beat KI at the Aviva Stadium three nights prior, Brian Gartland being the only still-present, and Dundalk’s fluidity in possession was hampered greatly as a consequence.

The hosts had two legitimate-looking penalty shouts but chances were at a premium throughout, Ollie Horgan’s men digging in and offering glimpses of a threat themselves through Barry McNamee in particular.

Harps are now two points clear of bottom club Cork City, albeit the Leesiders have a game in hand — against Dundalk on 13 October.

That will see Dundalk make one game back on the five clubs ahead of them in the table, with Shamrock Rovers, Bohemians, Waterford and St Patrick’s Athletic having all played two games more than the Louth side, and fifth-placed Sligo Rovers having played another game more again.

Next up for Giovagnoli’s men is a trip to Pat’s this Friday, while Harps host champions in waiting Shamrock Rovers a day later.

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