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It was a seventh league win on the bounce for Stephen Kenny's side.
It was a seventh league win on the bounce for Stephen Kenny's side.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Magnificent seven! Champions Dundalk inflict record defeat on shell-shocked Finn Harps

Robbie Benson and Dave McMillan both struck twice for the Lilywhites.
May 13th 2016, 10:15 PM 5,196 2

Finn Harps 0-7 Dundalk

CHAMPIONS DUNDALK RUTHLESSLY ripped Finn Harps to shreds to win for a seventh successive time in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division.

Stephen Kenny’s team emphatically ruled out any chance of an upset in Ballybofey by doing their damage early. By half-time, a Robbie Benson brace, a goal of the season contender from Daryl Horgan and a close-ranger by Dave McMillan made for a 4-0 interval lead.

McMillan scored his second after the break, and Andy Boyle headed home before substitute Paddy Barrett completed the rout in injury time.

And such was Dundalk’s domination, it could’ve been more.

In their first season back in the top flight since 2008, Harps have been prickly opponents on their own patch with, before tonight, only Shamrock Rovers and St Patrick’s Athletic leaving the Twin Towns with narrow victories.

Tonight, though, there was no resistance from Ollie Horgan’s shell-shocked team who’d taken Derry City to the wire in a 2-2 draw at the Brandywell just 72 hours beforehand.

The drubbing was the Donegal side’s heaviest ever home league defeat, with the previous nearest being the 7-1 loss at the hands of Drogheda United back in 1977.

From their first meaningful attack Dundalk hit the front in the fifth minute. A cross from the right by Sean Gannon looked harmless enough but Benson was totally unmarked as he headed past Ciaran Gallagher.

Benson added his second on 21 minutes, shooting into the top corner from 15 yards after a cross from Horgan and Mountney played it back to the former UCD midfielder.

Dundalk were enjoying themselves and nobody more so than Horgan on the left. On 36 minutes he came in from the shadow of the Main Stand and curled an exquisite goal that dipped perfectly into the postage stamp top-corner of Gallagher’s goal.

The nightmare continued for Harps as McMillan got a decisive touch on a shot from Ronan Finn after Horgan burst free down the right and laid the ball back.

Four up at the break, Dundalk continued where they left off after the break. A fifth goal – McMillan’s second – came in the 58th minute when he swept the ball past Gallagher low into the bottom corner.

And it was six when Andy Boyle headed a corner from substitute Darren Meenan in off the underside of the crossbar and over the line on 72 minutes.

Finn Park was emptying but with the visiting support in full voice, Barrett drilled home his side’s seventh goal.

Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; Damien McNulty, Packie Mailey, Keith Cowan, Ciaran Coll; Dave Scully (Ethan Boyle, half-time), Barry Molloy (Kevin McHugh ‘65), Sean Houston, Gareth Harkin; Adam Hanlon; Ryan Curran (Liam Flatley ‘76).

Dundalk: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Andy Boyle, Dane Massey; Daryl Horgan, Ronan Finn (Darren Meenan ‘65), Chris Shiels (George Poynton ‘74), John Mountney, Robbie Benson; David McMillan (Paddy Barrett ‘58).

Referee: Tom Connolly.

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Alan Foley

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