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Rovers leave it late at Harps but keep winning run going

Rory Gaffney and Sean Hoare were the matchwinners for Stephen Bradley’s team.

Sean Hoare celebrates his goal.
Sean Hoare celebrates his goal.
Image: Evan Logan/INPHO

Finn Harps 0
Shamrock Rovers 2

Alan Foley reports from Finn Park

TWO LATE GOALS in Ballybofey saw Shamrock Rovers grab the three points at Finn Harps, who saw manager Ollie Horgan sent off for voicing his dissatisfaction with referee Rob Hennessy.

In a contest of fine margins and scant opportunities, Rory Gaffney and Sean Hoare were the matchwinners for Stephen Bradley’s team.

Neither goalkeeper was tested before the opening goal in the 74th minute when Hennessy was queried by the Harps manager for awarding a free for Rovers, despite having initially signalled the award to Harps before the break in play.

From the resultant free, Dylan Watts’ delivery was fumbled by Mark Anthony McGinley in the Harps goal and Gaffney poked home the opening goal.

Then, six minutes later, Horgan was given a red card by Hennessy for a similar complaint over the awarding of another free and as he made his way off, Hoare planted a header from another Watt delivery past McGinley for 2-0 in the 81st minute.

The score in the end was tough on Harps, who last season were 2-0 up against the league champions in the FAI Cup quarter-final before going down 3-2 after Hennessy awarded three second half penalties to Rovers.

In only the third minute this evening, Hennessy ran purposefully towards the Harps penalty area after Graham Burke went down under a challenge from Johnny Dunleavey. However, it was to caution the visiting striker for diving.

Rovers arrived in the north-west having been victorious in each of their last four outings and left it unbeaten in 30. In Harps though, they ran into a much-improved outfit from the one who were comfortably beaten by St Patrick’s Athletic last Friday.

The home side came closest to a breakthrough in the 71st minute when Karl O’Sullivan fizzed the ball across the brows of Alan Mannus’s goal. However, that was as close as they would come – and the real drama of the evening had yet to unfold.

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Finn Harps: Mark Anthony McGinley; Ethan Boyle, Dave Webster, Kosovar Sadiki, Johnny Dunleavy; Mark Coyle (Niall McGinley 86), Will Seymore; Karl O’Sullivan (Ryan Shanley 85), Stephen Doherty (Babatunde Owolabi 64); Barry McNamee (Mark Timlin 85), Adam Foley (Mark Russell 64).

Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus; Joey O’Brien ((Sean Gannon 74), Sean Hoare, Lee Grace; Ronan Finn, Dylan Watts, Gary O’Neill, Liam Scales; Graham Burke (Aaron Greene 64), Rory Gaffney (Dean Williams 85), Danny Mandroiu (Darragh Nugent 85).

Referee: Rob Hennessy.


Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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About the author:

Alan Foley

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