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Tommy Dickson/INPHO Going up: Finn Harps are back in the top flight
# Going Up
Finn Harps dominate Limerick in play-off second leg to earn promotion back to top flight
The men from Finn Valley are back in the big league.

Limerick 0 (0)

Finn Harps 2 (3)

Andrew Cunneen reports from the Markets Field

FINN HARPS DOMINATED Limerick to book their place in next year’s League of Ireland Premier Division following a 2-0 win at the Markets Field.

Mark Timlin struck just before the half-time whistle and victory was sealed through Nathan Boyle with 10 minutes to go.

Tommy Barrett spoke in the build-up about Ollie Horgan hilariously writing off his squad to injury before the game, but it seems the Limerick native pulled the same trick before the second leg.

Reports emerged of Shane Duggan potentially missing the game due to a hamstring issue but he was named in the XI, with Jack Brady replacing the injured Tommy Holland. Danny Morrissey also came in for Karl O’Sullivan while former Cork City forward Connor Ellis was shifted to the wing.

Harps replaced the injured Jesse Devers with Mark Timlin.

Mark Timlin scores a goal Tommy Dickson / INPHO Mark Timlin nets Harps' opener Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

Graham Kelly is a familiar figure on Shannonside and the Cork official was in the heat of the battle very early on.

John Kavanagh went flying in on Limerick captain Shane Duggan on the halfway line and the majority of the Markets Field wanted a red card.

Kelly, after a brief consultation with his linesman, issued a yellow despite the protests.

Shane Duggan may have been too honest – getting straight back to his feet after Kavanagh’s challenge – and Kavanagh was off the hook.

That would be the only excuse Tommy Barrett could make, as Harps dominated this game from here.

Paddy McCourt’s career was billed a glamorous subplot to this tie, but it came to an abrupt end after just 15 minutes.

After a coming together, the 34-year-old signalled to the bench and his brilliant career was over on a downer.

He was warmly greeted with a round of applause as he made his way off from both sets of fans and the neutral observers.

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Paddy McCourt in the dugout Tommy Dickson / INPHO McCourt's night ended after a quarter of an hour Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

He had barely taken his seat on the bench when Mark Timlin should have opened the scoring. Running clean through on goal, Timlin opted to curl the ball into the far corner, but it struck the outside of the post and back into play.

Timlin had his head in his hands, but he’d have the ball in the net and Harps in dreamland by half-time.

After building up from the back quickly, Mikey Place picked up possession and found the run of Timlin who made no mistake in finishing over Brady.

Mark Timlin celebrates scoring a goal with teammates Tommy Dickson / INPHO Finn Harps celebrate their first goal Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

Limerick had scored just 10 home goals all season and needed two here. The game was up and most knew it.

After barely threatening the Harps goal, the Donegal side got the second goal they richly deserved through Nathan Boyle.

He was sent free down the right and he smashed home to wheel away in celebration alongside the 300-strong Harps travelling support.

Keith Cowan celebrates after the game Tommy Dickson / INPHO Keith Cowan and Finn Harps celebrate post-game Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

Limerick FC: Jack Brady; Shaun Kelly, Kilian Cantwell, Killian Brouder, Shane Tracy; Cian Coleman (Karl O’Sullivan 70), Shane Duggan; Conor Ellis (William Fitzgerald 58), Barry Maguire (Darren Murphy 58), Billy Dennehy; Danny Morrissey.

Finn Harps: Peter Burke; John Kavanagh, Jakob Borg, Keith Cowan (capt,), Sam Todd, Ciaran Coll; Paddy McCourt (Niall Logue 15), Gareth Harkin, Mark Timlin; (Jesse Devers 84); Mikey Place; Nathan Boyle (John O’Flynn 89)

Referee: Graham Kelly (Cork)

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