A depleted Dundalk saw their league hopes end as they were beaten 3-0 by Finn Harps in difficult conditions at Finn Valley on Saturday afternoon, as the Donegal club moved to within one win of securing the FAI National U19 League Northern Division title.
The hosts’ goals came early in the second half from Hugh McFadden, Jordy Duffy and Ryan Lonergan.
Dundalk made the trip north without the services of 40-goal striker Bob McKenna as well as regulars Ben McLaughlin, Conor McDonald, Darragh Keena, Mark Leavy, Brian Bird and Kevin Loughran.
In the opening quarter-hour, Chris Reilly had a penalty claim waved away, before Harps’ Cathal McDaid scored direct from an indirect free-kick, with the goal disallowed. Before half-time, Garreth Brady and Michael Osobe had half-chances, but the teams went in level.
Following the resumption, the wheels came off for Dundalk, as McFadden broke the deadlock almost immediately. Duffy doubled the lead on the hour mark, and the points were secured shortly after when Lonergan finished off a fine move.
The Lilywhites’ attentions will now turn to the National Cup, where they are preparing for a semi-final tie against Bohemians at Dalymount Park, which is set for Tuesday 3 April.
DUNDALK FC: Craig Hanlon, Karl Martin, Cian Byrne, Glen Trainor, Daniel Hand, Garreth Brady, Kurt Murphy (Gerard McSorley 75), Michael Osobe, Peter Thomas, Conor Macken, Chris Reilly (Carlos Donovan 70).