Champions Win In Style At Finn Park
Dundalk went five points clear at the top of the SSE Airtricity League table on Saturday night as they were 3-0 winners over Ballybofey.
A trio of headers from Michael Duffy, John Mountney and skipper Brian Gartland to give the Lilywhites a superb three points.
Dundalk started the brighter of the two sides when Patrick Hoban found himself in behind but his cross turn shot was too far in front of Michael Duffy for him to turn it home.
The game was scrappy for the next quarter of an hour with neither team able to create anything of note.
As the match approached the 20th minute, Duffy found himself on the right and his cross was to the unmarked Hoban but his header was straight at McGinley.
The deadlock would be broken just after the half hour mark. Mountney did brilliantly on the right to get to the byline and his cross was excellent to the back post and it was met by Duffy who powered the ball to the bottom right corner.
It would be 2-0 just before half-time when Hoban’s hold up play took Patrick McEleney into play and his inch perfect cross found the arriving Mountney and his header got across the line with the help of the goalkeeper.
The Lilywhites went in 2-0 up at half-time and went in search of the third just after the break.
Jordan Flores had two quickfire chances to extend the lead when he got his head on the end of Duffy’s cross but it went wide and moments later his quick turn was followed by a shot but it went over the bar.
Daniel O’Reilly had Harps first effort of the night on target when his free-kick was gathered by Rogers before the goalkeeper was forced to pull off a good save at his near post to deny Mark Coyle’s snapshot.
Duffy came so close to getting his second when Mountney’s cross found him once more at the back post however McGinley did exceptionally well to palm the ball away.
It would be 3-0 though just after the hour mark when Flores brilliantly whipped free-kick was met by the head of captain Brian Gartland and the ball nestled in the bottom left corner beyond the reach of McGinley.
Jacob Borg fired from distance and forced Rogers into another good save before Mikey Place really should have pulled one back but he somehow pushed it wide from 6 yards.
O’Reilly tried from distance and forced Rogers into a good tip over the bar as Harps pressed for a consolation in the closing stages.
Substitute Georgie Kelly would have the final chance when he headed onto the crossbar in the final minute.
They wouldn’t come any closer though and Dundalk were winners in the north west and embark on their midseason break.
FINN HARPS: Mark McGinley; Daniel O’Reilly, Jacob Borg, Keith Cowan, Sam Todd, Niall Logue (Gareth Harkin 71); Liam Walsh (Mark Timlin 60), Mikey Place, Mark Coyle, Mark Russell; Raff Cretaro (Nathan Boyle 62).
Substitutes not used: Peter Burke (GK), Colm Deasey, Stephen Doherty, Tony McNamee.
Booked: Russell (28)
Sent off: None.
DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland (capt), Daniel Cleary, Dane Massey; Chris Shields (Dylan Hand 88), Jordan Flores; John Mountney (Daniel Kelly 75), Patrick McEleney, Michael Duffy (Georgie Kelly 66); Patrick Hoban.
Substitutes not used: Aaron McCarey (GK), Sean Hoare, Stephen Folan, Dean Jarvis.
Sent off: None.
Referee: Damien MacGraith