LEAGUE OF IRELAND

McAleer shines as Harps win again

Another great win for Ollie Horgan's side

Diarmaid Doherty

Reporter:

Diarmaid Doherty

Email:

sport@donegaldemocrat.com

Harps v Limerick

Caolan McAleer who scored one and set up another in Friday night's win.

For the second game in a week, Finn Harps scored three times in the first half, as they got another deserved Premier Division victory at Finn Park.


Finn Harps . . . 3

Limerick FC . . . 2

This win lifts Harps off the bottom, out of the relegation zone and up to eighth.

And while there’s still an awful long way to go in the campaign, Harps showed once again, that they are really up for the challenge of staying in this Division.

Danny Morrissey, who scored twice against St. Pat’s on Monday night, was back among the goals. But he had to thank Caolan McAleer for a fantastic first-timed volley cross which Morrissey was able to turn home.

McAleer scored the all-important third just before half time, curling a classy effort in past the keeper.

It sent Harps in at the break 3-1 to the good and set them up for another valuable win.

With home attendances noticeably down in recent weeks, it was good to see a much better crowd for this game. And the fans were treated to a great first half where for the second game running, Harps scored three goals in the first 45 minutes.

Killian Cantwell, Ciaran O’Connor and Paddy McCourt were all back in the starting line-up and it was O’Connor who broke the deadlock after 7 minutes. From a corner kick, Morrissey’s attempted overhead kick was blocked by a defender but O’Connor was on hand to turn the loose ball home.

Within a minute, the visitors were back on level terms. Lee J Lynch’s inswinging free kick from way out on the left was missed by everyone and ended up squeezing in at the back post.

The visitors, playing their third game under new manager, Neil McDonald, enjoyed a good spell after that. Chiedozie Ogbene and Lynch both had chances to score a second.

However, they were behind again midway through the half when McAleer’s wonderful volleyed cross was forced home by Morrissey.

It was a goal of real quality and McAleer was at it again five minutes before the interval. This time he took a pass just outside the area and off his weaker left foot, he curled the ball in over the keeper Freddy Hall and into the top corner.

Limerick had two great chances to get back in the game within two minutes of the restart. On both occasions, Shaun Kelly crossed from the right, but each time Rodrigo Tosi failed to head home from good positions.

Killian Cantwell saw a header saved by Hall following a well worked free-kick routine.

They lost McCourt to injury in the second half, and Michael Funston came on for the closing 20 minutes in what was his last home appearance for the club.

The longer the game went on, the more Harps seemed content to hit Limerick on the break. The home side held out until four minutes from the end when following a corner kick, substitute Paul O’Connor drilled his shot home.

Harps then had Morrissey red carded for a foul on O’Connor in injury time. But after a nervy closing few minutes and six minutes of added on time, Harps held out.

Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher, Ethan Boyle, Ciaran Coll, Killian Cantwell, Packie Mailey, Gareth Harkin, Caolan McAleer (Michael Funston 72), Paddy McCourt (Jonny Bonner 69), Danny Morrissey, Sean Houston, Ciaran O’Connor.

Limerick FC: Freddy Hall, Shaun Kelly, Tommy Robson, Robbie Williams, Tony Whitehead (Dean Clarke 81), Shane Duggan (Paul O’Connor 45), Lee J Lynch, Bastien Hery, Rodrigo Tosi, Chris Mulhall (Ian Turner 55), Chiedozi Ogbene.

Referee: Keith Kennedy.