BJ Banda was on the mark for Harps
Limerick FC and Galway United both picked up vital Premier Division victories on a night when Harps suffered another heavy defeat, at Shamrock Rovers.
Shamrock Rovers . . . 4
Finn Harps . . . 1
It all means that Harps drop into the bottom two in the Premier Division with just four games left to play.
The only positive from Friday night’s round of fixtures was the defeat suffered by St. Patrick’s Athletic at Bohs. The Inchicore outfit are now third from bottom after a 3-2 defeat.
Limerick have climbed up to seventh in the table, and five points clear of the relegation zone following a 2-1 at home to Cork City.
Meanwhile Galway United came from behind to beat Sligo Rovers 3-1 at Eamonn Deacy Park.
Harps were always going to be up against it at Tallaght Stadium where Shamrock Rovers have been in such fine form of late.
Ollie Horgan’s side trailed 1-0 at the break, but conceded three more in the second half before BJ Banda struck a late consolation effort on 88 minutes.
Banda had come on as a late substitute in a Harps team that showed several changes from the side that lost last weekend against Sligo Rovers.
There was a first senior start for teenager Shane Blaney while Jonny Bonner and Danny Morrissey also featured in the starting eleven.
But Harps fell behind on 27 minutes when Gary Shaw turned home a cross from Cameron King.
The home side had several chances to add a second but had to wait until the 51st minute until they scored again when Brendan Miele fired home from a free kick.
King was again involved in the lead-up to Rovers’ third goal on 69 which was converted by James Doona. The same player scored the fourth five minutes later.
Banda, who replaced Caolan McAleer, marked his introduction with a well taken goal two minutes from the end, shooting past Chencinski.
Shamrock Rovers: Tomer Chencinski, Luke Byrne (Dean Carpenter 65), Lee Grace, Roberto Lopez, Simon Madden, Trevor Clarke (James Doona 61), Ronan Finn, Cameron King (Ryan Connolly 70), David McAllister, Brendan Miele, Gary Shaw.
Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher, Tommy McBride, Gareth Harkin, Shane Blaney, Damien McNulty, Jonny Bonner (Ibrahim Keita 59), Caolan McAleer (BJ Banda 81), Paddy McCourt, Eddie Dsane, Danny Morrissey (Liam Walsh 86), Mark Timlin.
Referee: Rob Hennessy.