Finn Harps made light of the striking absences as they hammered lowly SD Galway at Terryland Park on Friday night.
DS Galway 1
Finn Harps 5
Two goals from Thomas McBride as well as efforts from Ciaran Coll, Tommy Bonner and
Matt Harkin ensured the Ballybofey club’s biggest win of the season and put an end to a bad run of form made up of six successive defeats.
The win will also put a spring in the step of player-manager Peter Hutton, whose team now have the mid-season break to look forward to. Hutton went into the game minus the suspended Kevin McHugh and Adam Clarke, both of whom were sent off last month against Wexford Youths, while Stephen O’Donnell, Hugh Carlin and Blain Curtis have all been ruled out for the season with cruciate injuries. Shane McGinty was also ruled outwith medial ligament damage.
Hutton’s hands were certainly tied and he was forced to start with a 4-5-1 formation but his side certainly weren’t in defensive mode. They were a touch fortunate not go concede the first goal when Ronan Conlon missed a sitter on 10 minutes and Ciaran Gallagher had to be alert to save from Mike Harty on 20 minutes.
However, Harps sounded a warning shot when Bonner drew a save from Jame Keane before the deadlock was broken eight minutes before the break from the penalty spot. McBride, who was fouled himself by Harty, scored to put the visitors one up at the break.
That lead was doubled on 63 minutes when Coll scored from close range after some poor defending by the hosts and McBride added a third two minutes later. It was four when Bonner took advantage of more shambolic defending on 68 minutes before the scattered few home attendees were given something to cheer when Conlon headed home a centre from Eric Browns 19 minutes from time. Harps added a fifth when Harkin tapped in with just three minutes left.
SD Galway: James Keane; Brian Geraghty, Cian Fadden, Eric Browne, Colm Horgan (Luke McConnell 46); Eugene Greaney, Ronan Conlon, Tommy Bradshaw (Timmy Molloy 46), Mike Harty, Mike Tierney; Enda Curran.
Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; Paul McVeigh (Jordan Duffy 81), James Doherty, Aaron O’Hagan, Thomas McMonagle, Ciaran Greene; Thomas Bonner, Shaun McGowan, Thomas McBride, Ciaran Coll; Gary Merritt (Matt Harkin 76).
Referee: John Grimes