Finn Harps concluded their pre-season fixtures with a 3-0 loss against Dundalk at Oriel Park on Friday night.
Finn Harps 0
For the fourth time in five pre-season outings, Ollie Horgan’s team lined out on astroturf and, despite the scoreline, put in a decent enough showing for the best part of an hour. However, once Stephen Kenny’s side got their noses in front, Harps’ heads dropped.
Kurtis Byrne scored twice and a neat finish from Darren Meenan - formerly of Harps sealed the win for the Premier Division side.
Harps welcome Waterford United in their opening match of the Airtricity League First Division campaign on Friday following pre-season draw with Westport (0-0), Cork City (3-3) and UCD (1-1) as well as 3-0 losses against both Sligo Rovers and Dundalk.
Harps battled gamely and although there wasn’t much in the form of incident, Sean McCarron was denied by block from goalkeeper Gabriel Sava from a Michael Funston cross on 20 minutes.
Dundalk began to grow into the game with Richie Towell beginning to control play and he set up John Mountney but he wasn’t able to control his shot. Darren Meenan blasted wide following a lovely Ruaidhri Higgins cross before at the other end Funston saw a free-kick blocked by the wall.
Stephen O’Donnell, whose father is from Dungloe, came off the bench at half-time and helped change the fortunes of Dundalk.
On 63 minutes, Meenan dispossessed James Doherty following a ball from former Celtic conscript Richie Towell. Meenan set up Byrne, who shot high into the roof of Conor Winn’s net, for the opener.
Thirteen minutes later, Dundalk doubled their advantage when O’Donnell found John Mountney, who in turn split the Harps defence and Byrne scored.
Meenan, five minutes from time, sealed the three-goal winning margin when Byrne repaid the favour with the assist.
Dundalk: Gabriel Sava; Mark Rossiter (Sean Gannon half-time), Simon Kelly (Conor McDonale 87), Andy Boyle, Dane Massey (Ciaran O’Connor 87); Ruaidhri Higgins, Richie Towell (Stephen O’Donnell half-time); John Mountney, Darren Meenan, Kurtis Byrne; Mark Griffin (Patrick Hoban (70).
Finn Harps: Connor Winn (Shaun Patton 77); James Doherty, Ciaran Coll (Mark Forker 77), Keith Cowan, Patrick Mailey; Michael Funston (Paul McVeigh 64), Pat McCann (Paul McVeigh 77), Damien McNulty, Johnny Bonner; Ruairi Keating (Graham Fisher 42), Sean McCarron.