Finn Harps v Derry City: North West rivals all set for another derby

Big crowd expected for Ballybofey encounter

Diarmaid Doherty


Diarmaid Doherty



Harps v Derry City

BJ Banda celebrates his goal earlier in the season at Maginn Park. Photo: Stephen Doherty

Finn Harps have an opportunity to record a first ever double league success over Derry City when the sides meet in Monday night's Premier Division derby in Ballybofey (8pm).
The Donegal side were 2-0 winners at Maginn Park in Buncrana back in April - the first time Harps had ever won away to Derry City in the league.
Tonight, Harps can take another major step towards Premier Division safety if they can clinch another three points against their north west rivals.
Given the fact that they go into this game after wins over Drogheda United and Bohemians, the home supporters will travel to Finn Park in confident mood.
However, Harps boss Ollie Horgan feels the challenge facing his team tonight will be somewhat different from what they met in Buncrana.
“I think the game in Maginn Park might have been a reflection of the players Derry had out that night,” Horgan said.
“They were short Rory Patterson and Barry McNamee. They’ve signed Darren Cole who looks a smashing player and they’re all back for Monday night.
“I don’t think that game in Buncrana has any bearing on Monday night. What’s probably in our head is a year ago, we took a huge beating from Derry. They beat us 5-0 in Finn Park and to be honest, we’d have taken five with the way they played. I think we had one half chance in the whole game. That’s very raw with us as well. We’d be very conscious that we don’t want a repeat of that.”
Horgan said the supporters can once again play their part in what promises to be another big occasion at Finn Park.
“I know it’s on Monday night but I’m sure people will come out for it,” he said.
“If they don’t come out for this game, I don’t know when they will.
“We’re going okay, Derry will get to Europe. So if they don’t want to go out and support, and watch that game, I’m not sure what game they’ll want to go to.
“We need the support for a whole lot of reasons, in particular for the players, for the supporters to get behind them, as they have done in recent weeks, and especially away from home. The crowd that went to Drogheda and the crowd that supported us in Sligo were second to none and they drove us on to two good results.”
Harps will make at least one change from the Bohs game with Danny Morrissey ruled out through injury.