Finn Harps pictured before Monday night's opening leg against Limerick. Picture: Stephen Doherty
Injury-ravaged Finn Harps take a slender lead into Friday night’s play-off second leg in Limerick knowing that they’ll be promoted back into the Premier Division if they avoid defeat at the Markets Field.
Paddy McCourt’s penalty shortly before half-time in Monday night’s opening leg in Ballybofey means it’s advantage Harps ahead of Friday night.
However, the Donegal side have to contend with a long list of injuries which makes the task of overcoming the Munster men all the more difficult.
Goalkeeper Ciaran Gallagher missed Monday night’s match because of a knee ligament injury and his deputy, Peter Burke, will once again start in goal tomorrow night.
Mark Timlin is also out because of injury while there are major worries over Gareth Harkin, Jesse Devers and Nathan Boyle, all of whom are carrying knocks. All three, however, should be fit to start in Limerick, although there will be no place in the squad for Mark Coyle who must serve the second of a two-game suspension.
Limerick also have goalkeeper problems with Tommy Holland battling to be fit after being stretchered off in the second half at Finn Park on Monday night. He was replaced by substitute goalkeeper Jack Brady although speaking after Monday night’s game, his manager Tommy Barrett indicated that Holland’s injury might not be as bad as first feared.
Friday night’s match is a huge game for both clubs with the prize for the winners, Premier Division football next season. The Harps squad will travel down to Limerick later today and they’ll be backed by a large travelling support with several supporters buses making the journey on Friday.
Those fans will no doubt be hoping for a repeat of the outcome of the 2015 play-off between the two sides which Harps won 2-1 on aggregate.