SOCCER

Report: Derry City beat Finn Harps in derby - but Donegal club look to Drogheda

Donegal Democrat Reporter

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Another major bonus for Finn Harps as defender Keith Cowan signs on for another year

Keith Cowan played for Harps in Derry

Finn Harps suffered their second heavy defeat of the season at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium - but as they trooped off the first thing they wanted to hear was what had happened in Drogheda.

Derry City 4 

Finn Harps 0

While Derry City were celebrating qualification for European football next season, the only show in town for Harps is the bid to stay in the top flight.

And that means the first leg of the play-offs on Monday.

News quickly filtered through that Drogheda United would be the opposition for Harps, after they defeated Cabinteely 5-1 to progress 6-2 to the play-off on aggregate.

Not unexpectedly, the Harps line up showed bucketfuls of changes - 11, in fact, from the side that beat Waterford in their previous outing.

It was youthful Harps side, with a number of players making their debut.

Nevertheless, there was experience in the presence of the likes of Keith Cowan, Daniel O’Reilly and Tony McNamee while Niall Logue has played a fair number of games at the top level.

But a shock result was never really on the cards.

City, needing only a point to be mathematically sure of that revenue boost of a European prize, led 2-0 at the break.

And with St. Patrick’s Athletic - the only side who had a chance of pipping them for fourth - 2-0 down at the interval in Dundalk, the celebrations began early.

The hero of the night for the home side was Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe who bagged a hat-trick.

On loan from Colchester United, he has netted 14 times in the league for City this season.

City started with the same team which lost 3-1 at home to St. Pat's last Tuesday.

Harps began encouragingly and had plenty of possession but Derry gradually got on top and opened the scoring on 15 minutes as Ramelton man Barry McNamee slipped the ball through for  Junior to run onto and deftly tuck past young goalkeeper Jamie Bell.

City made it 2-0 on 24 minutes from a corner as Junior got the final touch in a crowded area. 

Liam Walsh had a decent effort for Harps early in the second half before Junior completed his hat-trick with a fine shot on 64 minutes.

He had further chances but it was Grant Gillespie who got the fourth as he latched onto a Ciaran Coll cross.

The record books will show a second 4-0 win in the league at home for Derry over Harps, but for the smaller than normal away support there was little undue concern. 

The bottom line is that it now boils to the play-off to determine whether Harps will be playing in top flight again next season.

Derry City: P. Cherrie: G. Gillespie, E. Toal (M. McChrystal 75), A. Gilchrist, C. Coll; Junior Ogedie_Uzokwe, G. Sloggett, C. Harkin, J. McDonagh (A. Delap 68); B. McNamee (M. McCrudden 78); D. Parkhouse; Subs Not Used - N. Gartside, G. Bruna, D. McCauley, C. Davis.

Finn Harps: J. Bell; C. Deasy, K. Cowan (J. Smith h-t), N. Logue, D. O'Reilly; M. Place, Shaun Doherty (J. Doherty 78), Steven Doherty T. McNamee, K. Farren; L. Walsh; Subs Not Used - P. McGarvey, M. Coyle, N. McGinley, P. Loughrey, D. Ellison.

Referee - Derek Tomney.