St Patrick’s Athletic 3 – Finn Harps 1
St Pats went ahead early but Harps managed to draw level in this tie at Richmond Park.
However the skill and experience of the Premiership side has told after they hit the net twice since being pegged back to a draw.
Despite starting the stronger, Harps have tried to stick to their gameplan and tried to keep their shape.
That plan was unlocked in the 18th minute by St Pats when Cillian Brennan scored a spectacular free kick after Josh Mailey fouled Forrester.
Brennan’s stunning kick was placed beautifully in the top left corner past the outstretched Conor Wynn.
But instead of putting the heads down, Harps battled hard and Keven McHugh forced a corner in the 28th minute.
From the corner Convoy man Packie Mailey rose highest at the back post to head home to make it 1-1.
Harps piled on all the pressure and should have got a penalty in the 35th minute when Kenny Brown upended Pat McCann on the edge of the St Pats box.
But just when it looked like Harps were getting the upper hand, Pats went ahead again.
Sean Hoare, with his first goal for the Inchicore side, rose highest in the area to head home into the bottom left of Wynn’s net to make it 2-1.
How Harps were wishing the half-time whistle would come as Pats pressed further up the field.
It didn’t quite come in time to stop Pats getting a third and taking complete control of the game, however.
Conan Byrne was slipped through by Christy Fagan who lifted the ball over Wynn who may have went down to early in the 42nd minute to make it 3-1.
Pats have finished the first half stronger as they pushed the play up the field.
The premier division side look to be getting stronger as Harps becoming increasingly more frustrated.
It will take something special for Ollie Horgan’s side to pull back level in the second half.