FINN HARPS 1 V 2 DERRY CITY. First-Half goals by Sean Mc Bride and Dylan Devine were enough to give Derry City this narrow Derby win at Finn Park as Charlie Collins reports. This visitors got off to the prefect start when Shane Blaney’s attempted clearance came off striker Sean Mc Bride and rebounded into the net in the 3rd minute. Harps responded well to this early setback and equalised in the 8th minute when Dylan Mc Croary and B J Banda combined brilliantly with quick fire passes before Dylan slotted through for Alex Carolan to pass the ball past keeper Tom Mc Dermott from 12 yards. Banda had two chances in a three minute period to give Harps the lead, he shot just over when Gareth Doherty’s pass sent him clear and then was just too high again after taking a cross from Luke Nelis. Derry regained the lead in the 35th minute and again Harps will feel it was a situation that could have been dealt with a bit better. Adrian Delap’s persistence on the right resulted in a cross which Dylan Devine got his head to in between keeper Mc Carron and defender Ciaran Kelly close to goal, Devine did well but perhaps he shouldn’t have been given the opportunity so close to goal. A couple of minutes later Dylan Mc Croary, who’s brother Evan also started for Harps, put Gareth Doherty through with a good pass but Mc Dermott saved well to his right and B J Banda just failed to reach the rebound. Harps should have been level in the first minute of the second-half, as Derry raced out from defence, Tommy Lee Mc Carron’s long ball put Gareth Doherty in the clear as he timed his run perfectly to beat the offside but the Harps captain decided to shoot early and was just too high. Derry then had a period of control, Mc Bride and Conor Gormley both had shots which flew just wide and Evan Tweed dragged his shot wide from just outside the Harps penalty box. In the 65th minute Mc Carron saved well from Gormley and then made an even better save from Shane Mc Namee after Delap had set him up. Harps were finding chances hard to come by, Shane Blaney’s free-kick from 30 yards was just too high in the 80th minute and then four minutes later Mc Carron again came to Harps rescue when the impressive Rhys Mc Dermott set up Mc Namee but the keeper denied him with a brilliant finger tip save. Harps did get one final chance when Banda’s excellent cross found Gareth Doherty free at the back post but he headed just over and Harps chances of a draw were gone. On the balance of play City deserved their victory in what was a keenly contested game with some excellent football played by both teams and well controlled by Referee Garvin Taggart. FINN HARPS ; Tommy Lee Mc Carron. Evan Mc Croary, Luke Nelis, Ciaran Kelly, Shane Blaney, Ryan Finn, Alex Carolan, Liam Walsh, B J Banda, Gareth Doherty, Dylan Mc Croary. Subs ; Zac Brolly, Michael Doherty and Mark Mc Ateer for Evan and Dylan Mc Croary and Carolan ( all 75mins ). DERRY CITY; Tom Mc Dermott, Rhys Mc Dermott, Mattie Doherty, Lee Mc Colgan, Sam Todd, Evan Tweed, Adrian Delap, Conor Gormley, Sean Mc Bride, Dylan Devine, Shane Mc Namee. Sub; Stephen Duffy for Devine ( 77mins ).
DERBY WIN FOR DERRY CITY OVER FINN HARPS IN UNDER 19’S AT FINN PARK.
Author of 'Boxing In Donegal: A History (2021)' - the definitive history of the sport in County Donegal - and 'Relentless: A Race Through Time', the 2019 memoir of former Irish Athletics Team Manager Patsy McGonagle. From St Johnston and now based in Letterkenny, Chris was a nominee for NUJ Sports Journalist of the Year in 2010. Honoured by the Donegal Boxing Board in 2016 for his coverage on the sport.