Finn Harps have been rocked by the news that goalkeeper Ciaran Gallagher is expected to miss tonight’s play-off game against Limerick FC.
A knee ligament injury has Gallagher – pictured by Joe Boland, North West News Pix – on the casualty list ahead of the biggest week of the season for Harps.
While Harps had hoped that the Raphoe man would be able to line out, it now seems as if the 26-year old stopper will be absent tonight for the first leg at Finn Park.
Moville man Peter Burke is likely to play tonight in Gallagher’s absence. The 22-year-old has played just one League game – the recent 7-1 win over Cabinteely at Finn Park – since joining Harps last summer.
It is not clear whether Gallagher will be available for Friday’s second leg at the Markets Field with Harps having remained tight-lipped on the injury. Indeed, Gallagher wasn’t listed among the injury doubts in the pre-match bulletin circulated by the club on Sunday.
Gallagher has kept 14 clean sheets this season, including the recent second leg win over Drogheda. In Harps’ last ten games of the First Division campaign, Gallagher kept seven shut-outs and had six clean sheets in a row during that run.
When Harps last won promotion in 2015, Gallagher kept 19 clean sheets and is one of the most experienced players in the squad.
Under-19 ‘keeper Jamie Bell has been called up to act as Burke’s understudy tonight. Bell had been set to feature for Sean MacCumhaills in their Under-21 Championship quarter-final against Glenfin this afternoon, but has been withdrawn from that fixture to take his place in the Harps squad tonight.
Burke is a former Republic of Ireland U19 and U17 ‘keeper who joined Irish League side Cliftonville having returned from Sunderland in 2015.
Aside from that win over Cabinteely, the sum total of Burke’s appearances this season came in the EA Sports Cup, where he played in the 4-3 win over Mayo League and the 2-1 defeat by Derry City.Tags: