MARK Russell scored a brace to seal matters at both ends of the Premier Division table tonight.
Bohemians 0 Finn Harps 2
The Scot – pictured by Joe Boland, North West Newspix – scored either side of half-time to give Harps a superb away win.
Harps have guaranteed themselves a minimum of a play-off spot as Cork City have now been relegated.
The result also means that Shamrock Rovers have been crowned as champions as Bohemians, the Hoops’ nearest challengers, cannot now make up the deficit.
Bohs’ fierce cross-city rivals will be toasting the title and Keith Long’s team finished with ten men as Anto Breslin was given a straight red card after appearing to kick out at Leo Donnellan 16 minutes from the end. Donnellan himself saw red in the 85th minute after a wild. lunging tackle on James Finnerty.
Russell opened the scoring in added time at the end of the first half and he added another six minutes after the restart to seal Harps’ first away win over Bohs in 21 years.
Jonathan Speak scored the goal in a 1-0 win in the spring of 1999 and Harps have endured difficult times in Phibsboro in the intervening years.
This was Harps’ first outing side a fine 0-0 draw away to Dudalk 20 days ago.
With Cork City losing 2-1 to Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds earlier today, Harps had three games in hand as they readied at Dalymount Park.
Ollie Horgan’s men knew that one win would make safe a play-off spot and, right on the blow of Neil Doyle’s half-time whistle, they took the lead.
Tony McNamee’s long throw-in wasn’t dealt with and when the ball fell invitingly to Russell, he cleverly flicked past a stunned James Talbot in the Bohs goal.
Bohs were shellshocked and they fell further behind when Russell brilliantly drilled across Talbot after Adam Foley’s ball found the rampaging Russell in space.
Harps had suffered a blow when Karl O’Sullivan had to be helped off in the 16th minute.
There were starts for Leo Donnellan, Barry McNamee and Russell, who had all been rated as doubtful in the club’s pre-match bulletin.
Keith Ward fired wide from the edge of the area on the half-hour mark while Tony McNamee was denied by Talbot at the other end.
Russell’s double gave Harps a fine cushion and they might have had a third, but Barry McNamee was off target with an attempt on 61 minutes.
McGinley made an excellent double save to keep his sheet clean with teenager Evan Ferguson thwarted at the second attempt.
Ferguson shot against a post as the Gypsies looked to salvage something.
Bohemians: James Talbot; Andy Lyons, James Finnerty, Anto Breslin, Michael Barker; Conor Levingston (Jack Moylan 57), Danny Grant, Keith Buckley (JJ Lunney 87), Promise Omochere (Dawson Devoy 57), Keith Ward (Evan Ferguson 57); Andre Wright (Ross Tierney 57).
Finn Harps: Mark Anthony McGinley; Shane McEleney, Kosovar Sadiki, Stephen Folan; Dave Webster,Tony McNamee (Ryan Connolly 72), Gareth Harkin, Leo Donnellan, Mark Russell; Barry McNamee; Karl O’Sulllivan (Adam Foley 16 (Raffaele Cretaro 94)).
Referee: Neil Doyle.Tags: