Finn Harps secured their Premier Division status for a fourth successive season with a 5-0 last day win over Longford Town at Finn Park.
First half goals from Will Seymore and a Ryan Connolly thunderbolt got Harps off to a dream start.
Harps extended their lead 5 minutes into the second half as Karl O’Sullivan’s deflected shot looped over Lee Steacy in the Longford goal. Tunde Owolabi made it 4-0 with a great individual goal on the hour mark and Luke Rudden got his first Finn Harps goal in injury time.
Harps started strongly as a Ryan Connolly free kick was crossed in and beat everyone but Longford ‘keeper Steacy who reacted quickly to save.
Harps continued to press but their crosses were well defended continuously by Joe Manley and Aaron O’Driscoll.
After a quarter of an hour, Ollie Horgan’s side began to knock on the door of the Longford goal.
Karl O’Sullivan turned smartly and shot from 25 yards but his shot cannoned off the post and was cleared for a throw-in.
From the resultant throw, the ball fell to McNamee at the edge of the box and his deflected shot was brilliantly saved by Steacy.
The Harps pressure finally was rewarded on the 28th minute when a well worked short corner between Connolly and O’Sullivan found McNamee. Again at the edge of the box, McNamee had a deflected shot and the ball fell to Will Seymore a couple yards out who headed the ball past Steacy.
Harps kept up the pressure and 5 minutes later it was 2-0. A trademark Ethan Boyle long throw was flicked on by David Webster to Ryan Connolly on the edge of the box. Connolly hit the bouncing ball first time and it swerved up into the top corner for a goal of the season contender.
Harps could’ve made it 3-0 as Tunde Owolabi used his pace down the right and put in a teasing cross that needed any touch for a goal but no Harps player could get on the end of it. The ball was crossed back in and Owolabi got his head on to it but it went just wide.
The second half continued as Harps would’ve wanted as a Karl O’Sullivan shot from way out took a fortunate deflection and over Steacy to make it 3-0 on 50 minutes.
Just on the hour mark Harps made it 4-0 as a slip by Manley at the back was pounced on by Owolabi who cut in on his right foot and curled it into the far corner.
Harps controlled the game and dominated possession for the final 30 minutes as they made sure of their Premier Division place for another year.
Luke Rudden sealed the victory in injury time with his first Finn Harps goal before the referee blew for full-time and ecstatic Harps fans invaded the pitch.
Meanwhile, Waterford will face UCD in the promotion/relegation play-off.
Finn Harps: Doherty; Boyle, Webster, McEleney, Mustoe(Dunleavy, 46); Coyle, McNamee(Timlin, 78), Connolly, Seymore(Hawkins, 83), O’Sullivan; Owolabi(Rudden, 90).
Longford Town: Steacy; Elworthy(McDonnell, 46) J.Manley, O’Driscoll, Kirk; Robinson, Williams(Dobbs, 70), Dervin(O’Brien, 70), Nugent(Zambra, 56), Davis(McNally, 56); R.Manley.