This weekend sees the third North West derby of the season between Finn Harps and Sligo Rovers at under 15 level. Both sides qualified from the group phase having accumulated a similar points tally. The Donegal Junior League’s fantastic new development at Ballyare, will host the latest installment at 2pm on Saturday 13th July.
Harps, under the McBride, have found the last two outings challenging at the Elite level. An opening day loss to Dundalk FC gave the squad a taste of what to expect at the level. Their last match saw them lose out to high-flying St. Patrick’s Athletic in an entertaining encounter in Killygordon. Although the result didn’t go their way, McBride was satisfied with the work-rate shown in the performance and believes that competing at this level will stand to his players’ development, “Saturday’s loss to St. Pats was bittersweet, especially conceding 2 goals in the last 5 minutes. But I thought we improved so much from the Dundalk match and the boys themselves knew that they matched them throughout. It was a high tempo match that will stand to the lads going forward. It was a match where mistakes got punished and we’ll learn from it. The league gives us an opportunity to park things quickly because another challenge awaits and having played Sligo Rovers a few times this year, we know what to expect and we need to be up for it.”
Sligo picked up an impressive away point to St. Pats in their opening Elite Phase match and at the time of writing were due to play their North West rivals, Derry City, in a mid-week fixture.
On the injury front, Harps will be without Colin Mooney, who is recovery from an ankle knock. They welcome back Aidan McCloskey who missed the last two matches due to a calf strain. Saturday’s will kick off at 2pm and the match sponsor is Mooney Boats, Killybegs.