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Match Preview: Finn Harps v UCD


Finn Harps take on UCD at Finn Park on Friday (KO 8pm) in a crucial game in the battle at the bottom of the table.  Harps are currently 6 points ahead of the visitors, so a win on Friday night would make survival a difficult task for the students with just three league games left after this match.  

Each previous meeting this season has gone the way of the home sides, with Harps going down to 3-0 and 1-0 defeats at Belfield, but scoring our first win of the season with a 3-0 victory back in May.  Two weeks ago Harps secured a hard fought scoreless draw away to Cork City, while the visitors lost at home 2-0 to Sligo Rovers in their last league game.  Since then UCD have beaten Crumlin United 4-1 in the Leinster Senior Cup before going down 3-2 to Athlone Town last Monday in the same competition.

Finn Harps Chairperson Sean Quinn emphasised the importance of the home crowd in this game. “It is well documented that we have had a long period with only a few home games so we are looking forward to Friday night.  We need our fans to come out in numbers and really get behind the team.  Our fans know what a big game this is, and a big, noisy home crowd can make a real difference in nights like this.”

He also added, “While the weather this week has not been great, the forecast for Friday is for a dry day and it should be a good night for football.  Tickets are available at the usual outlets around the county and we are asking our supporters to come out and back the Harps for this one.  Not only that, our U19s have a home quarter final on Saturday at Finn Park at 2pm while the U17s have their own quarter final at Ballyare on Sunday at 3pm, so we have a trio of huge games this weekend that reflect the hard work and dedication that many people have put in throughout the year.”

Midfielder Mark Coyle is also looking forward to the game, “It’s going to be a tough game. Not once have I ever played UCD and felt like it wasn't a battle, even in the games we've won. They're a very good side and play great football, which normally means a lot of running for me! They have plenty of good young players too - nice to watch but definitely not to play against.”

In team news, Daniel O’Reilly and Nathan Boyle are suspended for this game.

Previous Meetings This Season:
5th July: UCD 1 (Jason McClelland) Finn Harps 0
3rd May: Finn Harps 3 (Caolan McAleer 2, Nathan Boyle) UCD 0
15th March: UCD 3 (Timmy Molloy, Richie O Farrell 2) Finn Harps 0

Harps Last 6 League Games:
20th September: Cork City 0 Finn Harps 0
13th September: Sligo Rovers 3 (Niall Watson, Ronan Murray, Sam Warde) Finn Harps 1 (Harry Ascroft)
6th September: Finn Harps 1 (Nathan Boyle) St Patrick’s Athletic 2 (Darren Markey, Rhys McCabe)
16th August: Dundalk 5 (Daniel Kelly, Georgie Kelly, Patrick McEleney 2, Jamie McGrath) Finn Harps 0
2nd August: Finn Harps 1 (Harry Ascroft) Bohemian FC 0
26th Jul: Finn Harps 1 (Harry Ascroft) Derry City 0

Tickets are available in the usual outlets around the county:
Michael Murphy Sports Letterkenny,
The Hatter, Main Street Ballybofey,
McKelvey’s Bar Ballybofey,
Barretts, Ballybofey,
McCauley’s Restaurant, Lifford,
Mac’s Newsagents, Buncrana,
The Coach House, Donegal Town,
Kernans, Newtowncunningham,
Melly's Cafe, Killybegs.

Tickets can be purchased on the night, but advance purchase is advised to avoid queuing.