Shamrock Rovers 1 Finn Harps 0
Greg Bolger’s stunning 79th-minute finish helped Shamrock Rovers to squeeze past the challenge of Finn Harps at Tallaght Stadium.
Harps striker Nathan Boyle was close to finding a breakthrough early on, but Hoops netminder Alan Mannus comfortably turned away his eventual strike at a tight angle.
Harps’ rigid 5-3-2 formation made life difficult for Stephen Bradley’s men, for whom teenager Neil Farrugia was making his debut on the left flank.
However, the dependable Mark McGinley came to Harps’ aid in the 57th-minute when he tipped Ronan Finn’s effort at an acute angle onto the post. He later produced an outstanding double save from Dylan Watts and Graham Burke, before Bolger fired to the roof of the net off the ensuing corner.
This was enough to give Rovers their 21st league win of the campaign and with Cork City getting the better of UCD on Leeside, Harps appear destined for a promotion/relegation playoff.
SHAMROCK ROVERS: Mannus; S Kavanagh, Grace, Lafferty; Finn, B Kavanagh (McEneff, 72 mins), Bolger, Watts, Farrugia (Abulu, 76 mins); Burke, Greene (Cummins, 85 mins).
FINN HARPS: McGinley; Deasy, Ascroft, Smith, Todd, Russell; R Harkin (Doherty, 80 mins), G Harkin, Timlin (O’Reilly, 69 mins); Boyle (Place, 85 mins), McNamee.
Referee: D Tomney (Dublin).