The Finn Harps U19s are preparing for a big Enda McGuill Cup semi final this Tuesday evening in Ballybofey when Joe Boyle’s boys host St Patrick’s Athletic. The 19s have enjoyed a fine run to get to the last four but this will no doubt be their biggest test against the league leaders St Pat’s. While Harps are third in the table they are 11 points behind the Inchicore outfit.
Meanwhile the U19s kept their third place in the Elite Northern Section of the National League thanks to a 3-1 home win over Monaghan/Cavan on Saturday. The result also means that Boyle’s outfit closes the gap on second placed Bohemians who were not in action over the weekend. Mark McAteer gave the hosts the lead before the half-hour mark with Ryan Finn making it 2-0 from the penalty spot in the middle of the second half and then Niall McGinley produced a fine free-kick finish to complete the scoring. McGinley had come on as a sub for the latter stages of Friday night’s League of Ireland First Division game against Wexford Youths at Finn Park. Monaghan/Cavan did manage a consolation goal before the final whistle.
Harps 17s aiming for Farren Cup Final
The Finn Harps U17s are just 90 minutes away from a place in the Mark Farren Cup Final and that objective will be achieved if Declan Boyle’s side can overcome Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds tomorrow afternoon (kick-off 3pm). The Harps 17s have surprised many this season.
Despite the absence of the majority of last year’s high performing and much admired squad, most of whom have progressed to and are blazing a trail with Harps u19s, this year’s younger group have remained competitive in the league and tomorrow will look to reach the final of the prestigious cup competition dedicated to the late Mark Farren.
Their opponents Bray Wanderers who boast an impressive home record sit third in the Southern Division of the National League and will provide tough opposition for the visitors, many of whom have graduated from Kevin McHughs 2017 U15 team, which reached the last four following an impressive season of their own.
Wanders youth system is highly regarded and is built in partnership with St. Joseph’s Boys who have a huge reputation as one of the famous schoolboy nursery clubs in the Dublin area.
Boyle is delighted his players have reached this stage “We won two tough derby games against Sligo and Derry and subsequently a hard match away to Drogheda to get here so it’s great to be in a national semi-final. We have scored ten goals in those games, two of which were away fixtures, so we have shown we carry a threat of our own. From what I gather Bray are a physically impressive side who are well organized and have beaten Bohemians and UCD on the way to the final so we are looking forward to a good match. “
The Harps manager is also aware of the long term benefits for members of his squad. “Most of the team will be underage next year so the valuable experience of playing in a semi-final against tough opposition will serve us well for the rest of this season and into next year.”
FAMILY FUN DAY
Finn Harps Football Club will host a free ‘Family Fun’ event at their Academy Grounds in Killygordon on Friday 31st August commencing at 3 pm The ‘Fun Games’ are available for all and is supported by the FAI who have kindly made many exciting games available.
Finn Harps is inviting clubs to enter 07 age-group teams for a blitz on the day. Places are limited and entry will strictly be on a first come first served basis
A team can be booked by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries will close this coming Monday at 5 p.m. There is no costs or fees involved. As well as the blitz the ‘Fun Day’ will include Penalty Shootouts, Skills and Face Painting.
All children attending this ‘Family Fun’ event can then, free of charge, attend the big Finn Harps game against Galway Utd as Ollie Horgan’s team’s push for promotion continues on that Friday night in Ballybofey (kick-off 8.00).