PO Final
Date: 7:45 p.m. Nov. 2, 2018
Venue: Markets Field
Att: 3,250 (est)
TV:

Scored: 45'
- Mark Timlin 45' + 1'

Scored: 80'
- Nathan Boyle 80'



Play-off Final Preview: Limerick -v- Finn Harps

Fri, Nov 02 2018

Tommy Barrett will need his side to break the habit of their season and score at least once to have any chance of remaining in the Premier Division. Credit: Michael P Ryan

LIMERICK

Limerick look to over turn a first leg deficit when they face Finn Harps at Markets Field on Friday evening (kick-off 7.45pm).

As in 2015, the home side won the first leg 1-0, but this time Finn Harps enter the second leg with the lead thanks to Paddy McCourt’s first-half penalty.

Those who travelled to Ballybofey in support of the Super Blues will have been pleased with many elements of the display.

However those fans will be well aware of how poor their side have been in front of goal, failing to score in 19 league games this season, including last Monday.

Manager Tommy Barrett will have to plan without long-term injured duo Darren Dennehy and Eoin Wearen.

Goalkeeper Tommy Holland (ankle) and captain Shane Duggan (hamstring) are listed as doubts, while Billy Dennehy (hand) and teenage pair Karl O'Sullivan and Will Fitzgerald are both nursing calf strains.

Barrett may have read a chapter from the Ollie Horgan book of management, as time will tell about the severity of the injuries listed.

In any case, his side will need to score, at least once, something that hasn’t been a given, especially at home.

The Blues have notched just ten league goals at home all season, and Finn Harps have kept five away clean sheets, and are unbeaten in their last 10 league trips since losing to UCD in April.

Limerick pressed with success on Monday. Paddy McCourt and Peter Burke turned the ball over a number of times and Limerick were able to create a number of openings.

However on a larger pitch, and with Limerick chasing the game, this may result in a different approach.

It’s likely that the energetic Connor Ellis will start again though Limerick need to supply him with accurate passing and avoid an aerial battle with the Harps defence.

Barry Maguire, Limerick’s top scorer, will need to be at his influential best, and he may expect a different midfield opponent from the start, as McCourt may be used to help see out a result for the Donegal side.

FINN HARPS

An immediate retuen to the top-flight is within touching distance for Finn Harps. The long trip to Limerick will have been made easier with the 1-0 on Monday.

The tie marks McCourt's final game in professional football having also featured in the League of Ireland for Shamrock Rovers and his hometown Derry City.

Ollie Horgan felt his side were “very lucky to get the win” on Monday and feels that they’ll need more luck on Shannonside.

“We hope that Limerick don’t produce their best form because if they do we could be in big trouble,” he said.

“The likes of Barry Maguire and Shane Duggan showed their quality at Finn Park.

“Limerick’s ball control, passing and movement was very good and we really struggled against them.”

In his time as manager, Horgan has overseen two-legged play-off wins over UCD and Limerick (both 2015) and Drogheda last month.

This is the first time Horgan has been away from home in the second leg, while their only defeat in seven play-off games was their 1-0 reverse in Markets Field three years ago today.

The Galway native feels his side have matched his pre-season hopes.

“I said before the season started that I would settle to be still in contention on the final day of the season and that is the way it has turned out.

“Our lads are ready to give it their best shot and hopefully they can deliver on that.”

Midfielder Mark Coyle serves the second game of his two game ban having received 12 yellow cards this season.

The Donegal side haven’t released any other team news though they may have to plan without Mark Timlin and keeper Ciaran Gallagher once again.

 

Referee: Graham Kelly

 

MATCH STATS

Limerick’s Danny Morrissey, Kilian Cantwell plied their trade in Ballybofey last season while Finn Harps’ John O’Flynn played with Limerick in 2016 and 2017.

Jacob Borg (Malta) and Paddy McCourt (Northern Ireland) are the two senior internationals in either squad.

When Limerick have conceded first this season, they’ve secured just one draw, a 1-1 draw with Shamrock Rovers.

Finn Harps haven’t been beaten when they’ve scored first this season. They have been pegged back to draw three times.

 

BETTING

Limerick 7/5; Draw 9/4; Finn Harps 15/8.

PREDICTION

Limerick 1-0 Finn Harps (Limerick to win on penalties).

 

Limerick

Injured: Darren Dennehy, Eoin Wearen

Doubtful: Shane Duggan, Karl O’Sullivan, Will Fitzgerald, Tommy Holland, Billy Dennehy

Suspended: None.

Finn Harps

Injured: Ciaran Gallagher

Doubtful: Mark Timlin

Suspended: Mark Coyle.



Limerick
Jack Brady
Goalkeeper
Shane Tracy
Defender
Shaun Kelly
Defender
Killian Cantwell
Defender
Killian Brouder
46Booked: 46'
Defender
Barry Maguire
58'
58Subbed Off: 58'
Midfielder
Shane Duggan
61Booked: 61'
Midfielder
Billy Dennehy
Midfielder
Cian Coleman
70'
70Subbed Off: 70'
Midfielder
Danny Morrissey
Forward
Connor Ellis
58'
58Subbed Off: 58'
Forward

Substitutes
Karl O'Sullivan
70'
70Subbed On: 70'
Midfield
Darren Murphy
58'
58Subbed On: 58'
Midfield
Colman Kennedy
Defender
Tommy Holland
Goalkeeper
Adam Foley
Forward
William Fitzgerald
58'
58Subbed On: 58'
Forward
Colm Walsh O'Loghlen
Forward
Finn Harps
Peter Burke
Goalkeeper
John Kavanagh
Defender
10Booked: 10'
Keith Cowan
Defender
Ciaran Coll
Defender
Jakup Borg
Defender
50Booked: 50'
Sam Todd
Defender
Mark Timlin
Midfielder
45Scored: 45'
84'
84Subbed Off: 84'
Mikey Place
Midfielder
5Booked: 5'
Paddy McCourt
Midfielder 16'
16Subbed Off: 16'
Gareth Harkin
Midfielder
79Booked: 79'
Nathan Boyle
Forward
80Scored: 80'
88'
88Subbed Off: 88'

Substitutes
Tunmise Sobowale
Midfield
John O'Flynn
Forward
88Subbed On: 88'
88'
Niall McGinley
Midfield
Niall Logue
Defender
16Subbed On: 16'
16'
56Booked: 56'
Aidan Friel
Midfield
Jesse Devers
Forward
84Subbed On: 84'
84'
Jamie Bell
Goalkeeper


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