League Preview: Galway United -v- Finn Harps

Thu, Jun 07 2018

The two sides were relegated from the Premier Division at the end of last season. Credit: Jimmy McElroy (ETPhotos)


With seven wins, four draws and four losses apiece in the First Division, Galway United and Finn Harps face each other in Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm).

The Tribesmen have failed to register a win in their last three league games and will be looking to return to winning ways before the mid-season break.

After defeats to Drogheda United and Longford Town, Shane Keegan’s men earned a 0-0 draw on Monday against Cobh Ramblers.

The Galway manager has targeted two wins from the next two games – home to Harps and away to Wexford – and hopes his players respond in a positive manner.

"We're hurting at the moment," Keegan told the club's official website.

"It's all about how we handle that and how we use that. We've got absolutely no choice but to use it as fuel for the fire to dig deep and pull out a massive performance and result against Finn Harps on Friday.

"You can get into runs like this and it really is all about how you dig yourself out and how you turn things around.

"At the moment, there is no doubt that we're at a low ebb and we are hurting. We can either wallow in self pity, feel sorry for ourselves and throw the towel in or we can man up and show character like never before and dig ourselves out of this.

"Something about our approach hasn't quite clicked, so we've gone with a different ideas in terms of how we've gone about our preparation for the Finn Harps game.

"If it yields results, it looks like a fantastic move, if it doesn't, then everything is worth looking into. We want to leave no stone unturned in our quest to get back up that league table."

Keeegan will be missing a trio of players as Danny Furlong (hamstring), Tadhg Ryan (quad) and Maurice Nugent (ankle) all miss out due to injury.


Harps come into this game having suffered a 4-2 defeat against Longford Town on Monday. The Donegal side conceded two goals in the first half-hour and manager Ollie Horgan will demand a better start against Galway.

“We were 2-0 down by the half-hour at Finn Park on Monday against Longford and ended up losing the game,” Horgan told the club's website.

That wasn’t good enough and our defending has to be a lot better than that if we are to have a chance of staying with the leading pack in this division.

“Galway drew down in Cobh on Monday night and with home advantage they will be giving it everything to get the three points.

“For us, this is the first of two tough games before mid-season break as we then have UCD in Ballybofey.”

Tommy McBride will miss the game due to suspension after receiving a red card against Longford on Monday.

Liam Walsh, Lee Toland and Adam Duffy are joined on the injured list by Paddy McCourt. Horgan also has doubts over Ciaran O’Connor, John O’Flynn and Mark Coyle.


Referee: John McLoughlin



Galway United and Finn Harps have both won seven, drawn four and lost four in the league this season. The Tribesmen have scored more (26 v 21) and conceded less (14 v 15) than Harps.

The last time these sides met (7th May) Jesse Devers broke Galway United’s hearts as he struck on the 90th minute to give Ollie Horgan’s men all three points.

In 2017, Harps and Galway United competed in the Premier Division but both suffered relegation.

Galway won two (2-1 and 3-1) against Harps that season with the other game resulting in a draw (1-1).



Galway United 11/10; Draw 9/4; Finn Harps 13/5.


Galway United 2-2 Finn Harps.


Galway United

Injured: Danny Furlong (hamstring), Tadhg Ryan (quad) and Maurice Nugent (ankle)

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.

Finn Harps

Injured: Liam Walsh, Adam Duffy, Lee Toland, Paddy McCourt

Doubtful: Ciaran O’Connor, John O’Flynn, Mark Coyle.

Suspended: Tommy McBride.