With Wexford Youths now odds on to claim the First Division title this season, Finn Harps promotion hopes are still very much alive and they head to Cobh Ramblers this weekend knowing that seven points from their final four games will guarantee them a play-off spot.
Wexford beat UCD last weekend in the game in hand that the two sides had over Harps, meaning that Shane Keegan’s side have moved seven points clear at the top of the table. Another victory for Wexford this weekend, coupled with a Harps defeat in Cobh would see Wexford crowned champions with three games to go.
However, as has been seen on more than one occasion this season, things can change quickly. A Wexford defeat at the UCD Bowl and a Harps victory at St. Colmans Park would certainly make things interesting again.
Having said all that, a trip to Cobh is always a tricky encounter – something that Harps boss Ollie Horgan is more than aware of.
“Cobh will be very difficult as it always is but even tougher this time around with the form that they are in and the number of players we will be without,” said Horgan.
With no game last weekend, the suspensions have built up meaning that Harps face the trip south on Saturday without a trio of key personnel. Horgan has somewhat of a mini-crisis with Tommy McMonagle, Keith Cowan and Raymond Foy all suspended while Damien McNulty is out through injury. Packie Mailey, although back in training, is again a major doubt.
“The difficulty of no game last weekend is that all the suspensions are carried into the Cobh game,” said Horgan. “Two of those would have been served last weekend but now they carry over along with Raymond Foy who has been added to the list this week coming.”
While Horgan has continued not to set any goals this season, he would certainly be disappointed if his side didn’t finish in the top three at this stage – considering they haven’t really been out of the top two all year. As usual though, he isn’t counting his chickens.
“We would be delighted if we make the play-offs but that is easier said than done with our difficult run in,” he said.
If selected, Matt Crossan will make his 100th appearance for the club on Saturday evening becoming the 64th player to reach the feat for Harps.
Harps have the upper hand on Cobh having won all three meetings between the sides this season. To stay in the promotion hunt, that run will have to extend to four on Saturday evening.