Harps ready to take on Shamrock Rovers

Ruairi Keating. photo: Stephen Doherty
Ruairi Keating. photo: Stephen Doherty

Tonight sees yet another huge game in Ballybofey as Finn Harps host Shamrock Rovers in a League of Ireland Premier Division game (kick-off 8.00). Ollie Horgan’s men are determined to get a positive result from tonight’s match and the manager is hoping that the two-week break since the Derry game will have given the players sufficient recovery to bring more energy into their game. That has been clearly lacking over the past month.

Ruairi Keating returns to the squad following a one-match ban and the manager will be hoping that the striker can notch his first goal since rejoining Harps at the beginning of July. After being on the subs bench for the past couple of games Dave Scully is rated doubtful for the Hoops visit but could still be in contention for a starting place up front with Ryan Curran and Kevin McHugh also in the frame. Horgan also has Gareth Harkin back in the squad after recovering from a knee injury although it may be too soon for the Letterkenny to return to the starting 11. Adam Hanlon could also return after being used as a replacement against Derry City.

There are also doubts over vice-captain Ciaran Coll and versatile Josh Mailey. The visitors will be aiming for all three points against a Harps side that have lost their last four matches. Nine goals have been conceded and Horgan’s side failed to score against Bray Wanderers, Wexford Youths, Bohemians and Derry City. Shamrock Rovers are battling to stay in the race for European football next season so Stephen Bradley’s outfit will be targeting a victory at Finn Park tonight.

Elsewhere this evening Harps will be hoping that reigning champions Dundalk can do them a favour by defeating Wexford Youths at Ferrycarrig Park and similarly that Cork City overcome bottom of the table Longford Town at Turners Cross. Bray Wanderers, who are now on the same points as Horgan’s side, host Derry City tomorrow evening. While Harps fans hoping for a Candystripes victory would be highly unusual it’s the result that would best suit the Ballybofey outfit.

Diarmaid Doherty will have live updates tonight from Finn Harps v Shamrock Rovers in association with McGettigan's Applegreen Lifford.