The Finn Harps U17s continue their efforts to secure qualification for the knock-out stages of the FAI National League when Declan Boyle’s boys take on Shelbourne in Ballybofey this Saturday (kick-off 2.00). There are now just three games left and Harps remain well positioned to qualify for the latter stages of the competition. Four go through with St. Pat’s and Bohemians assured of places. Boyle’s side is joint third with Sligo Rovers but do have a vastly superior goal difference compared to their neighbours. Dundalk are just a point behind but again have a hugely inferior goal difference than the Donegal outfit. Derry City, Athlone Town and Shelbourne are two points further adrift but all have poor scoring differences compared to Harps.
So this Saturday’s trip to Finn Park is a huge game for Shelbourne as well. A victory there would bring them firmly into contention for qualification. And Harps boss Boyle knows that a victory will be a significant boost to his team’s prospects of making the elite stages of the competition.
Finn Harps U17 manager Declan Boyle was very pleased with the 4-0 over Longford Town at the City Calling Stadium on Saturday where all four goals came in the second half courtesy of skipper Shane Blaney, sub Niall McGinley and striker James Carolan on the mark twice. “Overall I’m very happy with the performance and the result, Longford made it difficult at times during the match, the pitch was very tight, which didn’t suit our play, but the lads worked very hard and in the end our quality came to the fore and we scored four good goals and deserved the three points. “Shane Blaney scored with a header from a corner, Niall McGinley hit an excellent shot from outside the box to make it 2-0 and James Carolan got two good goals. His second, in particular, was a great team goal. It was a quality finish by James which brings his goal tally in the league to 11 for the season.”, Boyle said.
The manager said there was an expectancy that Harps would win in Longford, which the players had to be mentally prepared for in order to get the result. “These games can be very difficult, everybody expects you to win the game but going by some of the results at the weekend, there are no easy games in this league, especially away from home. The lads prepared well, and managed the game professionally and secured three big points, moving us back into the play off spot and with three games left we have opportunity to secure one of the play-off spots”, Boyle said.