Dundalk 3 Finn Harps 0
Steven Bradley was the star of the show as the Stephen O'Donnell era at Dundalk got up and running with victory over Finn Harps at Oriel Park on Friday night.
Ollie Horgan's men dominated the first-half exchanges with Croatian striker Filip Mihaljevic having an effort off the line and hitting the crossbar but Bradley turned the game on its head with a superb goal a minute before the break when he cut in from the right past Mark Timlin before rifling a shot to the bottom left hand corner.
The 19-year-old winger on loan from Hibernian then turned provider for his side's second within 44 seconds of the restart when he found Sam Bone in space for the defender to squeeze a shot past Mark McGinley at his near post.
Bradley then ensured the victory for his side by crashing a shot to the roof of the net on 67 minutes after Patrick Hoban’s cross had broke to him off José Carrillo.
Bradley almost completed his hat-trick 10 minutes later in his last act before leaving to a standing ovation but his header from Daniel Kelly’s cross flashed just wide.
Dundalk: Shepperd; Bone, Gartland, Boyle, Macari (Kelly 25); Williams, Benson, Doyle (Sloggett HT); Adams (Ward 62), McMillan (Patrick Hoban HT), Bradley (Martin 78).
Finn Harps: McGinley; Tourish, Webster, Carrillo; Boyle, Connolly (Hery 71), N'Zeyi, Timlin (Devers 60); Rainey (Rudden 84), McNamee (McWoods 60); Mihaljevic (Mahdy 60).
Referee: John McLoughlin (Roscommon).