Early Ciarán Coll goal gives Harps big advantage
UCD look set be prolonging their stay in First Division after first-leg defeat
Ciarán Coll (right) scored Finn Harps’ winning goal against UCD at the Belfield Bowl. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.
The took the lead with just 25 seconds on the clock when Wilfried Tagbo darted down the right wing before crossing for the unmarked left back Ciarán Coll to head in his first goal for three years.
Harps remained dominant and should have extended their lead by the break.
UCD were struggling, with Michael Leahy coming closest to equalising with a header in first-half stoppage time which went wide.
The teams meet next Friday night for the second leg, with the victor then facing the side finishing second bottom in the Premier Division.
UCD: O’Donnell; Leahy, T Boyle, Kouogun (Tobin, 34 mins), Langtry; O’Neill, Watts (Benson, 57 mins); Swan, Watson, Doyle; Cannon (D O’Connor, 68 mins).
FINN HARPS: Gallagher; McNulty, Cowan, P Mailey, Coll (Crossan, 29 mins); J Mailey, Harkin, Foy, McNamee; Tagbo (Banda 61 mins), McHugh (Funston, 77 mins).
Referee: B Connolly (Dublin).