Tunde Owolabi hat-trick helps Finn Harps shock St Patrick’s Athletic

Drogheda earn first win at Oriel Park since 2012 to put Dundalk in relegation playoff spot

Finn Harps’ Tunde Owolabi scored a hat-trick in the victory over St Patrick’s Athletic at Finn Park. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Finn Harps’ Tunde Owolabi scored a hat-trick in the victory over St Patrick’s Athletic at Finn Park. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

 

Finn Harps 3 St Patrick’s Athletic 1

Belgian striker Tunde Owolabi scored a sensational hat-trick as battling Finn Harps shocked St Patrick’s Athletic in a rip-roaring encounter at Finn Park.

This result means that the Saints have missed out on the chance to join Shamrock Rovers at the summit of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division and are still three points adrift having played two games more.

For Ollie Horgan’s Harps this was a third league win on the trot and will give them added renewed belief that they have the ability to stay up in the top flight.

Owolabi got the opener in the 13th minute with a cracking low drive into the bottom far corner of the net.

But the Inchicore side were back on level terms within two minutes as Barry McNamee was penalised for hand ball and Chris Forrester duly obliged by sending the resulting spot-kick past Mark Anthony McGinley.

On a slippery surface, the intensity shown by both sides rarely slackened in this absorbing clash and Owolabi produced a wonder-goal after some deft footwork to put Harps 2-1 up on 41 minutes.

Owolabi struck again with his third of the night on 53 minutes as he ran onto a long ball from Ryan Connolly – timing his run to beat the offside trap – and then taking his time to get around the advancing Vitezslav Jaros and slot the ball into the net.

FINN HARPS: McGinley; O’Sullivan (Dunleavy, 75 mins), Boyle, Webster, Mustoe; Rainey (Doherty 90+3), Seymour, Coyle, Connolly, Barry McNamee; Owolabi (Foley, 86).

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Jaros; McCormack (Nwoko, 59 mins), Barrett (Abankwah, 88), Bone, Bermingham; Lewis, McClelland (Coughlan, h/t), Forrester, Smith; King (Burns, h-t), Melvin Lambert, (Hikman, h/t).

Referee: D McGraith (Dublin).

Dundalk 1 Drogheda Utd 2

A brilliant Mark Doyle double saw Drogheda United claim the Co Louth bragging rights as they condemned their neighbours Dundalk to the relegation playoff spot with victory in Oriel Park.

The 22-year-old scored in either half to end his side’s run of four league defeats and earn Tim Clancy’s side their first win since beating Finn Harps on July 2nd and their first at Oriel Park since June 2012.

The Boynesiders hit the front on 35 minutes when Doyle cut in off the left, nutmegging Andy Boyle, before drilling low to the bottom right-hand corner past Alessio Abibi.

Doyle then doubled his side’s lead on 56 minutes. He started the move with a break from midfield before playing the ball wide to Conor Kane who delivered an exquisite cross for the midfielder to head home at the back post.

Dundalk looked to be thrown a lifeline when Michael Duffy drilled to the net from Cameron Dummigan’s cut-back two minutes later but they never looked like equalising after that as results elsewhere saw them drop to ninth in the table.

DUNDALK: Abibi; Jurkovskis, Cleary (Nattestad, 8 mins), Boyle, Dummigan; Stanton, Sloggett (Murray h/t); Ben Amar (Han, 60), Patching, Duffy; Hoban.

DROGHEDA UTD: Odumosu; Brown, Redmond, O’Reilly, Kane; Deegan, Phillips; Markey (Murray, 89), Hyland (Heeney, 60), Doyle; Adeyemo (Clarke, 87).

Referee: Ben Connolly (Dublin).

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