By Gerard Mulreaney (@gerard_sports)
It’s a case of ‘Once more unto the breach’ for Ollie Horgan’s Finn Harps in their final game of the season against Longford Town on Friday night.
Faced with an inevitable relegation battle on a yearly basis, on both financial and geographical grounds, Ollie Horgan’s side generally come up with the goods when it really matters.
This season, due to other clubs failings, Ollie Horgan’s men have spent most of the year outside the bottom two. But should they fail to beat already relegated Longford in Ballybofey, and Waterford beat St Patrick’s Athletic at the RSC, it’s Finn Harps who will end up in the relegation promotion/relegation playoff. That’s something the Galway-born school teacher is keen to avoid;
“Longford have been fiercely competitive this season despite their league position, and even though they have been relegated they are fighting tooth and nail in every game. We’ve only beaten them once in the three games this year and I’ve no doubt we’ll be in for an almighty battle,”said Horgan.
“I wasn’t surprised at all that Longford took points off Waterford last weekend, the same way I’ve no doubt they’ll be coming up here expecting to do the same.
A playoff win over Drogheda in 2019 was followed by a final day victory over Waterford in 2020 as Finn Harps secured their Premier Division survival.
“We’ve had a very good season, but the reality in this league is that it’s so competitive and just because you’ve had a good season doesn’t mean you’ll still be in the Premier Division next year,” said Horgan.
Ahead of the game Sean Boyd, Ryan Rainey and Kosovar Sadiki are suspended, while Mark McGinley, Mark Timlin, Will Seymore and David Webster are doubts.
Longford Town’s interim manager John Martin knows that every league of Ireland fan will have eyes on their performance, and doesn’t want anyone to question the integrity of the league following the game;
“The Waterford players said to me coming off the pitch, that they hope our lads put in the same shift against Harps and I assured them we will. We need to get something from this game.”
It’s all set for the usual dramatic ending to the league of Ireland season, with Finn Harps and their manager Ollie Horgan front and centre.