Finn Harps 3        Shelbourne     2

Shelbourne’s First Division title hopes received a massive set-back as they were beaten by FAI Cup semi-finalists Finn Harps in a Finn Park thriller.

Harps produced one of their better home performance of the season in an open and entertaining contest played on a fine surface.

Both Josh Mailey and Kevin McHugh fired over the target for Harps before Gareth Coughlan opened Shels’ account from a tight angle on 31 minutes.

But Harps drew level with Damien McNulty tapping in at the far post after Shels’ goalkeeper Nathan Murphy failed to cut out a corner on 38 minutes.

Shels needed to up their game in the second half – not least because title rivals Longford were in command in Waterford – but Harps continued to give as good as they got.

Harps made it 2-1 on 63 minutes as Michael Funston came storming in at the back post to connect with a Gareth Harkin cross.

But Shels were level again six minutes later as Dylan Connolly burst through the home defence to slip the  ball past the advancing Conor Winn.

But Funston then pounced again with an 87th minute shot that went in off the post to give Harps victory.

Shelbourne: Murphy; O’Connor, Sullivan, L. Desmond, Hand; Coughlan, G. Desmond, Russell, Connolly; O’Sullivan, Keegan. Subs not used: Treacy, Gallagher, Murphy, Murtagh, Duffy, Donnelly, McGrane.

Finn Harps: Winn; McNulty, P. Mailey, Cowan, McMonagle, Coll,; Funston, McCann, J. Mailey; McHugh, Harkin.

Referee: Mr. S. Rodgers (Dublin).

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