Finn Harps are pushing hard for promotion back to the Premier Division of the SSE Airtricity League.

Tonight they were in action against Galway United in Ballybofey, whose bad run of form during the second half of the season has seen them drop to sixth spot.

It finished:

Finn Harps 2,  Galway United 0.'

Finn Harps are sure of a promotion play-off spot as they deservedly beat Galway United at Finn Park - but there are still issues to be decided.

Ollie Horgan's side dominated the game but missed a bagful of chances before Mark Timlin added to Mikey Place's first half score with a tremendous second goal as he twisted and turned in side the Galway box before unleashing a thundering shot into the top left corner of the net on 65 minutes to ensure the victory.

Harps are still actually in with a chance of winning the title.

Leaders UCD defeated Drogheda United 3-0 to move to 55 points while the Louth side are fourth on 43 points.

Harps remain second and are five points behind UCD on 50 points with two games left - and they travel to face the students in their next outing.

Shelbourne are third and surprisingly dropped two crucial points as they were held to a 2-2 draw by bottom club Athlone Town at Tolka Park. They now have 46 points.

Galway can now no longer get into the play-offs.

In a lively start, Mikey Place went close for Harps following a corner and Nathan Boyle thought he had scored on eight minutes with a deft touch to send the ball past Tadhg Ryan only to see the flag had been raised for off-side.

But Harps took the lead on 17 minutes as Place pounced to score after he connected with a Timlin cross from close range after Adam Rooney misjudged an attempted clearance.

Harps were well on top throughout the half and on 37 minutes a long range Timlin effort flashed wide of the target.

Moments later Timlin had a shot deflected for a corner after good work by Mark Coyle and John Kavanagh on the right flank.

And on 40 minutes Timlin was again in action, this time seeing a shot well saved at close range by an increasingly busy Ryan.

Timlin had yet another chance two minutes later as Harps piled on the pressure.

Galway's first chance of note came just after the break with a cracking shot from Conor Melody, but the pattern of the first half soon resumed with Kavanagh forcing Ryan to dive and save at the post.

Man of the match Timlin had two decent long range frees before Boyle had a shot saved after good approach play from Place on 62 minutes.

Tmlin then got the second goal to make the points safe after a weaving run that ended with him finding the target in style.

The game fizzled out in the closing stages, but Harps wre good value for this win as they extended their unbeaten league run to eight games.

The teams that finish third and fourth meet in a two-legged play-off.

The winners of that will then face the second placed team in another two-legged play-off.

Whoever wins that will then face the second bottom side in the Premier Division in a further two-legged play-off.

The champions of Division One are automatically promoted.

Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; Sam Todd, Keith Cowan, Niall Logue; John Kavanagh, Mark Coyle, Gareth Harkin, Mark Timlin, Ciaran Coll; Mikey Place, Nathan Boyle. Sub: Jessie Devers for Place (67 mins), Tommy McBride for Coyle (73 mins), John O'Flynn for Boyle (84 mins).

Galway United: Tadhg Ryan; Christopher Horgan, Adam Rooney, Robbie Williams, Sean Russell; Conor Melody, Aaron Conway, Ryan Connolly, Evan Coyne; Conor Barry, Carlton Ubaezuonu. Subs: Darragh Costelloe for Coyne ( 74 mins), Higgins for Connolly, Kelly for Ubaezuonu (both 77 mins).

Referee: Eoghan O’Shea.

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