Finn Harps victory over Bohemians hands Shamrock Rovers the title

Mark Russell, right, got both Finn Harps goals in Saturday's victory over Bohemians in Dublin
Pádraig Ó Meiscill

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division: Bohemians 0 Finn Harps 2

SHAMROCK Rovers won the League of Ireland title without kicking a ball on Saturday night as Finn Harps stunned second-placed Bohemians with a two-goal defeat in the capital.

The result raised the Donegal side’s hopes of retaining their top flight status for another season and, in turn, condemned Cork City to the drop as the Leesiders lost 2-1 at Sligo Rovers.

Harps rode their luck early on in Dublin with Bohs having several chances to open the scoring, but it was the Donegal men who struck in first-half stoppage time. When Tony McNamee’s long throw wasn’t dealt with, Kosovar Sadiki headed the ball back goal-wards where Mark Russell was able to flick it past James Talbot from close range.

Six minutes into the second-half, it was two for Harps and Russell. Substitute Adam Foley’s cross from the right found Russell in acres of space inside the area and the left-back for the night let fly to plant the ball in the far left-hand corner of Talbot’s net.

“I couldn’t ask for a better night really, both personally and for the team,” said Russell of his brace and Harps’ first win at Bohemians since 1999.

“We came here hoping for the win and really needing the win and thankfully we managed to get it. The first one [goal], I was told to mark the ’keeper from the throw-ins and I just managed to pounce and get on the end of it. The second, I managed to get on the back post and I hit it as hard as I could and thankfully it went in as well.”

If Harps can now win their two games in hand, starting with St Patrick’s Athletic on Wednesday night, they can leap frog Shelbourne at the bottom going into the final day of fixtures: “We’ll just take every game as it comes really,” added Russell.

“We’ll play the St Pat’s game and hopefully we can get the victory there as well.”

Yesterday afternoon, Waterford blew the race for Europe wide open with victory over a below-par Dundalk at the RSC. John Martin's 57th minute header was enough to secure all three points for the Blues.

While Waterford remain fourth, they are now just a point behind Filippo Giovagnoli’s side in third with St Patrick’s Athletic, who host Dundalk this weekend, also not out of the equation as they have two games on hand on the Lilywhites.

Stephen Bradley's newly-crowned champions play Derry City at the Tallaght Stadium on Wednesday evening.

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