Finn Harps ended a run of five straight defeats with a victory at Finn Park over north west- rivals Sligo Rovers to move above UCD at the foot of the table. Goals for Nathan Boyle in each half did the trick for the Donegal side.
The Bit o’ Red almost took the lead inside 90 seconds when Harps goalkeeper Mark Anthony McGinley had to go full stretch to save a well-struck Sam Warde free.
Harps went close on eight minutes when Nathan Boyle headed against the crossbar.
And on 19 minutes veteran Raffaele Cretaro – a Sligo legend – let fly with a 30-yard speculative effort that Ed McGinty failed to hold with Harps claiming the ball had crossed the line but ref Tomas Connolly waved play on.
Harps took the lead on 28 minutes when Mark Russell whipped in a left-wing cross and Boyle came charging in to drive the ball home from close range. Warde and Kris Twardek threatened for Liam Buckley’s side before the end of a lively first half.
Harps had a scare after the break when they failed to clear but David Cawley’s shot squirmed outside of the post.
Sligo had the better of the third quarter but Harps sealed victory on 78 minutes when Sligo lost possession and Cretaro skipped forward before finding Boyle who calmed tucked the ball past McGinty.
McGinley; O’Reilly, Cowan, Todd; Borg, Coyle, Harkin, Russell; Cretaro (McNamee, 85 mins, 6), McAleer (Ascroft, 75 mins); Boyle (Place, 86 mins).
McGinty; Dunleavy, Leverock, Mahon, Banks; Warde, Callan-McFadden (Russell 45 mins), Cawley (Keaney, 71 mins); Twardek; Murray, Parkes.