Finn Harps 3
Larne FC 1
Report by Harvey Latimer
Finn Harps overcame Larne in their Vase semifinal clash at The Heights, thanks to goals from Odhran McHugh, Lukas Doherty and Cillian Gilmore
Talented winger Lukas Doherty nearly opened the scoring after two minutes, crashing his wicked free kick off the post. The Donegal side did grab the first goal when Ronan McGranaghan dispossessed a Larne midfielder and played a delicate through ball to Odhran McHugh. The Harps striker kept his cool to fire his side ahead.
Larne responded well to going behind and were rewarded with an instant equaliser. Daniel Hashim produced a moment of quality, cutting inside onto his right foot and nestling his shot into the back of the Finn Harps net. With momentum with the East Antrim side, they looked for a second as Jamie Harpur latched onto Tomas O’Kane’s through ball, but Marcin Perch defended excellently. Perch and fellow centre back Sean Gallagher seemed hard to break down even for a Larne attack which scored eleven goals in three games prior.
The second half started with Alex Kennedy appealing for a penalty after he thought he was fouled in the box, but the referee ruled otherwise. Not long after, the crucial third goal came courtesy of a wonderful finish from Doherty. A chipped effort from the edge of the box gave Larne ‘keeper Ollie Glendinning no chance. Striker McHugh had a couple of great opportunities to get his second, one effort was sent over the bar and the other was easily gathered by Glendinning.
The Reds were running out of time to keep the tie alive. Alfie Mulvenna used his long ball technique numerous times and Hashim managed to get on the end of one, but his header went wide of the goal. Despite their situation, Finn Harps were not sitting back and taking the defensive approach as Doherty hit the inside of the post with a curling attempt.
However, Doherty played a key role in the fourth goal of the game which sealed the win, providing a ball across goal to be tapped in by Cillian Gilmore at the back post. The Donegal side now face Portstewart FC in the SuperCupNI Vase final on Friday.