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Friday 15 December 2017

Sporting down Galway to boost European hopes

SPORTING FINGAL strolled to a 3-1 victory at Morton Stadium as they continued their push for a Europa League spot while ending Galway United's hopes of avoiding the relegation play-offs.

Fingal took charge immediately and bagged the opener within three minutes, with Alan Kirby finishing a sweet move after Ger O'Brien had supplied Ronan Finn with a fine through ball.

The Tribesmen seemed resigned to their lowly fate after that early blow, and they put up little resistance eight minutes later when Colin Hawkins rose unmarked to crash home Conan Byrne's in-swinging corner.

Sean Connor seemed to rile his troops at the interval as they came out with something resembling a bit between their teeth, but a decent spell of possession gained no reward and Lorcan Fitzgerald ended all hope for the Tribesmen with a third for Fingal on 71 minutes.

Stephen Walsh's consolation goal five minutes from time was little consolation.

Galway United's defeat at the hands of Sporting Fingal means Martin Russell's side have secured their top-flight status with two games to go.

Dundalk pulled in front on the half-hour mark through Fahrudin Kuduzovic and substitute Johnny Breen made sure of the points late on.

DERRY CITY boss Stephen Kenny says that the Division One title race -- and the hunt for the single automatic promotion slot -- is now a two-horse race.

Derry can go three points clear at the top of the table with a win away to bottom side Salthill Devon tonight after second-placed Monaghan United failed to win at home to Limerick last night while Waterford United (2-0 at Longford Town) and Shelbourne (3-0 against Mervue United) both won.

"Had Shelbourne won against us last week, they would have moved to within one point of us and they would have believed they were right back in the race. However, I believe their defeat has now ruled them out of it and it's down to ourselves and Monaghan," said Kenny.

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