Soccer – Derrys Lead At The Top Cut Again

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League Of Ireland First Division Results
Derry City 2 v 2 Athlone Town
Finn Harps 1 v 1 Limerick
Derry City’s lead at the top of the  First Division was cut to two points after they could only draw at home against lowly Athlone. The Candystripes dominated the first half with Mark Farren putting them ahead on 25 minute. However, Austin Skelly levelled on 55 minutes and Declan O’Brien put Athlone ahead on 64 from a penalty after Derry keeper Gerard Doherty’s dismissal.An own goal helped Derry level on 66 but they couldn’t force a winner.The result continued Derry’s recent struggles which have seen a one-time 11-point lead reduced to  two with seven matches remaining.
Promotion chasing Limerick lost the opportunity to make any significant ground on the sides above them in the First Division after they were held to a 1-1 draw by battling Harps on Friday night. The Munster club played well in this one but didn’t quite have enough to earn what would have been a third victory of the season over James Gallagher’s men. Harps might have little to play for but pride between now and the end of the campaign but they produced a gutsy performance and probably just about deserved the point. They got off to the perfect start in this one – Thomas Bonner glancing home James Doherty’s delightful cross from the right with just four minutes gone. Limerick drew level on the half hour when John Tierney’s set up was forced home by Shane Clarke. A draw was probably a fair result – although Limerick will feel they probably needed the victory to keep the pressure on Waterford, Monaghan and Derry City above them. Next up for Harps is a trip to Shelbourne next Friday night.
Harps Manager James Gallagher.


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