Date Time League Season
3 September 2021 8:00 pm Premier Division 2021

Match Report

Late Owolabi header hands Rovers first loss since June

A late Tunde Owolabi header, helped Finn Harps take all three points in a tough and tactical contest, at Finn Park in Ballybofey, as Finn Harps extend their unbeaten run, with a 2-1 win over Shamrock Rovers

Jordan Mustoe put his side ahead in the 56th minute, the left back coming up with miles of space, finishing well to wrong foot Alan Mannus. A sucker punch for the home side later in the half, as forward Adam Foley ended up putting a Dylan Watts cross past Mark McGinley, in the Harps goal. But it was Owolabi who proved the difference again

The Donegal side looked the stronger of the two sides, Shamrock Rovers suffering their first league loss, since defeat to rivals Bohemians, a run that stretches six games. A big three points for The Harps, it sees them remain in seventh place, but stay three ahead of Waterford.

It was a tight game, where both defences became crucial for their sides safety, the opening chance for the home side, Adam Foley getting in behind the defence, as he tried to chip the on rushing Alan Mannus, but he could not loft the ball over the keeper.

It took until the 35th minute of the half, for The Hoops to register a chance, Dylan Watts on the end of some great link up play, but his shot failed to hit the target.

The second half was a lot more open, as both sides started to tire, Jordan Mustoe grabbing the opener, as Harps stretched the Rovers defence, the left back came up and was on hand to finish, as Ryan Rainey played the defender in.

It remained all Harps until the visitors managed to get the leveller, after some great play in the build up, Dylan Watts played a dangerous ball into the box, the ball met by Adam Foley, but the forward inadvertently put the ball into his own net.

With the game tied at 1-1, both sides were looking to get the all important winner, it was Owolabi again, getting the winner for Finn Harps, the forward in the area to head home as Karl O’Sullivan cross, as the Donegal side go four games unbeaten in the league.

  • 94'

    Mustoe picks up a card for a late tackle

  • 92'

    Will Seymore sees a yellow card for a professional foul

  • 91'

    Sean Boyd replaces Tunde Owolabi

  • 85'


  • 89'

    Ryan Connolly comes in late for Finn Harps, replacing Ryan Rainey

  • 70'

    First change for Rovers, Max Murphy is replaced by Aidomo Emakhu

  • 72'

    Karl O'Sullivan comes in for Adam Foley

  • 71'

    Rovers draw level, and it looks to be Adam Foley who gets a touch and it goes into his own goal

  • 56'

    What a beautiful team goal by Finn Harps, Ryan Rainey picks out Mustoe in space and he makes no mistake catching Mannus off guard

  • 45'

    Half time in Donegal, a very tight tactical game here, both sides have had chances but the defensive work rate has been much higher for both sides

  • 35'

    Tight game here in Donegal, both sides are strong in defence, Rovers have had their best chance so far, they have looked dangerous, after a great passage of play, Dylan Watts does well but his effort is wide

  • 14'

    Owolabi picks up a booking for a coming together in the Rovers area

  • 10'

    Early chance for the home side, Adam Foley gets in behind the defence and tries to chip the on rushing Alan Mannus but he cant loft the ball over the keeper

  • 3'

    Early yellow card for Aaron Greene, he gets booked after arguing with the referee about the inflation of one of the footballs

  • Rovers are looking to extend the gap at the top tonight, while unbeaten in their last five games, Harps will not make it easy for them tonight, similar to how they played in the 3-1 win over St Pats, sure to be an interesting contest, as conditions are great this evening for a game

  • Shamrock Rovers have handed a debut to Barry Cotter tonight, he looks to be at the heart of defence, interesting look at the Rovers team graphic, shows Max Murphy and Aaron Greene operate at wing backs, while Rory Gaffney is tasked with getting goals up top

  • Looking at the team news from the hosts, they make three changes from their last outing, McGinley, Sadiki and Seymore come in for Doherty, Dunleavy and Boyle.

  • You are very welcome to Finn Park, in Donegal, for tonights meeting of Finn Harps and Shamrock Rovers in tonights SSE Airtricity League tie which kicks off at 8pm, my name is Diarmuid Kearney and I will bring you live updates of the action tonight

Finn Harps

1Mark McGinley Goalkeeper
3Jordan Mustoe Defender 56'
4Kosovar Sadiki Defender
5Dave Webster Defender
11Barry McNamee Midfielder
14Mark Coyle Midfielder
16Shane McEleney Defender
19Adam Foley 7 Forward 71'
22Ryan Rainey 6 Midfielder
28Will Seymore Midfielder 92'
45Babatunde Owolabi 9 Forward 85'
40Gerard Doherty Goalkeeper
6Ryan Connolly 22 Midfielder
7Karl O’Sullivan 19 Forward
9Sean Boyd 45 Forward
12Luke Rudden Forward
17Dan Hawkins Forward
20Niall Logue Defender
24Ethan Boyle Defender
27Stephen Black Defender

Shamrock Rovers

1Alan Mannus Goalkeeper
2Sean Gannon Defender
6Barry Cotter Defender
7Dylan Watts Midfielder
9Aaron Greene Forward 3'
10Graham Burke Forward
16Gary O’Neill Midfielder
17Richie Towell Midfielder
20Rory Gaffney Forward
24Max Murphy 38 Midfielder
28Joey O’Brien Defender
25Leon Pohls Goalkeeper
26Chris McCann Midfielder
27Dean McMenamy Midfielder
29Dylan Duffy Midfielder
32Conan Noonan Midfielder
38Aidomo Emakhu 24 Midfielder

Past Meetings

(Series 15)
1 - 1
Premier Division
Tallaght Stadium

Shamrock Rovers v Finn Harps

6 - 2

Shamrock Rovers v Finn Harps

(Series 8)
0 - 2
Premier Division
Finn Park

Finn Harps v Shamrock Rovers

(Quarter Final)
2 - 3
Finn Park

Finn Harps v Shamrock Rovers

(Series 15)
0 - 2
Premier Division
Finn Park

Finn Harps v Shamrock Rovers

(Series 6)
3 - 1
Premier Division
Tallaght Stadium

Shamrock Rovers v Finn Harps


Finn Park
Finn Park, Navenny Street, Stranorlar Electoral Division, Lifford-Stranorlar Municipal District, County Donegal, F93 Y27K, Ireland

Diarmuid Kearney is a freelance Sports Journalist based in Co Kerry. He has more than 5 years experience covering domestic and international soccer for different media organisations, while also working for local and national print and digital organisations covering GAA.