Wanderers win 8 goal thriller

Bray Wanderers 5 (Flood 9, McCabe 20p, 58, Greene 43, Connolly 68), Finn Harps 3 (O’Connor 33, 48m, Boyle 75)

Premier Division, Carlisle Grounds, 03 Mar 2017

A goal-fest was hardly on the cards when this fixture was being considered, but the crowd had four goals to cheer before the break, and two possible penalties to debate.

Bray’s new target man, Anto Flood, marked his home debut with an early strike, Gary McCabe signalled his return with a penalty and Aaron Greene netted with a fine header just before the interval.

Meantime, Harps – who were playing some nice ball when they got possession – had pulled one back with an opportunistic score by Ciaran O’Connor.

And more was to follow, O’Connor doubling his tally within minutes of the resumption, with McCabe following suit just inside the hour.

Just as fans were trying to remember the last time Bray had scored four in a League match, Dylan Connolly broke through and persisted in the face of substitute Harps keeper Harry Doherty’s blocks, finally netting number five.

Ethan Boyle made a final scoring contribution when his fierce shot looped after Peter Cherrie’s touch and fell neatly into the net.

By Mícheál Ó hUanacháin

Bray Wanderers: 1 Peter Cherrie; 2 Hugh Douglas, 21 Tim Clancy, 4 Conor Kenna (c), 19 Kevin Lynch; 3 John Sullivan; 16 Dylan Connolly, 6 Keith Buckley, 11 Gary McCabe; 9 Aaron Greene, 20 Anthony Flood Subs: 5 Derek Foran, 7 Ryan Brennan, 8 Mark Salmon (for Buckley 67), 10 Karl Moore (for McCabe 91+), 14 Jamie Aherne, 23 Jason Marks, 93 Lee Steacy (gk)

Finn Harps: 1 Ciaran Gallagher; 22 Ethan Boyle, 4 Killian Cantwell, 2 Damien McNulty, 3 Ciaran Coll; 7 Michael Funston, 16 Sean Houston, 19 Barry Molloy, 8 Jonny Bonner, 11 Caolan McAleer; 10 Ciaran O’Connor Subs: 5 Packie Mailey, 6 Gareth Harkin (for Molloy 73), 9 Danny Morrissey, 14 Tommy McMonagle, 20 Paddy McCourt (for Funston 62), 26 Harry Doherty (for Gallagher 61 inj), 99 Eddie Dsane.

Referee: Anthony Buttimer

Attendance: 1117