United continue to set the pace with recent rout

Galway United strolled to a 6-0 victory in the bank holiday sun over a hapless Harps side in Eamonn Deacy Park on Monday evening.

In another ruthless performance, United remain perfect at home with half of the season played. Now thoughts turn quickly to a trip to Wexford tomorrow, and the form of chasers Waterford, who also won 6-0 away to Kerry on Monday, suggesting the margin for error is finer than United’s 10-point lead might suggest.

On Monday, United, with four changes to the side that drew in Bray the previous week, showed their intent from the first whistle. Killian Brouder went close very early, before Regan Donelon found plenty of space 30 yards out on the left. And from his sumptuous cross, Stephen Walsh occupied the last defender leaving Darren Clarke unattended at the back post, and he thundered the ball home for a perfect opening.

Clarke, making the most of his first United start, created the second goal just five minutes later. United had forced another set-piece and it ended up at his feet at the edge of the area.

The tricky winger got to the by-line and pulled the ball back to an unmarked Brouder. The defender used his nous in the opponent’s box to slip the ball into the corner of the net.

A poor start would get much worse for the visitors. They were four down inside 20 minutes. While United class created the first two, Harps gifted the third and fourth. Two routine Conor McCormack corners resulted in free headers for Stephen Walsh and Maurice Nugent. Both rose highest against minimal resistance to power past Tim Hiemer.

It was game over inside the first quarter. Harps eventually enjoyed some brief respite in attack. Sean O'Donnell should have salvaged one when he stole clear from the Galway centre-halves. but keeper Brendan Clarke stood tall and saved well.

United reasserted their dominance thereafter. Walsh and Rob Manley had a number of good chances to extend United's lead. There were a couple of strong home penalty shouts turned away too that would have generated more controversy were the tie not so lopsided. Hiemer also made some good saves in the Harps' goal to limit the damage for his team.

Vincent Borden was introduced at the break and was eager to add to his impressive season’s tally. He had a blistering effort from outside the box cannon over after the break, but shortly after, Manley got the goal he deserved in the 52nd minute. Evan O'Connor carried confidently from his full-back position to the edge of the box. His poked pass reached Walsh who selflessly laid it on for Manley, who finished with aplomb to the bottom corner.

The game became disjointed as United emptied its bench. Sub Steven Healy caught the eye with his energy and ambition in attack. Although United continued to dominate the territory, Harps worked hard and stopped the rot at 5-0 for a time.

Another sub to make an impact was Francely Lomboto - his pace and power providing a real problem for the visitors. For the second game in succession he was brought down for a penalty, with David Hurley smashing home his seventh penalty of the campaign to complete the rout.

•Galway United Friends Co-op isrunning a bus to Friday's match against Wexford at Ferrycarraig Park, leaving The Connacht Hotel, Dublin Road, Galway at 3pm and picking up at The Maldron Hotel, Oranmore. To book aseat, contact Stephen Connolly (085 )2206645.

Galway United: B Clarke; O' Connor, Brouder, Nugent, Donelon (O' Reilly 71 ); D Clarke (Lomboto 63 ), McCormack (Borden 45 ), Hurley, McCarthy (Rowe 71 ); Walsh (Healy 63 ), Manley

Finn Harps: Hiemer; Keogh (Duffy 34 ), Baba, Cowan (O' Kane 83 ), McMonagle, Flood; McCallion, Mashigo (Jordan 45 ), Harris, Da Silva (Johnston 83 ); O' Donnell

Referee: A Reale


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