Shelbourne and Finn Harps served up a cracking First Division contest at Tolka Park and it was the Donegal side who took the spoils deep in second half stoppage time.

This was a captivating contest which enthralled the modest crowd and both teams were fortunate to finish the game with eleven players on the pitch.

The signs looked good for Shelbourne from the very start and they really should have edged their way in front inside the first three minutes.

With seventy seconds played Anto Flood knocked a low Glen Lacey cross beyond James Gallagher, but the left-hand post came to Finn Harps’ rescue.

The danger was not yet finished for Harps and when Mark Leech gathered the loose ball Shelbourne looked set to edge their way in front but Gallagher tipped the ball onto the crossbar.

Harps were certainly under the cosh but they finally threatened eleven minutes in through Stephen Parkhouse, but he thumped the ball wide.

Parkhouse almost got on the end of a John O’Loughlin ball on twenty-two minutes but neither team managed to create an opportunity of note for the remainder of the half.

Shelbourne looked dangerous just after half-time and Anto Flood provided Lacey with the chance to score, but he shot wide from 16 yards.

A rare foray from Declan Divine was about as close as Harps went, although substitute Seamus Brown nearly scored within seconds of his introduction.

There was still time for one dose of drama and it arrived five minutes into stoppage time when Shaun Holmes scored with a free-kick.

Stuart Malcolm brought down Tony Shields and Holmes netted from 20 yards out.

This result combined with Dundalk’s draw with Cobh Ramblers leaves Harps in a good position to mount a serious push for promotion in the remaining weeks of the season.