Finn Park bade its farewells to Kevin McHugh tonight following a glittering career with Finn Harps.
The 36-year-old made his first appearance for the Ballybofey club in August 1998 and went onto play 438 times for Harps, scoring 186 goals in the process having also enjoyed spells at Derry City and Linfield.
McHugh severed a finger in a freak accident earlier this month and was reduced to the role of spectator as Bohemians provided the opposition in the Twin Towns as the season wound to a close.
Ryan Curran’s snapshot from the edge of the penalty area, when he turned onto to pass and rifled high into the visitors’ net, gave Harps the lead on 44 minutes and it proved to be the only goal.
It was the one standout moment in an otherwise uneventful first half, which contained little sting with Harps having already had their top flight status confirmed for 2017 after Cork City’s 5-0 win over Wexford Youths on Monday night.
On 21 minutes Richard Brush, the Finn Harps goalkeeper, had to stoop to get a claw behind a glancing Derek Prendergast header following Lorcan Fitzgerald’s curling free-kick into the penalty area.
At the other end, Dean Delany, who took over in goal for the visitors as Shane Supple was injured in the warm-up, made a simple save from Thomas McMonagle as Ethan Boyle flicked on a corner from Tony McNamee.
A goal down at the break, Bohemians almost fashioned an equaliser five minutes into the second half when Mark Quigley turned some 20 yards from goal but his improvised effort flew just over the angle of the Harps goal frame.
Ruairí Keating almost doubled the hosts’ advantage when he tiptoed inside both Dan Byrne and Patrick Kavanagh only to drag his shot into the side-netting at the Town End.
Quigley was narrowly again with a a fine volley as Keith Buckley cross on 66 minutes.
Four minutes from time substitute Dean Casey crossed for Quigley, who got a delicate touch to head towards goal only for Brush to produce a fingertip save, with the ball hitting the base of the post before coming back into the hands of the grateful goalkeeper.
Dave Scully, wearing the all white of Harps, was denied an injury time goal against his former employers as Delany stood tall in a one-on-one.
Finn Harps: Richard Brush; Ethan Boyle, Packie Mailey, Thomas McMonagle, Ciaran Coll; Michael Funston (Dave Scully 75), Barry Molloy, Tony McNamee (Daire Ó Baoill 89), Ryan Curran; Sean Houston; Ruairi Keating (BJ Banda 82).
Bohemians: Dean Delany; Derek Pender, Dan Byrne, Derek Pendergast (Ian Morris 62), Lorcan Fitzgerald; Keith Buckley, Roberto Lopes, Eoin Wearan Patrick Kavanagh; Mark Quigley, Kurtis Byrne.
Referee: John McLoughlin.