Premier Division league leaders Dundalk eased to a comprehensive win over ten-man Finn Harps at Oriel Park.

Patrick McEleney's double and goals from Daniel Kelly, Georgie Kelly and Jamie McGrath saw the Lilywhites cruise to victory.

The sending off of wing-back Mark Russell late in the first half gave Harps a mountain to climb and the hosts ran in four second-half goals in front of 2,217 to maintain their seven-point lead over second-placed Shamrock Rovers, who won 2-0 in Derry.

Daniel Kelly gave the home side the lead on 36 minutes as he took advantage of a stray Harry Ascroft pass to score.

Four minutes later, Russell went in late on Daniel Kelly and the already-booked Scot was given his marching orders.

The decision irked the Harps bench considerably and the half-time deficit could have been more, but Mark Anthony McGinley clawed away a Dane Massey header after Sean Murray drove wide from the edge of the area.

An early Sam Todd header had Dundalk d'keeper Gary Rogers momentarily startled, but Harps forays were few.

Dundalk, just three days after their Europa League exit, showed six changes to their team and it took some time for them to warm to the task. 

McGinley beat away a testing drive from McEleney seven minutes into the second half, after denying Georgie Kelly's powerful shot.

But the damn burst when Donegal native Georgie Kelly slid in to double the lead just after the hour.

With Harps still reeling, Dundalk added a third three minutes later as McEleney pounced to shoot high into the Harps net.

Sub Jamie McGrath lashed across McGinley for a fourth, but the Harps 'keeper did well to thwart McEleney's stinging attempt from 25 yards.

McEleney completed the rout, though, as he deftly lobbed over the advancing McGinley two minutes from time to stretch Dundalk's unbeaten domestic run to 17 games.

Dundalk: Gary Rogers; Cameron Dummigan, Brian Gartland, Sean Hoare, Dane Massey; Sean Murray, Chris Shiels; Daniel Kelly, Patrick McEleney, Michael Duffy; Georgie Kelly. Subs: Jamie McGrath for Duffy (65), Patrick Hoban for G.KellY (71), John Mountney for Shiels (73).

Finn Harps: Mark Anthony McGinley; Daniel O'Reilly, Keith Cowan, Sam Todd; Jacob Borg, Ruairi Harkin, Harry Ascroft, Gareth Harkin, Mark Russell; Mikey Place, Nathan Boyle. Subs: Joshua Smith for Place (half-time), Tony McNamee for R.Harkin (65), Raffaele Cretaro for Ascroft (78).

Referee: Graham Kelly (Cork)