Bohemians fired themselves right into the title hunt with a slender 1-0 win over Finn Harps in Ballybofey.

Danny Grant netted in the first half as Bohs moved within three points of SSE Airtricity League Premier Division leaders Shamrock Rovers.

Grant's 23rd minute goal edged out Finn Harps, who are now adrift at the foot of the standings. 

At Dalymount Park last week, a 2-1 win over reigning champions Dundalk hoisted Bohs into second place and announced their candidacy as contenders. 

The Dublin side had to earn their crust in Ballybofey and Grant’s goal on 23 minutes gave them the advantage.

Andre Wright knocked down into Grant’s path with a header. Grant’s fine first touch took him past Dave Webster on the edge of the area and the Irish under-21 international coolly tucked to the bottom corner.

That came just after Mark Anthony McGinley saved from JJ Lunney's deflected long-range attempt.

A goal-line block by Stephen Folan prevented Wright from doubling the lead from an acrobatic shot in the 34th minute.

Finn Harps manager Ollie Horgan

Harps, with Barry McNamee in their side for the first time post-lockdown, began well and Kosovar Sadiki, from a McNamee free, headed across goal, but Karl O’Sullivan’s arrival at the far post came just too late.

Harps have not won in the league since the season’s opening night in February, but an FAI Cup win over St Patrick’s Athletic considerably lifted the spirits by the Finn.

Manager Ollie Horgan was sent to the stand by referee Ben Connolly ten minutes from the end. 

The Harps boss had been cautioned for challenging a decision in the first half and Connolly brandished red to the irate Horgan, who fumed when assistant referee Darren Carey signalled a Bohs throw-in in the 80th minute.

Harps upped the ante and Bohs 'keeper Stephen McGuinness spilled an 85th minute corner by Tony McNamee, but his blushes were spared and Harps were unable to force a leveller.

Finn Harps: Mark Anthony McGinley; Dave Webster, Kosovar Sadiki, Stephen Folan; Leo Donnellan (Alexander Kogler 80), Shane McEleney (Adrian Delap 59); Karl O’Sullivan, Barry McNamee (Tony McNamee 72), Ryan Connolly (Mark Coyle half-time); Raffaele Cretaro.

Bohemians: Stephen McGuinness; Andy Lyons, Rob Cornwall, Dan Casey, Anto Breslin; Kris Twardek, Keith Buckley, JJ Lunney, Danny Grant (Ciaran Kelly 88); Keith Ward (Danny Mandriou 76), Andre Wright.

Referee: Ben Connolly