Dennehy returns to break Cork hearts with late strike as Rovers go through
Dubliners progress to Setanta Cup final on away goals after last gasp equaliser
Cork City's Darren Dennehy tackles Danny Ledwith of Shamrock Rovers. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Cork City 2 Shamrock Rovers 2 (agg 3-3): Cork City’s late-goal curse continued at Turner’s Cross last night as former player Billy Dennehy’s 93rd-minute free-kick sent Shamrock Rovers through to the final of the Setanta Cup on away goals.
With extra-time looming, Cork looked to have secured the win as Gearóid Morrissey flicked on Ian Turner’s corner at the near post and Kavanagh bundled the ball over the line at the back post for 2-1, but once more they conceded at the death.
Cork should really have won. While Gary McCabe had a speculative effort which went wide and Dennehy curled a free-kick straight at Cork goalkeeper Mark McNulty early on, the home team slowly got to grips with the game and twice in quick succession Horgan had shots which were deflected wide.
Though strike pairing Kavanagh and Danny Furlong were linking well and causing problems for the Rovers defence, Cork’s territory and possession were not translating into enough chances.
It was not until the 44th minute that Cork threatened again, Derek Foran doing well to cut out Ian Turner’s dangerous cross, but in injury-time they hit the front, a tad fortuitously, as Horgan swiped at Kavanagh’s low cross, and though Barry Murphy palmed his bobbling shot on to the post, the ball bounced across the goal-line and trickled in at the other side.
With the lead, Cork began the second half full of confidence and, with Rovers nervy at the back, they really should have pushed on and got a second goal, but they were largely restricted to half-chances.
Shane Duggan had a low long-range shot which was wide and then Dan Murray’s ball over the top was just ahead of Furlong, before Kavanagh’s lofted pass found his partner but his shot from a tight angle was tipped over by Murphy.
The introduction of James Chambers had given Rovers an extra body in midfield, however, giving them more possession, and he cracked an effort wide from distance before they levelled, Stephen Rice’s 20-yard shot beating McNulty with the aid of a deflection off home defender Darren Dennehy, brother of Billy.
To their credit, Cork went looking for a winner, and looked to have got it before Dennehy broke their hearts.