Dundalk lay down a marker with President’s Cup win over Cork
Vinny Perth named the same starting 11 that beat City in the FAI Cup final last November
Dundalk’s Dane Massey celebrates scoring his side’s first goal during the President’s Cup win over Cork City at Turner’s Cross. Photo: Ciaran Culligan/Inpho
Cork City 1 Dundalk 2
Dundalk won the President’s Cup for the first time since 2015 as last year’s double-winners triumphed at Turner’s Cross on Saturday night.
While manager Stephen Kenny has departed, with Vinny Perth now in charge of the Lilywhites, they lost no key players in the off-season and were able to name the same starting 11 as they did for November’s FAI Cup final win over the same opponents.
That familiarity drew dividends in the first half, with Michael Duffy a constant threat to the home defence. The winger sent a free kick narrowly wide and then his corner was met by Patrick Hoban, whose header came back off the post.
The lead goal came on 36 minutes. Dundalk had forced a corner as John Mountney’s shot was deflected wide by Dan Casey – Seán Gannon’s effort had been blocked by Conor McCormack just before that – and from the corner Duffy’s delivery was bundled home by Dane Massey.
City were forced to try to respond, with new signing Dáire O’Connor their most creative outlet, and his low cross was nearly met by Graham Cummins but goalkeeper Gary Rogers took possession.
In first half injury time, Dundalk doubled their lead. Chris Shields, another who was outstanding last year, sent a lovely ball forward to Duffy, and his cross from the left allowed Hoban to send a glancing header beyond Mark McNulty.
To City’s credit, they were much improved in the second half. On 53 minutes, Graham Cummins had a half-chance from Garry Buckley’s lofted pass but the angle was too tight and Rogers saved. Right-back Conor McCarthy also went close for the Rebel Army, though at the other end Hoban just failed to get enough on another Duffy cross and Robbie Benson was unable to convert the loose ball.
On 65, City were back in the game. When Dáire O’Connor was fouled, they won a free kick 25 yards out and his namesake Kevin O’Connor, re-signed on loan from Preston North End and only just on the field, curled a beautiful shot to the top corner.
The home faithful sensed that an equaliser might have been in the offing, but despite putting Dundalk under pressure, they weren’t able to create chances of sufficient quality to find a second goal.
CORK CITY: McNulty; McCarthy, Casey, McLoughlin, Griffin; McCormack (K O’Connor 62), Morrissey; D O’Connor, Buckley, Tilley; Cummins.
DUNDALK: Rogers; Gannon, Gartland, Hoare, Massey; Shields, Benson (Jarvis 90); Mountney, McEleney (Murray 68), Duffy; Hoban (G Kelly 83).
Referee: R Hennessy (Clare).