The Malone Cup made its way back to Drogheda for the first time since 2014 as goals from James Clarke and Chris Lyons secured Kevin Doherty’s side a 2-1 win at Oriel Park on Friday night.
On a cold night that saw Lewis Macari make his debut for the club, it was the visitors who went ahead when Clarke darted to the edge of the six-yard box and guided a downward header past Nathan Shepperd with 32 minutes on the clock.
The game was called to a temporary halt early in the second half to allow a supporter to receive some treatment in The Shed and when play finally resumed, Lyons edged the Drogs further ahead when he tucked a penalty past substitute goalkeeper Peter Cherrie after he was taken down by Mark Connolly who was deceived by a wicked spin off the Oriel Park surface.
David McMillan came off the bench to pull Stephen O’Donnell’s side back into the game with a poacher’s finish from a Keith Ward cross but although the Lilywhites pushed hard for an equaliser, it was former Dundalk full-back Dane Massey who lifted the trophy for the Boynesiders.
DUNDALK FC: Nathan Shepperd (Peter Cherrie HT), Lewis Macari, Mark Connolly, Sam Bone (Andy Boyle 73), Darragh Leahy (Ryan O’Kane 94); Dan Williams (Paul Doyle 73), Robbie Benson, Daniel Kelly (Steven Bradley 73, John Martin (Keith Ward 73), Joe Adams (88 Mark Hanratty); Patrick Hoban (David McMillan 73).
DROGHEDA UNITED: Sam Long, Andrew Quinn, Keith Cowan, Dane Massey, Evan Weir (Georgie Poynton 81), Darragh Nugent (Dayle Rooney 81), Gary Deegan, James Clarke (Luke Heeney 81), Darragh Markey, Dylan Grimes (Mark Hughes 81), Chris Lyons. Subs not used: Aaron David (GK), Adam Foley, Mohammed Boudiaf, Charles Mutawe, Dylan Molloy, Killian Caillou.
REFEREE: Derek Tomney.