Dundalk Defeated In President’s Cup
Dundalk concluded their pre-season preparations with a defeat against Cork in the President’s Cup Final.
Ronan Murray struck a first half brace put the Lilywhites in front at the break however goals in the second period from Karl Sheppard, Barry McNamee, Kieran Sadlier and Graham Cummins sealed the win for the visitors.
Dundalk were the first to threaten after ten minutes when Dylan Connolly found space on the right to cross and his opposite winger Michael Duffy got his head to it however he nodded it just wide as Peter Cherrie approached.
Kieran Sadlier had Cork City’s first attempt at the other end when he broke the offside trap and raided on goal from the right but his effort was easily gathered by Gary Rogers.
Dundalk deservedly took the lead after 20 minutes when Ronan Murray found the back of the net when he turned brilliantly from 10 yards and finished with his left foot.
The Lilywhites were looking for a second and Jamie McGrath flashed a shot just wide from distance before Jimmy Keohane should have levelled for Cork however he shot wide when Graham Cummins played him in centrally.
Duffy was a constant threat and he fed Connolly who showed quick feet and created a chance for himself but his shot was deflected inches wide of the target.
Duffy again found space for himself 20 yards from goal and he unleashed a powerful drive but it crashed off the post with Cherrie beaten. Sean Hoare would retire injured with Robbie Benson coming on in his place which prompted a notable change in formation.
It would be 2-0 just before the break when Dane Massey’s low cross wasn’t cleared properly and it rebounded into the path of Murray who brilliantly fired to the net from six yards.
McGrath was also finding his own space and he fired straight at Cherrie from 30 yards but from just a little bit closer he forced the goalkeeper into a wonderful save and he was at full stretch to expertly tip the ball wide for the last action of the half.
Cork City pulled one back in the first moments of the second half when Karl Sheppard, just on as a substitute, latched onto a loose ball and fired beneath Rogers to find the net.
It was 2-2 with the next attack when Sadlier broke free after a breakaway on the left and his floated cross was headed to the net at the far post.
Cummins headed straight at Rogers when Sadlier crossed once more before the hosts broke free when Cherrie saved at the feet of Patrick Hoban and Duffy flashed the ball just wide with a cross.
Murray had a free-kick saved by Cherrie before Cork City did indeed take the lead when Sadlier turned two Dundalk players before curling a wonderful effort from 25 yards to the net.
Dundalk, searching for a leveller, conceded again on the break when Sadlier this time turned provider and his low, driven cross found Cummins who got across Chris Shields and finished past Rogers.
As the game reached the closing stages, Murray operating a little deeper now, fired from 30 yards and forced Cherrie into a good save to tip the ball around the post.