Dundalk Defeated In The President’s Cup
Dundalk suffered defeat in the President’s Cup for the second straight year as they went down 3-0 to Cork City at Turner’s Cross.
Goals from Sean Maguire, Kevin O’Connor and Karl Sheppard were enough in either half to see Cork City retain the trophy on Friday evening.
Dundalk got off to a decent start holding possession with Ciaran Kilduff leading the line and he should have given the Lilywhites the lead after 15 minutes. The ball broke free off Conor McCormack and the striker found himself clear on goal however his shot was well saved by the on rushing Mark McNulty and Cork cleared the ball to safety.
Moments later the hosts went in front. Kilduff lost possession to Garry Buckley on the edge of the home area and it was his long ball which went over the head of Paddy Barrett.
Sean Maguire latched onto the ball before twisting Barrett inside and out and fired a superb low shot through the legs of Gabriel Sava to the net.
Dundalk responded well with Patrick McEleney striking from distance however it went well wide of the target.
It was nearly 2-0 with the next attack as Jimmy Keohane got inside Dane Massey however Barrett recovered well to block the shot and send it wide of the post.
The ball ended up in the net from the following corner however it was ruled out for offside much to the relief of Gabriel Sava who saw the ball go through his legs.
The champions then started to find space and create chances. Michael Duffy sent a free-kick just wide of the target after McEleney’s burst forward was halted by McCormack.
McEleney was the architect of the Lilywhites best chance of the opening period when his superb run on the left was followed with an inch perfect cross to the back post and the head of John Mountney. His effort was heading for the bottom left corner however McNulty somehow tipped the ball away from point blank range.
Brian Gartland glanced Mountney’s corner over the bar shortly after however Maguire had another chance to extend the lead when he raced through the defence and past Sava however he took himself too wide and fired into the side netting.
Dundalk finished the half strongly and Duffy had a shot which went just over the bar from the edge of the area while Dane Massey’s free-kick was deflected wide from 20 yards.
After the resumption, the rain had taken its toll on the pitch with both teams struggling to maintain control of possession.
Maguire shot from the edge of the area however it was deflected while at the other end Duffy was set free by McEleney and his stinging cross evaded everyone and went out for a throw in on the far side.
It was 2-0 with just over 20 minutes to go. Stephen Dooley burst free on the left and Barrett brought him down just outside the box.
Kevin O’Connor struck a sweet left footed shot to the top corner of the net past the outstretched hand of Sava.
That killed the game for a period as both sides struggled in the rain once more but substitute Karl Sheppard had an opportunity to make it 3-0 when he was set away on the right by McCormack however his shot went well wide.
McEleney engineered a chance for himself when he recovered a corner on the edge of the area however his shot lacked power and went straight at McNulty.
Dundalk had a chance to reduce the deficit when Steven Kinsella’s inviting ball was attacked by Kilduff however McNulty got down well to save.
The incident saw Kilduff leave the field on a stretcher though with a gashed leg.
The evening was compounded for the Lilywhites when Sheppard turned Massey on the right wing before dashing to the box and finished past Sava to the bottom left corner.
That proved to be the final action as referee Anthony Buttimer blew the full-time whistle in the season curtain raiser.
CORK CITY: Mark McNulty; Steven Beattie (Shane Griffin 83), Conor McCormack, Ryan Delaney, Kevin O’Connor; Greg Bolger (capt.) (Karl Sheppard 65), Gearoid Morrissey (Connor Ellis 87); Jimmy Keohane, Garry Buckley, Stephen Dooley (Conor McCarthy 90); Sean Maguire.
Substitutes not used: Achille Campion, Garan Manley, Alan Smith (GK)
Booked: O’Connor (44), Delaney (53), Buckley (70)
Sent off: None.
DUNDALK: Gabriel Sava; Sean Gannon (Niclas Vemmelund 80), Paddy Barrett, Brian Gartland, Dane Massey; Stephen O’Donnell (capt.) (Conor Clifford 77), Robbie Benson; John Mountney (Steven Kinsella 73), Patrick McEleney, Michael Duffy (Jamie McGrath (80); Ciaran Kilduff (Carlton Ubaezuono 90).
Substitutes not used: Sean Hoare, Ben Kelly (GK)
Booked: Barrett (67), Gartland (90)
Sent off: None.
Referee: Antony Buttimer