Dundalk Do The Double!!!
Dundalk completed their first double since 1988 with an extra-time victory over Cork City at the AVIVA Stadium on Sunday evening!
The only goal of the game was scored by the outstanding Richie Towell in the 107th minute and he was the hero as he finished to the net from 6 yards.
Dundalk were the first to threaten with a succession of corners before Ronan Finn had the first effort of the game when he received a neat pass from David McMillan however his shot on the turn went inches wide of the right hand post.
Billy Dennehy’s corner from the right caused a few problems but Dundalk managed to scramble the ball clear thanks to Brian Gartland.
Andy Boyle managed to flick a Meenan free-kick towards goal but it went inches wide of the right hand post with goalkeeper Mark McNulty rooted to the spot.
The game descended into something of a scrap and McMillan had the only other shot on target before the end of the opening period which was easily gathered by McNulty.
The only other incident of note during an otherwise quiet first half was the injury inflicted on Sean Gannon by Garry Buckley which saw the right back substituted in place of captain Stephen O’Donnell on 42 minutes.
The league champions started the second half quickly and it was Dane Massey who had the first effort of the half but McNulty got up brilliantly to tip the ball over the crossbar.
McMillan had his second effort of the game but he was unable to get the ball beyond the grasp of the goalkeeper either.
It was all Dundalk for a spell and Horgan tried his luck but his effort was blocked before Rogers was called into action once again with some good handling to deal with a barrage of long punts from the Leesiders.
Richie Towell then had his first effort of the afternoon when after a Meenan corner, Gartland flicked the ball out to the midfielder but his low drive was taken by McNulty.
As the game approached the final quarter of an hour, Dundalk pressed forward and when Massey’s free-kick was blocked, it was put into the path of O’Donnell but his first time effort sailed well wide of the target.
Massey then stood up a brilliant cross from the left and Ciaran Kilduff managed to get his head to the ball ahead of the advancing McNulty but it went over the bar.
In the final minute a beautifully weighted pass from John Mountney was headed into of Towell by Kilduff but the midfielder couldn’t adjust his feet quick enough and his week effort was scrambled away.
The game ended scoreless after 90 minutes and the game headed to an extra 30 minutes.
The first chance of the extra period fell to Finn and he rounded John Dunleavy and was through on goal but, off balance and with options in the centre, his shot was saved by McNulty.
Dundalk were finding pockets of space now that didn’t exist before and a sustained period of pressure saw the ball find the free Finn once more but the 27 year-old fired right and wide.
Horgan took advantage of a lucky break and weaved his way into the area after Towell broke forward however he snatched at the shot and it went wide.
The lead goal was to come in the opening moments of the second period of extra-time when that man Horgan raced away through the Cork City midfield and reached the edge of the box. He squared the ball into the danger zone and found the advancing Towell. He brilliantly adjusted himself to create the chance and he composed himself before firing to the bottom left corner.
There was danger a few seconds later though as Cork forced a corner and Darren Dennehy headed onto the crossbar to the relief of Rogers and the rest of the Dundalk rearguard.
As both teams tired, Dundalk killed the clock and added the FAI Cup to their league title to complete a superb double in the season 2015!
CORK CITY: Mark McNulty; Johnny Dunleavy (capt), Alan Bennett, Darren Dennehy, Ross Gaynor; Billy Dennehy, Kevin O’Connor, Liam Miller (Colin Healy 59) , Garry Buckley, Karl Sheppard (Dan Murray 110); Mark O’Sullivan (Danny Morrissey 79)
Substitutes not used: Gavan Holohan, Michael McSweeeney, Liam Miller, Alan Smith (GK)
Booked: Miller (41), Gaynor (82)
Sent off: None.
DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon (Stephen O’Donnell 43), Brian Gartland, Andy Boyle (capt), Dane Massey; Chris Shields, Richie Towell; Darren Meenan (John Mountney 77), Ronan Finn, Daryl Horgan; David McMillan (Ciaran Kilduff 70).
Substitutes not used: Kurtis Byrne, Shane Grimes, Paddy Barrett, Gabriel Sava (GK)
Booked: Shields (85), Towell (108)
Sent off: None.
Referee: Dave McKeon