Dundalk Win Pre-Season Opener
Dundalk began their pre-season preparations with a 4-2 victory over Cabinteely at Oriel Park.
Goals from Stephen Folan, Ronan Murray, Michael Duffy and Dylan Connolly were enough to seal the win. Conor Early twice equalised for the visitors but the Lilywhites took the win.
Dundalk had the better of the opening exchanges and duly took the lead inside 10 minutes when Ronan Murray created space for himself on the edge of the area as he wriggled free from three defenders and fired a superb shot to the net via the inside of the post.
The Lilywhites had chances to extend their lead when Sean Hoare raided on the right and fed Dylan Connolly however his shot was blocked while Michael Duffy’s acrobatic volley was excellently blocked on the line after some good build up play from Robbie Benson.
Cabinteely equalised when Conor Early curled a superb free-kick over the wall and to the bottom left hand corner out of the reach of Gary Rogers.
The hosts responded immediately when Duffy’s perfectly floated corner found the head of Stephen Folan and he guided the ball back across goal to the bottom right corner to make it 2-1.
It was 2-2 though a few moments later when Dean Casey was brought down by a combination of Brian Gartland and Gary Rogers in the area with referee Paul McLaughlin pointing to the spot.
The collision meant Rogers was forced off for Gabriel Sava however he couldn’t prevent Early getting his second from the game from 12 yards as he fired home to the bottom right hand corner.
The second half began with Dundalk in control once more and Duffy was a live wire on the left hand side. His attempted cross was blocked at the near post and it fell back to him and he shot but it was blocked on the line.
Duffy again threatened when his ambitious run across the defence caused problems and he laid it off to Connolly who played the return pass to his opposite winger but Duffy’s shot was saved down to his left by Jack Menton in the Cabinteely goal.
Duffy was to get the goal that his play deserved in the 55th minute when he teed himself up brilliantly from 30 yards and took on three defenders. He took a touch outside them and curled a simply sublime effort to the top right hand corner out of the reach of Menton.
Jeff McGowan almost finished off a superb flowing move with a shot on the turn but it was saved by the legs of Menton.
Karolis Chvedukas almost marked his debut with a goal as his clever chip from 25 yards was destined for the top corner however Menton once again kept the ball out.
It was 4-2 with 15 minutes remaining when Georgie Poynton played a superb through ball to the running Dylan Connolly and he lifted the ball brilliantly over the on rushing goalkeeper.
That proved to be the final action of note as the Lilywhites saw out the game to win 4-2.
DUNDALK: Gary Rogers (Gabriel Sava 37); Sean Hoare, Brian Gartland, Stephen Folan, Sean Gannon (Gavin Smith 85); Robbie Benson (Karolis Chvedukas 46), Georgie Poynton; Dylan Connolly, Ronan Murray, Michael Duffy (Jack O’Keeffe 85); Jeff McGowan.
Substitutes not used: Adam Finnegan, Cian Flynn.
CABINTEELY: Jack Menton; Karl Byrne, Conor Kelly, Jack Tuite, Kevin Knight; Keith Dalton, Conor Early, Jack Watson, Dean Casey; Aaron Robinson, Joe Doyle.
Substitutes: Adam Maher, Paul Fox, Cian Fay, Sean Fitzpatrick, Sean Bugazzi, Clayton Maher, Eoin Morgan, Bradley Perry, Jamie Broderick, Stephen Ball, Sean Hyland.
Referee: Paul McLaughlin
Pictures: Ciaran Culligan.