Lilywhites Win President’s Cup
Dundalk claimed the President’s Cup on Saturday evening with a 2-1 win over Cork City at Turner’s Cross.
First half goals from Dane Massey and Patrick Hoban were enough for the victory. Kevin O’Connor pulled one back in the second half for Cork but it wasn’t enough and we won our first President’s Cup since 2015.
Dundalk were first out of the blocks and with Michael Duffy getting in behind and got on to the end of Patrick Hoban’s superb through ball however his shot was straight at Mark McNulty who gathered at the second attempt.
Next it was Duffy providing Hoban from a corner kick but the number 9’s header came crashing off the post with everyone beaten.
Duffy and Hoban combined once more seconds later but the striker’s attempted shot was cleared.
A handball from Conor McCormack presented the Lilywhites with a chance from 30 yards to shoot towards goal and we did with Duffy but his curling effort was inches wide of McNulty’s left hand post.
In what was almost a repeat of the FAI Cup final winner, Sean Gannon crossed from the right to McEleney but he couldn’t get enough on it and it went wide.
Duffy had another free-kick go over the bar before Mountney came so close to opening the scoring.
McEleney’s cross rebounded to Gannon who had a shot but it was blocked by Casey. It went back to McEleney and he laid it off to Mountney and after some twisting and turning, he got a shot away which was deflected inches wide of the left hand post by Casey.
From the corner we would indeed take the lead on 36 minutes. Duffy once again with the outstanding cross and it was met by the thumping header of Dane Massey who powered to the net.
James Tilley had a free-kick go just over the bar for the hosts before the Lilywhites doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time.
Our corner from the left was cleared to Shields and his beautifully controlled pass found Duffy on the left. He took a touch inside and his cross found Hoban who glanced a wonderful header to the bottom right corner out of the reach of McNulty.
Cork started the second half the stronger and Casey headed over the bar with the first attack while moments later they created their best opening when Gearoid Morrissey played Graham Cummins in behind and got a low shot off but Rogers was equal to it.
Duffy was creator once more after his touch took three Cork players out of the game but his cross was in between both Hoban and Benson with neither able to get a strong enough touch on the ball to send it goalwards.
Conor McCarthy found himself in a shooting position for Cork as he fired wide of the target while at the other end McEleney’s vision found the perfect run from Duffy but after a brilliant first touch, his shot let him down and it was straight at McNulty.
The home side did pull one back with 25 left on the watch. James Tilley was fouled 25 yards from goal by Brian Gartland and Kevin O’Connor stepped up to mark his return from Preston North End with a superb strike to the top left corner.
Sean Murray was introduced with just over 20 minutes remaining and his first touch was a free-kick 30 yards from goal but it never threatened McNulty.
O’Connor then tried to catch Rogers off guard from long range and almost succeeded but the goalkeeper just about clawed the ball away.
Georgie Kelly came in with just under 10 minutes left on the watch and he almost made an instant impact when Duffy’s corner found him at the back post but McNulty claimed.
CORK CITY: Mark McNulty; Conor McCarthy, Sean McLoughlin, Dan Casey, Shane Griffin; Conor McCormack (Kevin O’Connor 63), Gearoid Morrissey ; Daire O’Connor, Garry Buckley (capt), James Tilley, Graham Cummins.
Substitutes not used: Tadgh Ryan (GK), Colm Horgan, Alan Bennett, Darragh Rainsford, Ronan Hurley, Cian Murphy.
Booked: Tilley (70)
DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland (capt), Sean Hoare, Dane Massey; Chris Shields, Robbie Benson (Dean Jarvis 90); John Mountney, Patrick McEleney (Sean Murray 68), Michael Duffy; Patrick Hoban (Georgie Kelly 82).
Substitutes not used: Aaron McCarey (GK), Daniel Kelly, Stephen Folan, Daniel Cleary.
Booked: Shields (72)
Referee: Rob Hennessey