The latest edition of the Jim Malone Cup takes place on Friday night at the newly titled Weaver’s Park when Drogheda United play host to Dundalk.

The action gets underway at 7.45pm. Tickets are available at this link while LMFM will also be providing live commentary on their website and app.

Introduced in 1997 to commemorate a man who held the position of president, chairman and vice-chairman during his long association with the Lilywhites, the fixture has become an annual pre-season event.

Incredibly, the Drogs won 13 of the first 15 meetings between the clubs before Dundalk won on six successive occasions between 2015 and 2021.

The trophy has resided on Boyneside for the past 12 months after Drogheda United won 2-1 at Oriel Park last February. Goals from James Clarke and Chris Lyons put Drogheda in command before David McMillan pulled one back with a late strike.

In the build-up to Friday’s game, we take a quick look back at some notable clashes over the the past 25 years.

Derek Delany in action against Drogheda United in the 1997 Jim Malone Cup at Oriel Park

1997: Dundalk FC 2-2 Drogheda United
Drogheda United win 4-2 on penalties
Oriel Park – October 5th, 1997

The first edition of the Jim Malone Cup took place in front of a small crowd at Oriel Park on Sunday, October 5th 1997. After a 2-2 draw, the Drogs, who were managed by Lilywhites legend Martin Lawlor at the time, won 4-2 on penalties.

A youthful Dundalk side, managed by Jim McLaughlin, went in front after just four minutes when 16-year-old Derek Delany collected a pass from Shane Reddish on the right and from a wide angle, 25 yards out, he lobbed Drogheda goalkeeper Paul Whelan with precision into the far corner of the net.

His partner in crime for many years, David Ward, added a second when he turned inside John Reid to drill the ball home but Paddy McDonagh, who spent the previous season in the reserve team at Oriel Park, bagged a brace to force extra time.

Trailist Paul Whelan was the hero in the shootout, saving the decisive penalty from Shane Reddish to win the cup for Drogheda.

DUNDALK FC: Duane Crosbie, Shame Reddish, David Crawley (John Sharkey), Bryan McCrystal, Padraig Gollogley, David Crawley, Paul Carlyle (Gareth Crawley), Fintan McConville, Tom McNulty, David Hoey, David Ward, Derek Delany.

The Dundalk Democrat match report from the 2000 Jim Malone Cup at United Park

2000: Drogheda United 0-3 Dundalk FC
United Park – August 5th, 2000

After watching Drogheda United win the first two editions of the trophy in 1997 and 199 – the 1998 fixture did not take place – Dundalk captured the trophy for the first time with a 3-0 win at United Park.

Drogs defender Gary Cronin knocked the ball past his own goalkeeper to give Martin Murray’s side the lead before Martin Reilly’s classy finish made it 2-0. David Ward’s brilliant run set up the third, with Reilly making no mistake from close range.

DUNDALK FC: John Connolly, Ian Hill, Padraig Gollogley (Anto Reilly), Aaron O’Callaghan, David Crawley, John Flanagan (Padraig Staunton, Greg O’Dowd (David Hoey), Liam Dunne, Brian Morris Roe, David Ward (Paddy Quinn), Martin Reilly (David Martin).

Dundalk’s Neale Fenn in action against Drogheda United’s Eric McGill in the 2010 Malone Cup, Oriel Park. Photo: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

2010: Dundalk FC 2-1 Drogheda United
Oriel Park – February 18th, 2010

After 10 years of Drogheda domination, the Jim Malone Cup made its way back to Dundalk for the first time since 2000 as Ian Foster’s new-look side recorded a 2-1 win.

A disjointed game was settled by trialist John Flood who endeared himself to the Lilywhites faithful by grabbing both goals, either side of a Paul Crowley header. Despite that brace, the former Bray striker wasn’t offered a contract and he started the 2010 season with the Drogs!

DUNDALK FC: Peter Cherrie (Matt Gregg HT); Shaun Kelly, Garry Breen (Jason Mok 65), Liam Burns, Wayne Hatswell; Stephen Maher, Alan Cawley (Michael Synnott 65), Tom Miller (Robert Bayly HT), Ross Gaynor; John Flood (Johnny Breen 85), Neale Fenn. Subs not used: Ciaran McGuigan, Billy Smith.

There was no fixture the following year, as Drogheda found themselves in dire financial straits after finishing bottom of the Premier Division in 2010. They were spared relegation following Sporting Fingal’s extinction, but the Malone Cup game was put on ice for 12 months due to the Drogs not having enough time to assemble a competitive team.

The Dundalk FC team that played Drogheda United in the 2012 Malone Cup at Hunky Dory’s Park, Drogheda. Photo: Mick Slevin

2012: Drogheda United 1-0 Dundalk FC
United Park – February 16th, 2012

After scoring the equaliser in 2010, former Lilywhites midfielder Paul Crowley found himself centerstage two years later, glancing home the winner with 77 minutes played.

Chris Shields and John Mountney both started while Brazilian Hernany Macedo made a rare appearance for Sean McCaffrey’s side while the Drogs squad included some familiar names such as Gabriel Sava, Shane Grimes, Tiarnan Mulvenna and Johnny Breen.

DUNDALK FC: Peter Cherrie (Ger Hanley HT), Derek Foran, Liam Burns, Hernany Macedo, Nathan Murphy (Luke Danville HT), Paul Walsh (Gareth Coughlan HT), Stephen McDonnell (Robbie Watters HT), Chris Shields (Mark Leavy 88), John Mountney (George Smith 62), Shane O’Neill (Chris Reilly 62), Michael Rafter (Bob McKenna HT).

2013: Dundalk FC 0-0 Drogheda United
Drogheda won 5-4 on penalties
Oriel Park – March 1st, 2013

The first Malone Cup of the Stephen Kenny era ended in defeat for Dundalk as the Drogs, who finished the 2012 league campaign as runners-up to Sligo Rovers, won a penalty shootout in sudden death when Gabriel Sava turned Mark Rossiter’s effort away.

New boy Richie Towell came off the bench in the 16th minute while there were also starts for Rob Maloney and Eoghan Osborne as Kenny went about shaping a squad that would go on to win the league.

DUNDALK FC: Peter Cherrie; John Sullivan (Richie Towell 16), Mark Rossiter, Rob Maloney (Andy Boyle 60), Eoghan Osborne (Dane Massey 60); John Dillon, John Mountney, Stephen McDonnell, Darren Meenan (Kurtis Byrne 69); Patrick Hoban (Keith Ward HT), Vinny Faherty (Sam Osobe 80).

2014: Drogheda United 1-1 Dundalk FC
Drogheda won 5-4 on penalties
United Park – February 8th, 2014

Just three weeks before they met in the opening league fixture of the 2014 season – that infamous 4-1 defeat! – the Malone Cup was settled by a penalty shootout for the eighth time.

Gavin Brennan gave the hosts the lead before Patrick Hoban popped up with an injury-time header to send the game to penalties. In the shootout, new recruit Daryl Horgan was denied by Michael Schlingermann as the Drogs won the trophy for the 13th time in 15 games.

This was the eighth time Dundalk had lost the Malone Cup on penalties, and the second successive year the Lilywhites had lost in this fashion. However, this remains the last time Dundalk have lost the fixture and it was the first that current head coach Stephen O’Donnell featured in.

DUNDALK FC: Peter Cherrie, Sean Gannon (Simon Kelly 73), Mark Rossiter, Brian Gartland, Dane Massey; Chris Shields (Ruaidhri Higgins 61), Stephen O’Donnell; John Mountney (Richie Towell 61), Kurtis Byrne (Patrick Hoban 61), Darren Meenan; David McMillan (Marc Griffin 73).

Daryl Horgan on the ball for Dundalk in the 2015 Malone Cup at Oriel Park. Photo: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

2015: Dundalk FC 2-0 Drogheda United
Oriel Park – February 20th, 2015

New signings Jake Kelly and Ronan Finn both featured at Oriel Park as Dundalk, who went on to win the league and FAI Cup double, won the Malone Cup for the first time in five years.

Andy Boyle headed home a Darren Meenan corner to make the breakthrough before Daryl Horgan came off the bench and set up the second for another substitute, Ciaran O’Connor. The Lilywhites would retain the trophy the following year for the first time in their history.

DUNDALK FC: Gary Rogers; Darren Meenan, Brian Gartland, Andy Boyle (Ciaran O’Connor 62), Shane Grimes; Chris Shields, Richie Towell, Ronan Finn; Jake Kelly (Daryl Horgan HT), David McMillan (Michael O’Connor 87), Kurtis Byrne (Georgie Poynton 84). Subs not used: Michael O’Connor, Paul Finnegan, Georgie Poynton, Gabriel Sava (GK).

2016: Drogheda United 0-2 Dundalk FC
United Park – February 19th, 2016

Dundalk retained the Jim Malone Cup for the first time in their history with a 2-0 win over neighbours Drogheda United. Ciaran Kilduff, who went on to score a couple of pretty important goals in Europe that season, was the hero as he struck a goal in either half to secure the win at United Park.

DUNDALK FC: Gabriel Sava; Paddy Barrett, Brian Gartland, Andy Boyle (Georgie Poynton 75), Shane Grimes; Robbie Benson, Stephen O’Donnell; Darren Meenan, Ronan Finn, John Mountney; Ciaran Kilduff (Carlton Ubaezuono 88). Subs not used: Gary Rogers (GK)

With a pre-season trip to Spain, where they faced Espanyol’s B team, on the itinerary, Dundalk put the Malone Cup on ice for a year in 2017. Lilywhites boss Stephen Kenny offered to play the game early in the season but he was met by an angry response from Drogheda manager Pete Mahon who accused the Lilywhites ‘of a lack of respect’. Unimpressed, Kenny simply labelled Mahon’s claims as ‘totally untrue’.

Dundalk’s Ronan Murray in action against Drogheda during the 2018 Malone Cup at Oriel Park. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

2018: Dundalk FC 3-1 Drogheda United
Oriel Park – January 27th, 2018

Both sides have always had contrasting fortunes when this fixture rolls around, and that was particularly evident in 2018, as Drogheda began life in the first division for the second time in three years. Meanwhile, Dundalk had their sights set on regaining the Premier Division title which was lost to Cork City the previous year.

A host of new faces featured as Dundalk ran out 3-1 winners at Oriel Park. Lee Duffy gave Drogheda the lead in the first half but Stephen Folan – a winter recruit from Galway United – equalised and late efforts from Michael Duffy and Dylan Connolly sealed the victory and a third consecutive Malone Cup win.

This would prove to be the last Louth Derby under the management of Stephen Kenny, as he departed to take over as Ireland U21 head coach at the end of the season.

DUNDALK FC: Gabriel Sava (Ross Treacy 89); Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Stephen Folan, Dean Jarvis (Gavin Smith 84); Robbie Benson (Jack O’Keeffe 76), Chris Shields (Georgie Poynton 62), John Mountney (Michael Duffy 20); Dylan Connolly, Jeff McGowan (Cian Flynn 88) Ronan Murray (Adam Finnegan 86).

2020: Dundalk FC 2-0 Drogheda United
Oriel Park – January 30th, 2020

This meeting between the sides is notable as it was one of the last home fixtures that fans had the opportunity to attend before the outbreak of Covid-19 in Ireland.

Dundalk emerged 2-0 winners at Oriel Park through second-half goals from Jordan Flores and Georgie Kelly. The home side were on top for large periods of the first half, but the deadlock wasn’t broken until three minutes into the second as Daniel Kelly’s cross found Flores who headed home.

The game was then put to bed 10 minutes from the end as Kelly made another clever run down the right before cutting the ball back for Kelly to tap the ball into what was virtually an empty net to keep the Jim Malone Cup at Oriel Park for a sixth straight year.

DUNDALK FC: Aaron McCarey (Gabriel Sava HT); Brian Gartland (Sean Hoare HT), Daniel Cleary (Taner Dogan 83), Dane Massey; Sean Gannon, Chris Shields (Andrew Quinn 83), Sean Murray (Jordan Flores HT), Greg Sloggett (Lido Lotefa 74), Darragh Leahy (Daniel Kelly HT); Michael Duffy (Mark Hanratty 82); Patrick Hoban (Georgie Kelly HT).

Val Adedokun scores Dundalk’s second goal in the 2021 Malone Cup at Head In The Game Park. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

2021: Drogheda United 2-3 Dundalk FC
Head In The Game Park – March 3rd, 2021

Chris Shields took the trophy back to Dundalk in March 2021 after the Lilywhited edged a five-goal thriller on a cold Saturday afternoon on Boyneside.

David McMillan’s penalty cancelled out Chris Lyons’ opener before Val Adedokun steered Dundalk in front with a good finish. Ronan Murray made it 2-2 before Greg Sloggett secured the win with a 70th-minut header.

Of the 17 Dundalk players involved on the day, only six remain at the club.

DUNDALK FC: Alessio Abibi (Peter Cherrie 60); Daniel Cleary, Andy Boyle, Darragh Leahy; Raivis Jurkovskis, Chris Shields, Sam Stanton (Greg Sloggett 60), Val Adedokun; Junior, David McMillan (Patrick Hoban HT), Ryan O’Kane (Patrick McEleney HT). Subs not used: Mayowa Animasahun, German Giammattei.