Late blitz takes Cork past Derry and into FAI Cup last four
Cork City 3 Derry City 0
Three goals in the final 16 minutes at Turner’s Cross last night eased Cork City in a first FAI Cup semi-final in eight years.
For long periods, it looked like extra-time might be required, but Ross Gaynor’s thunderbolt broke the Derry dam and booked a last-four meeting with Bray Wanderers.
It was a game lacking a spark for much of the first half –the most entertaining instance of the opening 20 minutes was the replacement of a faulty corner flag.
The hosts had had half-chances from Mark O’Sullivan and Garry Buckley before Ross Gaynor forced an opening, his shot saved, and O’Sullivan’s follow-up was kept out by Dean Jarvis on the line.
Another Derry defender, Ryan McBride, had to be alert to deny O’Sullivan on 36 minutes, while Michael McSweeney also went close for Cork but at half-time it remained scoreless.
John Caulfield’s side upped the tempo on the restart, but clear-cut chances remained at a premium.
In fact, Derry might broken the deadlock on more than one occasion. First, Philip Lowry had a low shot from 20 yards which came back off the post before Mark McNulty saved from Cillian Morrison. Then, McSweeney’s good challenge denied Lowry before the home side found their touch.
Gaynor opened the scoring on 74 minutes with a 30-yard screamer after Sheppard and Miller did well, a challenge on Buckley sending the ball towards the left-back.
Four minutes later, Buckley headed Billy Dennehy’s free-kick home and then, late on, sub John O’Flynn made it three when he dinked over Gerard Doherty.
CORK CITY – McNulty; McSweeney, Murray (Bennett 76), D Dennehy, Gaynor; Miller, Dunleavy; Sheppard (O’Connor 86), Buckley, B Dennehy; O’Sullivan (O’Flynn 76).
DERRY CITY – Doherty; Cornwall, McBride (McLaughlin 76), Barry, Jarvis; Curran (Timlin 61), McEneff (Dooley 61), Lowry, McNamee, McEleney; Morrison.
REFEREE – D Tomney (Dublin).