Watch: Drama as Sean Maguire pounces at the death to win FAI Cup for Cork City
Cork City 1 Dundalk 0 (After extra time)
CORK CITY won their first FAI Cup since 2007 as a last-gasp extra-time winner by former Dundalk player Sean Maguire denied the Lilywhites an historic double-double feat.
As penalties loomed deep into extra-time, the Kilkenny native turned on Stephen Beattie's long-throw inside the box and found the far corner with the aid of a slight deflection off Gartland.
“In a scrappy game, it was going to take a scrappy goal like that to win it,” said the match-winner afterwards.
“I’m absolutely buzzing but for the manager, players and fans, we deserve to win this trophy.
A goal from Seán Maguire in injury time of extra time has put Cork City 1-0 up in the cup final https://t.co/iWwdRWSG9F— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) November 6, 2016
“Dundalk are a tremendous team and had us on the ropes of a while but we dug deep to nick it.”
After a cagey first half following a similar pattern to last year’s decider, the contest opened up after the break with Cork enjoying the better of the chances.
A dull first-half had fashioned just one real opportunity of note, when the trailblazer of the season, Daryl Horgan, released David McMillan through the middle four minutes from half-time.
Although the striker got a clean connection on his shot, goalkeeper Mark McNulty read the effort from point-blank range to perfection and batted it away.
Having sat deep in the opening half, Cork added some invention after the turnaround and might have nudged ahead on the hour when Alan Bennett sent his header from a corner towards goal only for Sean Gannon to clear off the line.
Chances began to be traded, as 16 minutes from the end, McMillan sped to the front post to meet Ronan Finn’s right cross but couldn’t wrap his foot around ball and his shot veered wide.
At the other end, Georoid Morrissey went close with a thunderbolt which was kept out by Gary Rogers, who also denied Chiedozie Ogbene with his first touch after coming on.
However, the Lilywhites fashioned a glorious opening to nick it in the final minute as substitute Ciaran Kilduff rose to meet Daryl Horgan’s left-wing cross but the tall striker couldn’t keep his header down.
The holders continued to press in extra-time, McNulty needing to be at his brilliant best to turn Horgan’s cross-shot away for a corner. Finn might have snuck the winner too at the death when he drilled wide from the edge of the box.
Unlike that miss, Maguire was lethal in extra-time. It was enough to bring a proud Leesider, Roy Keane, to his feat in the stand.
DUNDALK: Rogers; Gannon, Gartland, Boyle, Massey; O’Donnell, Shields (Mountney 55); McEleney (Shiels 76), Finn, Horgan; McMillan (Kilduff 79).
CORK CITY: McNulty; Beattie, Browne, Bennett, O’Connor; Morrissey (Healy 100), Bolger (O’Sullivan 96); Sheppard (Ogbene 78), Buckley, Dooley; Maguire.
Referee: Rob Rogers.