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Fagan in the groove

Christy Fagan delivered the goal which guaranteed St Pat's a place in Europe next season, but there was no carnival atmosphere to celebrate the achievement.

Nor should there have been. Long established as one of Ireland's stronger teams, Pat's have loftier ambitions than merely finishing in the top three.

It is trophies they want and next Sunday at Lansdowne Road they have the chance to get the one they crave most.

The FAI Cup is Inchicore's Holy Grail and if Liam Buckley's side can replicate this performance, then the trophy will be theirs.

Buckley's men excelled here. Dominant from the start, the superb, flowing rhythm of their passing was matched by the tactical appreciation each of their players had for the roles demanded of them.

None more so than Fagan, their pint-sized striker who, on 56 minutes, wrong-footed Mark McNulty, the Cork 'keeper, with a low shot that resulted in the only goal of the game.

In truth, he deserved more, striking the upright in the 16th minute after clever interplay involving Chris Forrester and Sean O'Connor.

St Pat's -- Clarke; O'Brien, Browne, Kenna, Bermingham; Carroll (Coombes 89), Chambers, Forrester; Faherty (Kelly 58), Fagan, O'Connor (Russell 78)

Cork City -- McNulty; Turner (O'Neill 67), Murray, Kavanagh, Murphy; Healy, Morrissey, Duggan; Dunleavy, Sullivan (Kenny 70), D Horgan

Ref -- P Tuite (Dublin)

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