Gearoid Morrissey strikes as champions Cork City end Dundalk's unbeaten run
Cork City 1 Dundalk 0
CHAMPIONS Cork City ended Dundalk's unbeaten record and went back to the top of the League of Ireland table thanks to a second half Gearoid Morrissey volley at Turner's Cross.
Morrissey's 59th minute effort was the high point of a scrappy affair and it was enough to preserve Cork's 100pc record on their own patch.
They have yet to concede a goal at home this season either, with their young back four staying calm under pressure to see out the win that puts them three points ahead of their arch rivals.
John Caulfield's team were intent on revenge following their Oriel Park defeat in March but they lost their way following a bright start to this eagerly anticipated encounter.
Dundalk finished the first half strongly, with Daniel Cleary hitting the post with a header and Michael Duffy curling another effort just wide. Overall it was poor fare, though, peppered with physical collisions rather than moments of real quality.
Dundalk lost Sean Gannon at the break as he was feeling the after effects of a foul he committed earlier in the match, and the reshuffle was capitalised upon by Cork just before the hour mark.
Garry Buckley's introduction for Jimmy Keohane was the catalyst and when he struck the bar from close range following a Karl Sheppard cross, Cork kept the ball alive and Morrissey found the space to unleash a left foot volley through a crowd of bodies and past Gary Rogers.
That set Dundalk a challenge and they did control the ball for long periods as they went in search of a leveller with Cork falling deeper.
However, Robbie Benson wasted Dundalk's best chance for a leveller when he skied over from inside the area. In-form striker Pat Hoban was kept reasonably quiet with Cork's youthful centre halves Sean McLoughlin and Conor McCarthy excelling and justifying their manager's faith.
Stephen Kenny made attacking substitutions and sent bodies forward in the dying stages, but they lacked real invention as Cork dug in to send the vast majority of the 6,672 home happy.
CORK CITY – McNulty, Horgan, McLoughlin, McCarthy, Kane; McCormack, Morrissey; McNamee (Sadlier 80), Keohane (Buckley 58), Sheppard; Cummins (O'Hanlon 88)
DUNDALK – Rogers; Gannon (Folan 45), Hoare, Cleary, Massey; Shields, Benson; Mountney (Connolly 82), McGrath (Murray 66), Duffy; Hoban
REF – N Doyle (Dublin)