Friday 25 May 2018

Kieran Sadlier inspires Cork to stunning comeback as Rebels get one over Dundalk once again

Dundalk 2 Cork City 4

Kieran Sadlier of Cork City celebrates after scoring his side's third goal
Kieran Sadlier of Cork City celebrates after scoring his side's third goal

KIERAN Sadlier inspired double winners Cork City in a stunning second half comeback to claim President's Cup glory at Oriel Park this afternoon.

Sadlier, who scored the winning penalty in the shootout after November's FAI Cup final at the Aviva, delivered the decisive strike and made two others as John Caulfield's charges overturned a 2-0 half time deficit.

It extends their excellent run against a Dundalk side that has failed to beat Cork since October 2016.

Cork have now emerged victorious from six of the seven subsequent meetings.

In a first half peppered by snowstorms, Dundalk opened up a clear advantage with tardy defending from Leesiders simplifying their task.

A routine throw caused the first with new addition Ronan Murray capitalising on hesitancy to drill home following a probing Michael Duffy.

The second goal also stemmed from Dundalk's left side with a Dane Massey cross falling for Murray who fired the ball past Peter Cherrie - Cork were without first choice keeper Mark McNulty who was given permission to miss out due to the passing of his close friend Liam Miller.

Cork strengthened for the restart with their right side replaced in a significant double sub with Karl Sheppard and Steven Beattie coming in for Jimmy Keohane and Colm Horgan.

Sheppard was roundly booed after his decision to stay with Cork when he had signed a pre contract agreement with the Louth club. He silenced the natives inside four minutes when a mix-up in the home ranks allowed the Dubliner in to slot past the ponderous Gary Rogers.

The loss of centre half Sean Hoare to injury had upset Dundalk with Chris Shields dropping back to centre half and the midfield stacked with attacking players. An energetic Cork side pressed on to expose the deficiencies and they quickly levelled it up with Sadlier's cross nodded home by ex-Derry man Barry McNamee.

Dundalk rallied briefly and had a penalty shout waved away when sub Pat Hoban went down in the box, but Cork were stronger in key areas and Sadlier was the conductor. With ten minutes to go, the former Ireland U21 international drifted in from his berth on the left side to take possession 30 yards from goal and unleash a stunning right footer past nestled into the corner of the net.

Before Dundalk could recover, the Leesiders wrapped up the victory with Sadlier's teasing cross dispatched by Graham Cummins.

Dundalk: Rogers, Poynton, Hoare (Benson 37), Folan, Massey; Shields, Adorjan (Hoban 67); Connolly (O'Keefe 88), McGrath, Duffy; Murray

Cork City: Cherrie, Horgan (Beattie 45), Bennett, Barry, Griffin; McCormack, Morrissey (McCarthy 89); Keohane (Sheppard 45), McNamee, Sadlier (McLoughlin 90); Cummins (Adebayo-Rowling 90)

Referee: D Tomney (Dublin)

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