Saturday 23 February 2019

New season starts as old one ended with Dundalk getting the better of Cork to win President's Cup

Cork City 1 Dundalk 2

Dundalk players with the President's Cup following the 2019 President's Cup Final between Cork City and Dundalk at Turners Cross in Cork. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Dundalk players with the President's Cup following the 2019 President's Cup Final between Cork City and Dundalk at Turners Cross in Cork. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Double winners Dundalk began life without Stephen Kenny by scoring a President's Cup success at the home of arch rivals Cork City.

New boss Vinny Perth went with the side that started November's FAI Cup final win over the Leesiders, and the familiarity was evident in their movement during a dominant first half display that ultimately proved decisive.

Cork made four changes - with three new signings in their ranks - and John Caulfield's charges were comfortably second best in the early exchanges.

Dundalk winger Michael Duffy called Mark McNulty into action early, before Patrick Hoban struck the post with a header.

The Leesiders did steady the ship for a period, yet Dundalk were far more cohesive in the opposition half and they went ahead nine minutes before the break when Dane Massey steered home Duffy's corner.

That came after a Mountney shot was deflected just wide, and the visitors continued to press to good effort. Before the interval, the advantage was doubled.

After another corner broke down, Chris Shields instigated another move with a driven pass to Duffy who crossed for Hoban with the front man's glancing header giving McNulty no chance.

Cork emerged for the restart with much more purpose and Graham Cummins stung the palms of Gary Rogers to stir the locals from their slumber. Winter recruit from UCD, Daire O'Connor, was lively on the right side.

However, it was the introduction of Kevin O'Connor off the bench that really brought Cork some cheer. He has signed on-loan from Preston after failing to break through at Deepdale, yet he showcased his dead ball quality by curling a left footed free kick into the top corner.

That made a game of it, with Cork succeeding in making life much more difficult for their guests. Roared on by a typically energetic Caulfield on the sideline, they committed bodies forward and cut out the sloppiness that had dogged them before the interval.

Dundalk replaced Patrick McEleney with new signing Sean Murray as they attempted to see the game out, but they needed to defend stoutly to claim victory in the curtain raiser for the first time since 2015.

Cork City: McNulty, McCarthy, Casey, McLoughlin, Griffin; McCormack (K O'Connor 63), Morrissey; D O'Connor, Buckley, Tilley; Cummins

Dundalk: Rogers, Gannon, Gartland, Hoare, Massey; Shields, Benson (Jarvis 90); Mountney, McEleney (Murray 68), Duffy; Hoban (G Kelly 83)

Referee: R Hennessy (Limerick)

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport