CORK CITY HAVE ended an almost three-year wait to beat rivals Dundalk 2-0 to capture the President’s Cup at a chilly Turners Cross.
Goals either side of the half by Gavan Holohan and Sean Maguire secured City their first trophy since the First Division title in 2011, and ended a run of nine games without a win against the Lilywhites.
Ciarán Kilduff had a golden chance to open the scoring on the quarter-hour, but hesitated at the crucial moment in front of Mark McNulty, who managed to get a hand to the former Shamrock Rovers player’s attempted dink.
City controlled proceedings after that, and weren’t made to wait long to take the lead; 18 minutes were on the clock when Ian Turner’s whipped cross was fired goalwards by the impressive Stephen Dooley, Rodgers made a fine save but former Dundalk striker Maguire squared the rebound for Holohan to finish into an empty net at the back post.
Both sides were fielding their strongest sides, and there nothing friendly about the occasion, as just before half-time a late Andy Boyle challenge on Alan Bennett sparked a melee that saw Eoghan O’Connell, McNulty and Boyle booked.
The hosts, despite not dominating to the same extent, were still carving the best chances in the second period, and only a fantastic header off the line by Ronan Finn denied Kenny Browne his first goal in a City jersey.
A few minutes later however, the Rebel Army did double their lead, when O’Connell’s inch-perfect whipped cross found the diving Maguire who headed the ball into the corner of the net.
The Lilywhites’ task was made even more difficult 10 minutes from time, as Brian Gartland illegally halted an imperious run from substitute Steven Beattie and received his marching orders from referee Graham Kelly.
Cork City: M McNulty; E O’Connell, K Browne, A Bennett, J Dunleavy; I Turner, G G Morrissey, G Bolger, G Holohan (S Beattie 71), S Dooley (K Sheppard 76); S Maguire (M O’Sullivan 86).
Dundalk: G Rogers; S Gannon (J Mountney 62), A Boyle, B Gartland, D Massey; C Shields; P McEleney (P Barrett 81), S O’Donnell, R Finn, D Horgan; C Kilduff (D McMillan 84).
Referee: G Kelly (Cork)
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