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Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 26 March, 2019

Cork City and Dundalk to contest first silverware of the season at Turner's Cross

The most competitive rivalry in the League of Ireland at the moment will resume on Leeside on 17 February.

Steven Beattie and David McMillan Cork City's Steven Beattie and Dundalk's David McMillan exchange opinions during November's FAI Cup final. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

THE FAI HAVE confirmed that Turner’s Cross will play host to the President’s Cup fixture for the second year in a row, with Cork City set to have home advantage again when they meet Dundalk in a repeat of last year’s game.

Dundalk’s home ground at Oriel Park will be unavailable as the Lilywhites are having a new pitch installed, which is due to be ready for the beginning of their SSE Airtricity League Premier Division title defence against Shamrock Rovers on 24 February.

It has been announced by the FAI this afternoon that Dundalk will travel to Leeside seven days earlier for the latest instalment of their rivalry with Cork City. The 2017 President’s Cup will be contested by the two sides at 7.45pm on Friday, 17 February.

“The excitement ahead of the new SSE Airtricity League season is building and there is no better way to kick things off than seeing two of the best performing clubs from last year compete in the President’s Cup,” said Fran Gavin, FAI Director of Competitions.

“The new season is highly anticipated with the return of the SSE Airtricity League, Irish Daily Mail FAI Senior Cup, EA Sports Cup, as well as our teams entering into Uefa Champions League and Europa League qualifiers. It promises to be another memorable year.

“To get it all started, we have an excellent match-up in the President’s Cup, which has become an important competition since being introduced in 2014. Our President, Michael D Higgins, is a fantastic supporter of the domestic game and we are delighted to host this game in his honour.”

John Dunleavy and Michael D Higgins with the cup President Michael D Higgins presenting the cup to Cork City captain John Dunleavy after the 2016 final. Source: Ciaran Culligan/INPHO

This will be the fourth season that the President’s Cup’s has been on the League of Ireland calendar. The game is contested by the winners of the Premier Division and the FAI Cup (or the Premier Division runners-up, should the same team win both competitions as was the case with Dundalk last year).

St Patrick’s Athletic defeated Sligo Rovers in the inaugural fixture, Dundalk got the better of Pat’s in 2015, but Stephen Kenny’s side were unable to retain the cup last year after goals from Gavan Holohan and Sean Maguire gave Cork City a 2-0 home win.

The rivalry between City and Dundalk has developed into the most competitive in Irish football in recent years. Although the Leesiders overcame the Louth side in November’s FAI Cup decider, Dundalk have beaten John Caulfield’s side to the Premier Division title in each of the last three seasons.

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Paul Dollery

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