Cork City 1
Andrew Horgan reports from Turner’s Cross.
CORK CITY KEPT their hopes of a domestic double alive as they narrowly defeated Munster Rivals Limerick 1-0 in the FAI Senior Cup semi final at Turner’s Cross on Friday night.
An early, close-range finish from Garry Buckley was enough to see the current holder’s progress to their third successive final where they will now meet either Dundalk or Shamrock Rovers on 5 November at the Aviva Stadium.
City started the game brightly and they should have taken the lead in the opening minutes but Buckley somehow fired Karl Sheppard’s clever pullback over the bar from a few yards out.
But he soon made amends for that miss as he gave City the lead after 15 minutes.
Sheppard, the game’s Man of the Match, was again involved in the build-up as his neat lay off was volleyed to the back post by Kieran Sadlier, allowing Buckley to slot the ball into the back of the Shed End net.
The visitor’s best moment of the first period fell to the returning Chiedozie Ogbene.
Moments before the half-time interval, the pacy winger created space on the edge of the Cork penalty area but his powerful strike was superbly saved by the outstretched Mark McNulty.
Limerick began the second half positively and many of their fans, who contributed plenty of bodies to the crowd of 3,563 in attendance, thought they had levelled terms after 55 minutes.
Bastien Hery’s crossfield pass picked out the run of Rodrigo Tosi but the Brazilian striker’s looping header dropped just over the bar.
Still, City remained composed as they restricted their opponents to very few opportunities in the second half.
The home faithful had to survive a scare late on as Hery’s header was scrambled off the line but City survived and remain on course for their first league and Cup double since 1941.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; Conor McCarthy, Alan Bennett, Ryan Delaney, Shane Griffin; Conor McCormack, Gearoid Morrissey; Stephen Dooley (Jimmy Keohane 53), Garry Buckley, Kieran Sadlier (Beattie 81); Karl Sheppard (Achille Campion 90).
Limerick: Brendan Clarke; Dean Clarke, Tony Whitehead, David O’Connor, Shane Tracy; Bastien Hery; Stephen Kenny Peter Berki 70), Lee J Lynch (O’Flynn 84), Shane Duggan, Chiedozie Ogbene; Rodrigo Tosi.
Referee: Ray Matthews (Westmeath).