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Dublin: 7 °C Sunday 16 December, 2018


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Hello, and welcome to today’s liveblog.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail, tweet @the42_ie, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Kick off for the games is at 3.30pm.


Nothing much to speak of in the opening stages.

It’s been tight and cagey as expected.


A single goal has been the difference between the two sides in the past two cup finals and it may prove to be the case again this afternoon.

Both sides tend to be very well organised defensively.


Dundalk are under pressure after a miskick from Vemmelund, but Sheppard’s cross goes safely into Rogers’ arms.

Down the other end, McGrath’s deflected shot forces McNulty to make a save.


Cork have been the more threatening side overall so far.

Gannon is forced to head out Sheppard’s cross for a corner.

The ensuing set piece forces Rogers to get down well to make the save, after Dooley’s cross is directed goalwards by the lively Sheppard.


McEleney gets his first sight at goal.

The Dundalk star’s shot sails well over the bar, however.


It’s been an entertaining, fast-paced opening.

On the left wing, Sheppard has just been taken out by Vemmelund, who has looked a little nervy early on.


Duffy finds space in the box after some nice build-up play.

His shot is saved quite comfortably by McNulty.


Dooley finds space on the edge of the area.

His shot is parried by Rogers, who then makes a second save from Sheppard’s volley on the rebound.


Sean Maguire and Kevin O'Connor attend the game Former Cork players Sean Maguire and Kevin O'Connor attend the game. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO


In addition to Maguire and O’Connor, Roy Keane and Martin O’Neill have also just been pictured at today’s game by the RTÉ cameras.

Could one or two of the players lining out today graduate to the senior team, as a couple of players involved in the past two finals have?


Chance for Dundalk!

Duffy’s shot from distance is parried out by McNulty, while McMillan hits the rebound just wide.


Another half chance for McMillan.

He heads McEleney’s cross just wide.


Keohane goes down awkwardly and is receiving treatment after a challenge from Stephen O’Donnell.

There hasn’t quite been as many chances in recent minutes.


McEleney has looked lively in these early stages. He has struggled to make a big impact in previous matches against Cork this season, so he clearly is determined to make up for that today.

According to RTÉ, both sides have had exactly 50% each in terms of possession.


Beattie plays through Keohane, but the pass is overhit and it goes out of play.

Following a very open first 20 minutes, the attacking players for both sides have been far less prominent of late.


Dane Massey and Stephen O’Donnell with Stephen Dooley Dundalk's Dane Massey and Stephen O’Donnell with Stephen Dooley of Cork City. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO


Half-time, and it’s been a slightly more open game than the previous two cup finals between these sides.

That said, both teams still look fairly evenly matched, with Cork maybe edging it performance-wise.

However, towards the end of the first half, it got quite scrappy and tight, so the prospect of this game going to extra time for a third consecutive season seems a distinct possibility as it stands.


The second half has begun…


Temporary panic is casued by a goalmouth scramble in the Cork box after good work from Benson.

The ball breaks kindly for the Leesiders though, and they manage to clear.


Keohane tests Rogers with a shot from distance.

It’s been a lively opening to this second half.


Dane Massey and Jimmy Keohane Dundalk's Dane Massey and Jimmy Keohane of Cork City. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO


Dundalk have had 80% of the possession in the last minutes according to RTÉ.

Make of that stat what you will.


It threatens to get heated, as Gartland knocks over McNulty as he runs back after the latter gathers a Dundalk corner.

An argument between the two sets of players ensues, but there’s not much in it.

Meanwhile, Cork make the first substitution of the match — Kieran Sadlier is on for Jimmy Keohane.


Buckley makes space outside the box but ultimately scuffs his shot.

Cork are looking tired, having put a lot of energy into the first half.


Sheppard goes down under a challenge from Vemmulund, but the ref says it’s a fair challenge, leaving the Cork star incensed.

Moments later, Benson’s header is saved by McNulty from McGrath’s cross.


Dundalk are starting to dominate possession and control the game.

Cork, meanwhile, seem content to sit back and play on the counter-attack.


David McMillan clashes with Mark McNulty Dundalk's David McMillan clashes with Mark McNulty of Cork City. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO


Dundalk make a change as they go in search of a winner.

Jamie McGrath is replaced by Dylan Connolly with 20 minutes remaining.


It’s very much Dundalk who are in the ascendancy now, though they are struggling to unlock a stubborn Cork defence.

As I type, every player from John Caulfield’s side is defending inside his box.


It’s getting to the stage where it feels as if one goal will be enough to win it.

Cork are looking very tired, so might be prone to a lapse in concentration, given that they have been doing much of the defending in this first half.


Stephen O’Donnell gets booked for a late challenge on Gearóid Morrissey.

The Cork midfielder is set to continue after receiving treatment.


It’s been very stop-start and scrappy in the last few minutes.

Extra-time seems inevitable.


Dundalk build slowly but McEleney overhits a pass and the attack peters out.

The Lilywhites and the Derry native in particular have had a frustrating second half.


It has almost felt like an attack-v-defence training session in recent minutes.

Dundalk simply cannot create clear-cut chances and look short on ideas right now for all their possession.


There will be two minutes of added time…


Big chance for Cork out of nothing!

Delaney gets on the end of a cross following a corner, but his goalbound effort is superbly saved by Rogers.


Extra time has felt inevitable for a while, though it almost wasn’t to be, after that late chance for Delaney.

It was a rare chance for Cork, with Dundalk dominating much of the second-half possession and territory, while struggle to create genuine chances.


Brian Gartland looked in a bad way after a collision with Delaney, and so is taken off.

He has been replaced by Sean Hoare.


Here’s a look at that excellent save from Rogers…


Duffy’s free kick is powerfully headed home by Vemmelund.

Dundalk have been the better side overall and so deserve their lead.

It will be interesting to see how Cork respond, having set their stall out to defend prior to the goal.


Double change for Cork.

Bolger and Campion replace Buckley and Morrissey.


A cross falls to Sheppard, but he can’t quite connect with the ball properly.

Cork still haven’t really recovered from the concession of that potentially pivotal Vemmelund goal.


There hasn’t been too much goalmouth action since Vemmelund broke the deadlock.

It’s been a long, hard season, and so it’s no surprise that the two sets of players look out on their feet.


Cork City have 15 minutes to turn this game around.

They have given so much already that it would be some comeback.


Sadlier finds space between the lines and fires the ball just wide.

Meanwhile, John Mountney replaces McEleney, who looks fairly shattered.


The pattern of the game has changed unsurprisingly.

It is now Cork who are pressing, with Dundalk sitting back and inviting their opponents on.


The substitution pays dividends.

Sheppard plays a ball over the top for Campion, who beats the offside trap and finishes through Rogers’ legs.


Dundalk will be sick, having worked so hard to get the lead in the first place.

It was a cheap goal to concede, with Massey playing Campion onside.


Sadlier escapes O’Donnell, before being brought down by the Dundalk man. He is fortunate to avoid a second yellow there.

The former Sligo player has made a difference since coming on.


There’s more than one or two players who look to be struggling to get through these late stages.

You get the feeling both teams would probably settle for penalties now.


There will be two minutes of stoppage time…


So for the first time since 2011, the FAI Cup final will go to penalties.

Dundalk have dominated much of the match and deservedly took the lead, but Cork showed tremendous heart to recover from Vemmelund’s goal.

That said, the Lilywhites could be left ruing a defensive lapse to allow Campion to get his side back in the game.


We’re all set for penalties…


Sheppard steps up and scores. 1-0 Cork.


McMillan makes no mistake. 1-1.


Bolger restores Cork’s lead. 2-1


O’Donnell brings it level. 2-2.


McCormack makes it 3-2.


Benson brings it level. 3-3.


Beattie continues the 100% scoring record. 4-3 Cork.


Duffy misses. Still 4-3.


Sadlier scores and Cork win the FAI Cup!


So that’s that.

Cork beat Dundalk in the 2017 FAI Cup final 5-3 on penalties to complete a memorable season.

They showed admirable resilience, having been forced to defend for much of the second half, coming back from the brink of defeat after Vemmelund had put Dundalk ahead in extra time.

Right, that’s all from me for now.

We’ll have more reaction to follow.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy


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