Dundalk overcome Cork in top-of-the-table clash following late drama

The visitors gained some breathing space on their title rivals at Turner’s Cross tonight.

Chris Shileds of Dundalk with Garry Buckley of Cork battle for the ball.
Chris Shileds of Dundalk with Garry Buckley of Cork battle for the ball.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Cork City 1 Dundalk 2

BRIAN GARTLAND’S 85TH-MINUTE goal gave Dundalk victory and broke Cork City hearts at Turner’s Cross tonight.

The home side had only just drawn level through Darren Dennehy when a free kick wasn’t cleared properly and defender Gartland poked home his sixth league goal of the season.

The result — City’s first home league defeat since June 2013 — means that the Lilywhites now hold a six-point lead on Cork and St Patrick’s Athletic and the prospect of a first league title since 1995 is becoming ever more realistic.

This was a victory based on doing the simple things well rather than anything spectacular, as Dundalk weathered Cork’s early storm and then protected what they had after Towell struck, finishing smartly after Daryl Horgan’s attempted through ball had taken a couple of ricochets.

Too often in the first half, Cork were full of endeavour but not always composure and it was not until the closing stages of it that they looked like scoring, Colin Healy firing over from 25 yards and then Mark O’Sullivan unlucky when failing to control Garry Buckley’s cross.

Towell, hard-working all through, almost made it 2-0 for Dundalk in the 45th minute, but the outset of the second half saw them still dictating the terms, with too much of Cork’s possession in non-threatening areas.

Centre-forwards John O’Flynn and Danny Morrissey were brought off the bench as home manager John Caulfield sought an equaliser, and it finally came on 83 when Darren Dennehy headed home his brother Billy’s free kick. They were not level for long, however.

Gavin Cooney
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CORK CITY: McNulty; Dunleavy, D Dennehy, Murray, Gaynor (D Morrissey 73); G Morrissey (Kearney 80), Healy; O’Shea (O’Flynn 58), Buckley, B Dennehy; O’Sullivan.

DUNDALK: Cherrie; Gannon, Gartland, Boyle, Massey; Towell, Shields; Meenan  (Mountney 71), Byrne (Higgins 60), Horgan (McDermott 77); Hoban.

Referee: P Sutton (Clare).

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