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Cork City claim all three points in enthralling clash with the champions

Stephen Dooley scored the only goal on an intense night at Turner’s Cross.

Chris Shields with Gavan Hoolahan.
Chris Shields with Gavan Hoolahan.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Cork City 1

Dundalk 0

CORK CITY EXTENDED their Premier Division winning streak to eight games – and ended Dundalk’s eight-match streak in the process – as the champions were defeated on a sun-kissed evening at Turners Cross.

Stephen Dooley’s brilliant solo goal after 25 minutes gave the Leesiders a richly deserved win and after Chris Shields was sent off five minutes before the break, coming back into the game looked beyond a very disappointing Dundalk.

Cork and the champions entered the pitch looking to extended eight and seven game winning streaks in the league respectively. Something had to give for one team and from early on the home side looked the more likely.

Although chances were at a premium prior to the breakthrough, Cork saw more of the ball with Dooley and Greg Bolger prominent in midfield. The visitors struggled to get Daryl Horgan and David McMillan into the game.

When the opener came, it was a goal made of Cork’s lightning pace. On halfway, the lively former Dundalk striker Sean Maguire nipped in ahead of a static Brian Gartland and his touch released Dooley. The winger raced into the area and faced with Andy Boyle, he went on the outside and sent a low a shot across Gary Rogers and in.

Stephen Dooley Cork City's Stephen Dooley celebrates opening the scoring. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

John Caulfield was much the happier manager on the touchline and Dooley’s trickery almost created a second. He danced his way into the box and laid it into Steven Beattie’s path but he couldn’t turn it in.

When Shields was dismissed five minutes before half time, it looked set fair for Cork to go on and really embarrass their guests. The midfielder lost control of the ball and went in on Beattie. Replays showed he got the ball before he made contact with the winger. Rob Rogers wasted little time in brandishing red though.

Sean Maguire with Brian Gartland Sean Maguire of Cork with Brian Gartland of Dundalk. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Stephen Kenny didn’t make a reshuffle at half time but he might have rued the decision as City started the second half intent on adding to their tally against ten men. Bolger flashed a shot just wide before Maguire turned Boyle but failed to get shot away.

Those two were involved again on 65 minutes. This time, when Boyle attempted to clear away a Cork throw in, Maguire nipped in to touch the ball away. He was taken down by the unaware defender for a spot kick. Dooley stepped up but blazed well over.

Perhaps, he should have let Maguire take it. The former Republic of Ireland striker was a constant thorn in the side of a shaken Dundalk defence all evening. Having scored in both previous Cork victories over Dundalk this season, he didn’t get a goal this time. However, he could easily make a claim for being the best player on the pitch.

Gartland and Barratt shot wide for the Lilywhites late on, while Maguire himself cleared an 89th minute header off the line and Kilduff volleyed wide in injury time. It was Dundalk’s best chance in the entire match. He should have got it on target at least.

The Louth men lost just one game last season. Now, 15 matches in, they’ve lost two – both to City, who now trail the leaders by just one point. A real title race is shaping up.

A view of a throw in Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

CORK CITY: Mark McNulty, Michael McSweeney, Alan Bennett, Kenny Browne, Kevin O’Connor, Steven Beattie (Mark O’Sullivan, 82), Greg Bolger, Gavan Holohan (Garry Buckley, 72), Gearoid Morrissey, Stephen Dooley, Sean Maguire (Colin Healy, 90+3).

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Subs Not Used: Alan Smith, Ian Turner, Karl Sheppard, Danny Morrissey.

DUNDALK: Gary Rogers, Paddy Barratt, Brian Gartland, Andy Boyle, Dane Massey, Chris Shields, Stephen O’Donnell, Darren Meenan (Robbie Benson, 68), Ronan Finn, Daryl Horgan (Patrick McEleney, 72), David McMillan (Ciaran Kilduff, 49).

Subs Not Used: Gabriel Sava, Shane Grimes, George Poynton, John Mountney.

REFEREE: Robert Rogers

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