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Dublin: 10°C Wednesday 14 April 2021

Dundalk seal first leg of treble as they edge thrilling EA Sports Cup final on penalties

The Premier Division leaders twice trailed hosts Derry but won 6-5 on penalties.

Dundalk celebrate their first piece of silverware of the season.
Dundalk celebrate their first piece of silverware of the season.

Derry City 2

Dundalk 2

(Dundalk win 6-5 on penalties)

Simon Collins reports from the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium

DUNDALK WON THE first leg of the Airtricity League ‘treble’ by defeating Derry City following a thrilling EA Sports Cup final on Saturday night.

And while the result will prove a heavy body blow for Derry, the Candystripes may point toward the fact that the loss of midfielder Grant Gillespie to a double yellow card certainly did not help their cause.

That said, the home side refused to give up the ghost and having held Dundalk for 120 minutes, Ally Gilchrist’s failure to net his spot kick saw Dundalk’s Chris Shields secure victory in the penalty shoot-out, his side winning 6-5 from 12 yards.

In what proved a sensational final, Derry stunned Dundalk when taking the lead on two occasions, only for the quality of the visitors to again take centre-stage.

vinny-perth-celebrates-after-the-game Dundalk manager Vinnie Perth celebrates his side's success. Source: Ciaran Culligan/INPHO

A capacity attendance of 4,500 supporters (800 of them up from Louth) was enthralled with the end-to-end flow of the game.

Derry stunned their visitors during the opening three minutes when breaking the deadlock, much to the delight of their supporters.

Barry McNamee sent striker David Parkhouse on his way on the left and when his cross appeared to be blocked, the ball dropped into the path of Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe whose effort was spilled by keeper, Aaron McCarey. The alert Parkhouse gleefully drove the ball into the unguarded net.

Dundalk owned the ball for lengthy periods afterwards with former Derry winger, Michael Duffy, presented with two chances, but his headed efforts failed to trouble Peter Cherrie.

However, six minutes before the break, Dundalk restored parity and it was a fabulous finished by Duffy, with Patrick McEleney setting him up after Dane Massey has started the move.

Having taken control of the ball, Duffy picked his spot and with superb accuracy curled it into the top corner, giving Cherrie no chance.

michael-duffy-celebrates-scoring-their-first-goal-with-team-mates Michael Duffy celebrates Dundalk's first goal. Source: Ciaran Culligan/INPHO

Amazingly, Derry stunned Dundalk again during the opening minutes of the second half. Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe gained possession on the right flank and as he attempted to make his way past Dane Massey, the Dundalk full-back slipped before Junior’s tame shot was deflected in off Seán Hoare.

Derry’s cause was not helped in the 57th minute when Grant Gillespie was sent off having received a second yellow card for an overly robust tackle on Jamie McGrath.

The loss of Gillespie proved significant on the hour when Dundalk restored equality for a second time.

With Dundalk on the front foot, a low shot from Duffy was parried by Cherrie and when the rebound broke to Sean Gannon, the visiting full-back drilled a low shot into the corner of the net.

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robert-hennessy-sends-off-derrys-grant-gillespie Grant Gillespie receives his marching orders. Source: Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

The visitors began to push Derry back following the goal, the Candystripes struggling to get out of their own half but holding out to force extra-time and penalties.

The best chance of extra-time fell to Derry sub Michael McCrudden but he directed his shot at McCarey, a glorious opportunity spurned.

With the penalty count at 4-4, Dundalk sub Robbie Benson was presented with a chance to win it but was denied by Cherrie. That brought it to sudden death, and when Derry’s Ally Gilchrist missed his pen, Chris Shields took full advantage to present his side with the first piece of silverware of the season.

dundalk-celebrate-winning-the-ea-sports-cup Dundalk celebrate. Source: Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

Derry City: P. Cherrie; J. McDonagh, A. Gilchrist, E. Toal, C. Coll; G. Bruna (D. McCauley, h/t, A. Delap 126), G. Gillespie; C. Harkin, B. McNamee, J. Ogedi-Uzokwe (M. McCrudden, 100); Parkhouse (Malone, 77) .

Dundalk: A. McCarey; S. Gannon, S. Hoare, D. Cleary, D. Massey; D. Kelly (Benson, 67), C. Shields, P. McEleney (D. Jarvis, 112) , M. Duffy; J. McGrath (G. Kelly, 86), P. Hoban.

Referee: Rob Hennessy

About the author:

Simon Collins

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