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Dublin: 6°C Thursday 6 May 2021

Cork City record 15th consecutive win to eliminate holders and reach semi-finals

Dundalk and Galway United are also safely through to the last four of the EA Sports Cup.

Stephen Dooley Stephen Dooley was on target for Cork City against St Pat's. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

CORK CITY CONTINUED their remarkable winning run this afternoon by dumping St Patrick’s Athletic out of the EA Sports Cup at the quarter-final stage.

Second-half goals from Connor Ellis and Stephen Dooley at Turner’s Cross gave the Leesiders a 2-0 win over the Saints, who were bidding to remain on course to win the competition for the third consecutive season.

City, who hold a 12-point lead at the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, have now won their last 15 competitive games, a run that stretches back to last November’s FAI Cup final victory over Dundalk.

Both sides rested key players and chances were scarce in today’s opening half, leaving them deadlocked at 0-0 at the interval. However, Ellis opened the scoring in the 67th minute when he slotted home a rebound following a cross from Shane Griffin.

In an attempt to find an equaliser, Pat’s brought Christy Fagan — who was returning from injury — on for Alex O’Hanlon in the closing stages. Fagan went close with a couple of efforts before Dooley broke in added time to seal the victory for John Caulfield’s side, who are aiming for the club’s first League Cup triumph since 1999.

City will be joined in the draw for the semi-finals by Galway United, who advanced to the last four after getting the better of Connacht rivals Sligo Rovers via a penalty shootout.

Shane Keegan Galway United manager Shane Keegan. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

After a goalless 90 minutes at the Showgrounds, extra-time saw four goals. Matty Stevens gave Sligo the lead in the third minute of the additional period, before Ronan Murray and Gavan Holohan both struck to put the visitors ahead.

However, Sligo’s in-form star Kieran Sadlier was on hand to send the contest to penalties. The former Irish U21 international converted from the spot with five minutes remaining after Aaron Conway fouled Toby Adebayo-Rowling.

In the shootout, Stephen Folan, Murray, Padraic Cunningham and Holohan all converted for Galway, while Colm Horgan failed with his effort. Sadlier made no mistake again for Sligo but misses from Craig Roddan, Liam Martin and Adebayo-Rowling meant that the Tribesmen went through courtesy of a 4-1 win on penalties.

Dundalk, the 2014 EA Sports Cup winners, bounced back from their shock league defeat away to Galway on Friday by overcoming First Division outfit Waterford on a 3-0 scoreline.

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Despite a goalless opening half at Oriel Park, the Lilywhites proved too strong after the restart and they went ahead in the 57th minute when Ciaran Kilduff headed home Steven Kinsella’s cross.

In the 71st minute, Kinsella again found the head of Kilduff, who subsequently teed up Thomas Stewart to double the home side’s lead by finishing to an empty net.

With just over 10 minutes of normal time remaining, Conor Clifford blasted the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box after being set up by Michael Duffy.

Conor Clifford scores his side's third goal Conor Clifford scores for Dundalk. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The fourth EA Sports Cup quarter-final — between Shamrock Rovers and Longford Town — takes place at Tallaght Stadium tomorrow evening (7.30pm).

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Paul Dollery

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