Dublin: 13°C Wednesday 25 May 2022


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Hello, and welcome to today’s liveblog.

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We’ve had some drama already at the Aviva Stadium today.

A last-gasp Wexford Youths goal has brought the FAI Women’s Cup final into extra-time. More details here.

Some pre-match reading for you…

More drama here in the FAI Women’s Cup final — Derbhaile Beirne scores a last-gasp goal for Shelbourne to take the game to penalties.

This is going to be a tough act to follow.

Wexford Youths are the FAI Women’s Cup champions after beating Shelbourne on penalties.

There were strange scenes during the shootout, as the men’s players were warming up during the shootout down the other end — not exactly a respectful showing towards the women’s game.

The national anthem has been played, so we’re all set to go here…

Early half chance for Cork, Billy Dennehy crosses for Mark O’Sullivan, but the latter’s header is comfortably saved.

There’s a superb atmosphere here at the Aviva.


Ronan Finn receives a pass from Richie Towell and steers a shot just wide.

Meanwhile, signs of early nerves as Mark McNulty makes a mess of a kick and it goes out of play.

Dundalk are starting to get on top.


Richie Sadlier has weighed in on warm-up gate.


Darren Meenan’s corner curls straight out of play — that’s a little careless, albeit it is a windy day.

Dundalk are controlling the game at the moment.


This is a good spell for Dundalk — they’re passing the ball confidently and dominating possession.

Liam Miller looks like the man who’s been given the unenviable task of marking Richie Towell.


Kevin O’Connor attempts an ambitious pass but it goes straight into Gary Rogers’ hands.

Cork need to be better with the ball.


There’s a moment of panic for Dundalk as Gary Rogers throws it straight to Garry Buckley.

His subsequent ball into the box is headed clear comfortably, however.

Cork are starting to come into this game more now.


More nervousness in the Dundalk defence as Darren Dennehy is involved in a goalmouth scramble.

The league champions eventually clear though.


Alan Bennett heads a corner just wide.

After early Dundalk dominance, Cork are enjoying a good spell in their opponents’ territory now.


Billy Dennehy curls a free kick over the bar.

Shortly thereafter, Garry Buckley attempts an audacious effort from way out to try and catch Gary Rogers out, after the goalkeeper’s initial unconvincing clearance.


There’s been a bit of a stoppage for Liam Miller to receive treatment, but it looks like the ex-Man United man is going to be okay to continue.

From the ensuing free kick, Andy Boyle heads the ball narrowly wide.


Kevin O’Connor finds space in midfield but his shot from outside the box drifts wide.

Cork look the slightly more purposeful side going forward at the moment.


A dangerous free kick is flighted into the box but David McMillan can’t quite get his head to it.

Stephen Kenny’s side have looked particularly dangerous so far from set pieces, and it could be their best bet for a breakthrough, with Cork otherwise looking very solid and well-organised at the back.


Sean Gannon is currently receiving treatment.

As I type, David McMillan tests the keeper with a decent strike, before Liam Miller is booked for a clumsy tackle on Darren Meenan.


Sean Gannon can’t continue after that knock and he’s replaced by Stephen O’Donnell.

This game has a palpable fiery edge to it now after that bad Miller tackle.


So it’s been a fairly even first half.

Both sides have had decent spells though it’s been quite cagey with no clear-cut chances as of yet.

Dundalk will be hoping to get the likes of Richie Towell into the game a bit more after the break, while Cork need to be better on the ball, with too many stray passes and basic errors preventing John Caulfield’s side from gaining any momentum or coherence in their play.


Lively start to the second half. Billy Dennehy charges down the right, but his cross is cleared.

Shortly thereafter, David McMillan’s shot is tipped over by Mark McNulty.


McMillan runs through on goal again, but his touch is too heavy and McNulty collects the ball comfortably.

This second period has already been far more open than the first half.


Dennehy curls another free kick into the box, but Rogers does well to claim it.

Shortly thereafter, Garry Buckley shoots narrowly wide from the edge of the box.


Dane Massey heads a dangerous Cork free kick away for a corner.

John Caulfiled’s side look the more likely right now.


Liam Miller, who was a doubt before this game, has been replaced by another ex-Ireland international — Colin Healy.


Meenan’s corner comes to Towell, whose shot is blocked and cleared.

Moments later, the Dundalk midfielder again finds himself in a decent position on the edge of the box, but his shot fails to trouble McNulty unduly.

This game is still very finely balanced.


Super driving run from Daryl Horgan across the Cork box and past one defender as if he wasn’t there.

However, his eventual shot is straight at McNulty.


Towell tries to link up with McMillan, but the pass is intercepted and Cork clear.

Both sides have lacked killer instinct in the final third today.


David McMillan is replaced by Ciaran Kilduff.

As I type, the ball falls to Billy Dennehy on the edge of the box, but his attempt on goal is well blocked.


Decent positive play from Andy Boyle, who drives forward from the back, but his pass is overhit.

Both sides continue to cancel each other out with defences largely on top.


A Dundalk free kick is blocked down, before Stephen O’Donnell’s shot swerves wide.

Meanwhile, Darren Meenan has been replaced by John Mountney.


Danny Morrissey is replacing Mark O’Sullivan for Cork now.

This game looks destined for extra-time.


Ross Gaynor has just been booked for a deliberate handball to stop a Dundalk attack.

From the ensuing set piece, Kilduff heads over in a moment of slight panic in the Cork box.


Horgan badly overhits a cross as another Dundalk attack comes to an abrupt halt.

More flares are visible in the ground — this time from the Dundalk end.


Half chance for Dundalk as Kilduff heads it into Towell’s path.

However, Dundalk’s star man just can’t connect properly with the shot.

As expected, it’s been a very tight game, with both sides failing to score over the course of the 90 minutes.

Dundalk definitely edged the second half, and were throwing bodies forward by the end, with their opponents holding on a little.

Cork, as well as they have played, look to be tiring now, and may be hoping for penalties.


Good driving run forward by Ronan Finn, but his shot at McNulty is tame ultimately.

Dundalk are continuing where they left off at the end of normal time.


Dundalk had every outfield player in the Cork half there. The league champions look the fitter of the two sides at this stage.

As I type, Ronan Finn flashes a shot well wide.


Karl Sheppard is now receiving treatment for what looks like cramp. The crowd aren’t happy with the time it’s taking to treat him.

Cork are hanging on a bit now, with Dundalk dominating possession and territory.


Dan Murray has now replaced Sheppard, as Dundalk win a corner and continue to press for a goal.


Another half chance, as Horgan’s snap shot from the edge of the area flies wide.

Cork are struggling to get out of their own half at times.


A quick break sees Towell sprint forward, but his pass is too heavy for Kilduff.

Towell has been a little disappointing today by his own very high standards.


It’s a moment of magic that might just have won the game for Dundalk.

Horgan, who’s been excellent all game, sprints past his opponent down the left and squares it to Richie Towell, who makes no mistake with a cool finish into the corner of the net.


Cork aren’t down and out yet.

They’re pressing for an equaliser and Darren Dennehy has just seen his header tipped over by Rogers.

Down the other end, a cross is fired into the box, but no one is on hand to connect with it.


The roles of the two sides have unsurprisingly reversed completely since that goal.

It’s now Dundalk who have every player in their own half.

As I type, however, the league champions break, but John Mountney’s shot on the edge of the area is blocked.


Cork have every player up bar the goalkeeper, whose free kick goes frustratingly straight into Rogers’ hands.

Tense times.


Dundalk are keeping the ball well now and frustrating Cork.

Less than a minute remains.


Two minutes of time added on…


Cork win a free kick after a rash challenge on the edge of the box by Kilduff.

Buckley fires a shot well wide.

So that’s that. Dundalk have done the double, thanks to Richie Towell’s match-winning strike.

On the balance of play, few would argue that it wasn’t deserved.

The league champions grew increasingly dominant and the game wore on, and looked the fitter and more dangerous of the two sides throughout extra time.

Despite a manful, disciplined and defensively impressive display, Cork were ultimately beaten by the better team on the day.

Cork’s Alan Bennett has been named man-of-the-match.


Right, that’s all from me.

Thanks for reading and commenting. We’ll have more reaction to follow shortly.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy