17 February 2017
By Bryan Smyth
Cork City won the President’s Cup for a second year in succession beating SSE Airtricity League champions Dundalk 3-0 in front of 3,140 in Turners Cross.
In an enthralling first 45 minutes, it was the visitors who had the first opportunity. Patrick McEleney’s precise through ball found Ciaran Kilduff with only Mark McNulty to beat. Kilduff’s goal-bound effort was splendidly pushed to safety by the Cork ‘keeper.
The Lilywhites were left to rue that missed opportunity just six minutes later as Sean Maguire found space out on the left flank. Maguire evaded the attention of Paddy Barrett before firing a fierce left footed strike through Gabriel Sava’s legs from an acute angle.
The lively McEleney continued to be a threat for the visitors and he was again the creator just after the half hour mark. His delightful ball was headed back across goal by John Mountney who was denied the equaliser by the outstretched McNulty.
Dundalk continued to press for an equaliser after the restart but it was Cork City who doubled their lead midway through the second half. Kevin O’Connor curled a stunning free kick over the wall and into the top corner of Gabriel Sava’s net from 25 yards.
City could have added a third moments later. The lively Karl Sheppard’s whipped cross was inches away from finding the onrushing Maguire at the back post.
Dundalk showed the spirit that has been a key trait for them in recent seasons and never let up, but an inspired McNulty denied Patrick McEleney and then Ciaran Kilduff to preserve Cork’s lead.
As the clocked ticked into the fifth minute of additional time, Karl Sheppard put the icing on the cake, dribbling through space in the Dundalk area before firing past Sava and into the far corner as the Leesiders ran out worthy winners.
Cork City: McNulty (GK,), Delaney, Bolger ©, Keohane, McCormack, Beattie, Dooley, O’Connor, Morrissey, Maguire, Buckley.
Dundalk: Sava (GK), Gannon, Gartland, Barrett, O’Donnell ©, Duffy, Mountney, McEleney, Massey, Kilduff, Benson.
Referee: Anthony Buttimer