Munster Senior Cup final: Cork City v Rockmount, Turner’s Cross, 7.30pm
IF forced to choose, Cork City would naturally have preferred three points last Sunday against Bohemians rather than in tonight’s Munster Senior Cup final against Rockmount, but nobody will turn down the chance to win some silverware.
City are aiming for a fourth successive victory in the provincial competition, with Rockmount providing the opposition at Turner’s Cross.
Having lost 1-0 on the return to league action on Sunday, City will rotate their pack, according to manager Neale Fenn.
“It’ll be a totally changed team,” he said.
“We need to rest the boys up, they worked hard on Sunday.”
While Bohemians are third in the Premier Division, now just a point behind second-placed Dundalk, they were never hugely troubled by City on Sunday.
“We poor in the middle part of the game, I thought,” he said, “until just after half-time.
“We were tired. Bohs have been back training longer and I didn’t think that that would make a difference but they played with a higher intensity than us.
“If you’re winning 1-0 and you have the confidence and your tails up, it’s easier to do that than if you’re losing 1-0.
“We went for it a bit towards the end, put on a couple of attackers, and I felt that we looked better.”
City failed to properly test Bohs goalkeeper Stephen McGuinness, meaning that they have now scored just one goal from their six league games. If they are to move away from their relegation battle, Fenn knows that it’s something that has to improve.
“It’s not good enough,” he said.
“We felt that we should have scored today. Deshane [Dalling] should have got a better connection on that one and he could have scored.
“We need from our players in wide areas and we’ve told them that. I thought that Cian Murphy was excellent today up front, he worked hard but he wasn’t really a goal threat for us and he needs service.
“He needs crosses into the box and deliveries into the box and he’s just not getting them.”
Captain Gearóid Morrissey missed the game on Sunday while Graham Cummins, re-signed as a defensive option, also missed out. While Fenn hopes that the pair will be in contention for Saturday’s trip to Waterford, neither will be available tonight.
“Gearóid had a had bit of a freak injury on his Achilles/ankle area,” he said.
“Graham just had a bit of tightness in muscles because he’s back training and he hadn’t been doing that kind of training.”
Goalkeeper Liam Bossin, who started four of the five games before the lockdown before missing the St Patrick’s Athletic clash due to injury, was on the bench against Bohs with veteran Mark McNulty getting the nod.
Belgian-born Bossin had to undergo self-isolation after his return to Ireland and Fenn could give him a start against the Whitechurch side.
“Liam had a couple of little niggles and tightness in his muscles,” he said, “that’s why he hadn’t played in any of the pre-season games.
“He needs to train and be sharp before he can come back into the team. We’d look at involving him on Tuesday night.”
Of course, one thing tonight’s game will have in common with Sunday’s will be the lack of a crowd. It’s a situation that Fenn found strange on Sunday and one which was potentially costly as the team pushed for an equaliser in the closing stages.
“Towards the end on Sunday, we were pushing on and you can imagine if the Shed was there, they would have been getting behind us,” he said.
“It is an eerie situation, it doesn’t feel the same. It doesn’t feel right without a crowd here and I hope they’re back soon, for our sake.”
Rockmount had an away win over Carrigaline United in the semi-final, having previously overcome College Corinthians, Fermoy and Avondale United.
Billy Cronin’s side have the heavily experienced Brendan O’Connell in goal while Ken Hoey is another still going strong while in attack Kevin O’Connell and Niall Hanley will be others hoping to have an impact.