City stage comeback to retain President's Cup

City stage comeback to retain President's Cup
Cork City's Conor McCormack celebrates with the trophy. Pic: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Dundalk 2 Cork City 4 

Cork City have begun the 2018 season as they ended the 2017 campaign, beating Dundalk to claim silverware.

The Rebel Army produced an excellent second-half comeback to win the President’s Cup at Oriel Park today, with Kieran Sadlier’s wonderful 30-yard shot in the 79th minute putting them 3-2 in front before Graham Cummins added a fourth two minutes later.

Such a turnaround didn’t seem likely at half-time, when the home side led 2-0 thanks to a pair of goals from new signing Ronan Murray. The first of these came in the 18th minute after Dane Massey’s quick throw found Michael Duffy free in the City area and after he was half-challenged, the ball fell to Murray, who finished well.

With Krisztian Adorján impressive in midfield, Dundalk kept City penned back in their own half and the second goal was just reward, Murray controlling well after Massey’s deft cross found him in the box.

City manager John Caulfield changed things for the second half, bringing in Steven Beattie and Karl Sheppard, and the later had an instant impact as he latched on to a Cummins flick-on to slot past Gary Rogers.

With their tails up, the equaliser wasn’t long arriving. After a good Gearóid Morrissey block-down, Sadlier picked up possession on the left and his cross was perfect for Barry McNamee to head to the net.

Twice, Dundalk felt they had justifiable penalty shouts, sub Patrick Hoban going down under challenges, but they had lost their attacking spark and Sadlier put City in front with a brilliant strike from McNamee’s lay-off.

The winger, the visitors’ best player throughout, then picked up his second assist as his cross from the left was met on the volley by Cummins to secure the win.

DUNDALK: Rogers; Poynton, Hoare (Benson 38), Folan, Massey; Shields; Connolly (O’Keeffe 88), Adorján (Hoban 67), McGrath, Duffy; Murray.

CORK CITY: Cherrie; Horgan (Beattie half-time), Bennett, Barry, Griffin; Morrissey (McCarthy 89), McCormack; Keohane (Sheppard half-time), McNamee, Sadlier (McLoughlin 90); Cummins (Adebayo Rowling 90).

Referee: D Tomney (Dublin).

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