Cobh Ramblers shock Cork City to win the Munster Senior Cup for the sixth time in their history

On the 100th anniversary of both Ramblers and the Munster Football Association, it was arguably fitting that the silverware should head to Cobh thanks to James O’Leary’s long free kick in the second half.
Cobh Ramblers shock Cork City to win the Munster Senior Cup for the sixth time in their history

Dylan McGlade, Cork City, Pierce Phillips, Cobh Ramblers.

Cork City 0 

Cobh Ramblers 1

COBH RAMBLERS lifted the Munster Senior Cup for the sixth time in their history as they defeated Cork City 1-0 in the final at Turner’s Cross on Monday night.

On the 100th anniversary of both Ramblers and the Munster Football Association, it was arguably fitting that the silverware should head to Cobh thanks to James O’Leary’s long free kick in the second half.

The difference in the two managers’ approach to this showpiece occasion could perhaps be seen when the team sheets were released within an hour of kick-off.

City boss Colin Healy made ten changes to his side which missed the opportunity to secure the first division title, and with it promotion back to the top tier of Irish football, last Friday night when they were beaten 2-1 away to Galway United with centre-back Jonas Hakkinen the sole survivor.

Ramblers’ boss Shane Keegan, on the other hand, had initially made six changes from his starting eleven which suffered a disappointing 3-1 loss at home to Athlone Town 72 hours earlier with only Paul Hunt, John Kavanagh, Jake Hegarthy, Michael McCarthy and Harlain Mbayo retaining their places.

 Uniss Kargbo, Cork City, James O'Leary, Cobh Ramblers.
Uniss Kargbo, Cork City, James O'Leary, Cobh Ramblers.

But that was reduced to five shortly before the match began as Keegan was forced into making another alteration with Sean McGrath, who also started against Athlone, coming in for Conor Drinan.

The Rebel Army, who have the most wins in this competition with 19, were looking to make it six wins out of six - four of those coming in the league and one in the FAI Cup - against their neighbours this season and they started brightly with Alec Byrne and Matt Srbely controlling the midfield.

But it was the Rams who had the first attempt at goal in the 19th minute but Pierce Phillip’s low drive from the edge of the penalty area was easily saved by goalkeeper Jimmy Corcoran.

And that was it in terms of attempts at goal in the first half. City had dominated the possession but the closest they came to scoring was just before the break but the on-rushing Gordon Walker just couldn’t get a good connection on Byrne’s excellent defence-splitting pass to the back post.

It wasn’t until the 67th minute that the game’s total figure for attempts on target doubled from one to two but it did result in the opening goal and it went in favour of the Rams.

James O’Leary’s decided to try his luck directly from a free-kick all of 30 yards out and it proved to be the right decision as his dipping shot somehow found the bottom right corner of the City net despite Corcoran getting a hand to it.

The concession of that goal finally sparked the home side into life and they almost immediately snatched an equaliser but after Gordon Walker blasted the ball into the side netting from a tight angle, substitute Darragh Crowley also powered his effort wide of the same near post.

 Louis Britton, Cork City, Dale Holland, Cobh Ramblers.
Louis Britton, Cork City, Dale Holland, Cobh Ramblers.

That would be as close as they would come to scoring a leveller as Ramblers hung on to land the silverware as City’s attention turns to winning the first division.

CORK CITY: Jimmy Corcoran, Uniss Kargbo, Dylan McGlade, Kevin O’Connor, Alec Byrne, Matt Srbely, Oran Crowe, James Doona, Gordon Walker, Jonas Hakkinen, Louis Britton.

Subs: Darragh Crowley for James Doona (62), Bradley Walsh for Alec Byrne (78).

COBH RAMBLERS: Paul Hunt, John Kavanagh, Pierce Phillips, Jake Hegarthy, Conor Drinan, Justin Eguaibor, James McCarthy, Michael McCarthy, Dale Holland, James O’Leary, Harlain Mbayo.

Subs: Danny O’Connell for Pierce Phillips (67), Jason Abbott for James McCarthy (79), Luke Desmond for Dale Holland (88), Beineon O’Brien Whitmarsh for Jake Hegarthy (88).

Referee: Robert Hennessy.

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