FAI Cup final: Dundalk v Cork City

For the third year in a row the champions and the runners-up go head-to-head in the cup final

Ruaidhrí Croke Sun, Nov 5
LIVE: FAI Cup final: Dundalk v Cork City

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  • 14:26

    Good afternoon and welcome to The Irish Times liveblog of the FAI Cup final between Dundalk and Cork City. I'm Ruaidhrí Croke and I'll be with you for the afternoon from Lansdowne Road as Cork look to complete a league and cup double, as well as making it two FAI Cups in a row and completing a double on the day after the women's team beat UCD Waves 1-0 earlier this afternoon to lift the trophy. Dundalk, meanwhile, are looking to make it a cup double after they won the EA Sports Cup earlier in the year. Put simply, there's a lot on the line as the two current titans of Irish football meet in the cup final for the third year in a row.

    You can get involved by using the 'Contact Us' button at the top of the blog or you can get me on Twitter @Ruaidhri_Croke. Team news is on the way!

  • 14:51

    CORK CITY:  Mark McNulty; Steven Beattie, Ryan Delaney, Alan Bennett (c), Shane Griffin; Conor McCormack, Jimmy Keohane, Gearoid Morrissey; Garry Buckley, Karl Sheppard, Stephen Dooley.

    Subs: Alan Smith, Greg Bolger, Achille Campion, Kieran Sadlier, Connor Ellis, Conor McCarthy, Robbie Williams.

    DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Niclas Vemmelund, Dane Massey; Stephen O’Donnell (c), Robbie Benson; Jamie McGrath, Patrick McEleney, Michael Duffy; David McMillan.

  • 14:58

    So, Dundalk go with the same team that beat Galway 4-3 on the final day of the season with Jamie McGrath getting the nod ahead of Dylan Connolly in one of the main eye-catching selections.  

    Cork, meanwhile, have gone with Karl Sheppard ahead of Kieran Sadlier as they look for their second cup win in consecutive years.  

    Just over 35 minutes until kick-off now as the teams continue their warm-ups.  

    You can read Emmet Malone's preview of the match here: Special rivals Dundalk and Cork City meet again

    He also spoke to Cork captain Alan Bennett: Alan Bennett knows the value of bringing it all back home

  • 15:14
    With just less than 20 minutes to go until kick-off the stands are still fairly sparse here at the Aviva. However, the Cork fans are in superb voice already the goals with flares and flags creating an excellent atmpshere. The Dundalk fans are filtering in just a little slower, prefering to make the most of their time in the pub before kick-off.
  • 15:19
    Speaking of that good atmposhere the Cork fans are creating, the outrageously loud PA system in the Aviva is doing absolutely nothing to help it. You can hear your insides shake when the announcer speaks.
  • 15:23

    The teams are in the tunnel while Shipping Up To Boston blares out ... for some reason.  

    Anyway, hold onto your hats it's nearly go-time!

  • 15:29

    The teams are on the pitch with Dundalk fans giving a nod to Oasis in their display which includes the lyrics "All my people right here, right now" accompanied by flares.  

    Down the far end Cork have turned the air green with smoke bombs. Through the fog we can just about make out President Michael D Higgins being introduced to the players before Amhrán na bhFiann rings out.  

    That's the pleasantries dealt with, it's time for kick-off.

  • 15:33
    1 min: The 2017 FAI Cup final is underway! (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 15:35
    3 mins: Dundalk take the early possession with Michael Duffy making a foray into the Cork box from the left hand side before being dispossessed and the ball bounces into the hands of Mark McNulty. (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 15:37
    5 mins: Cork win the first free-kick of the game in a good position on the right wing but can't make anything of it as Robbie Benson heads clear for Dundalk. However, it's swiftly played back into the Lilywhites' area and Cork win a corner on the right-hand side.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 15:38
    6 mins: A good cross from Shane Griffin floats all the way to the back post where Gary Rogers gets a fist onto it while being fouled. It's a free-kick for Dundalk and a chance to regroup.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 15:40
    7 mins: Cork have started the stronger of the two teams and look very assured in possession. They also nearly fashioned a good chance after Niclas Vemmelund completely fluffed a routine clearance 30 yards from his own goal. That allowed Karl Sheppard to get in behind but his cross was easily gathered by Rogers.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 15:42

    9 mins: Chance for Dundalk!

    And it from nowhere. A good pass from Benson found Jamie McGrath in the Cork box on the right hand side. He shifted it onto his right foot before shooting low across McNulty who was forced to make a diving save. However, he could only parry right back into his six-yard box but, luckily for the Cork goalkeeper, Alan Bennett was on hand to turn and clear the danger. Best chance of the game so far.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)

  • 15:47

    14 mins: Chance for Cork!

    They have looked particularly dangerous down the right so far with Sheppard peeling off onto that wing whenever he can. On this occasion he found space and played a good cross into the near post that Gannon was forced to clear for a corner.  

    Catching Dundalk somewhat unawares, Griffin took the corner short to the feet of Stephen Dooley who swivelled and played a low ball into the near post where it was met by Sheppard. His stabbed effort was on target but right at Rogers who did well to save with his feet and Dundalk could clear the danger. We're less than 15 minutes in and already this game is beginning to heat up.

    Cork now have a free-kick on the left hand side of the Dundalk box, just short of the corner flag.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)

  • 15:48
    15 mins: Dooley's ball into the box is deep and looking for the head of the on-rushing Bennett. However, he doesn't get there as Rogers rises high to catch, shrugging the big Cork captain off in the process. It's still early doors but you get the feeling that this cup final is not going to disappoint. Excellent stuff so far.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 15:53

    20 mins: What a double save from Rogers!

    Well Stephen Dooley has been the absolute standout man so far in this game and he was nearly rewarded with the opening goal. After hassling and harrying the Dundalk defence the winger won the ball on the left wing and went on a surging diagonal run towards the box. Twice he lost possession but both times he won it straight back before making some space on the right and firing a low shot at Rogers.

    The Dundalk goalkeeper saved with his feet but only as far as Sheppard who hooked the ball back towards what appeared to be an open net. However, Rogers was already back on his feet and flew across his goal to parry it out for a corner. From the resulting cross he was fouled and Dundalk clear.  

    This has been a brilliant game so far. Cork probably just about have the upper hand but not by much.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)

  • 15:58
    25 mins: A whole five minutes have gone past without a chance and it feels strange given how end-to-end it has been so far. Dundalk are in possession and looking to find a gap in the Cork defence as they pass it around the midfield.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 15:59
    27 mins: And with that they do find a gap. McEleney's low pass into Benson on the edge of the area allows him to flick one around the corner with his left foot towards McMillan who ran in behind. However, the spin on the ball made it too difficult for the Dundalk man to control and Bennett came across to cover.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 16:02

    28 mins: It's safe to say the build-up to this game hasn't exactly been pleasant between either side with Mark McNulty's chants in a Cork nightclub last weekend sparking it off before Stephen Kenny's story of how Cork players rang Dundalk captain Stephen O'Donnell after last year's final to gloat down the phone to him.

    This was always going to be an aggressive game and it threatened to boil over in the last Cork attack. A high ball into the box was once again caught by the so far excellent Rogers who denied Bennett. On landing the Cork captain decided he'd go back for a bit more and launched a shoulder into the Dundalk goalkeeper. Completely needless and it's all been sorted now but you get the feeling that this game could boil over at any minute.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)

  • 16:04

    29 mins: Chance for Dundalk!

    And what a chance it was! Duffy cut in from the left wing, finding himself some space to unleash a low swerving shot at goal. The movement on the ball seemed to catch McNulty off guard and he could only parry it straight back out to McMillan who somehow managed to hook his left-footed effort wide!

    That's the best chance of the game so far and one that really should have seen Dundalk go 1-0 up.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)

  • 16:08
    35 mins: This could spell trouble for Cork. Jimmy Keohane is down in the centre circle after a particularly robust tackle from O'Donnell. It doesn't look great.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 16:10
    37 mins: After some treatment Keohane is back to his feet and looking to run it off. Dundalk have possession just inside the Cork half.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 16:11
    38 mins: Duffy tries a long range effort with his right-foot but it's a weak shot and trickles easily into the hands of McNulty.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 16:19


    Apologies for the lack of posts in the last seven minutes or so, the Aviva stadium suffered a little Wi-Fi hiccup. We're back up and running now though. Both sides were happy enough to get to half-time with the game scoreless after both had survived a number of scares in the opening half.  

  • 16:31

    So, it's been an enthralling first half lacking just that crucial element of goals. Both sides have created good chances with McMillan's miss from only a few yards out probably the best.

    However, Dundalk also have Gary Rogers to thank in their own goal; the Meath man making a number of excellent saves with the double stop from Dooley and Sheppard the standout.

    Will we see the deadlock broken in the second half or are we in for yet more cup final extra-time?

  • 16:36
    46 mins: The second half is underway at the Aviva stadium! (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 16:39

    49 mins: Dundalk fashion the first chance of the second half but Cork manage to clear.

    A hooked cross in from Benson on the left was nodded down by McGrath at the back post. With the ball bouncing in the six yard box McMillan attacked it but pulled out as two Cork defenders charged in to barge him out of the way and clear the danger. (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)

  • 16:41

    50 mins: Some neat play from Cork results in a save from Rogers.

    Dooley and Keohane combined nicely in the middle, allowing Keohane to fashion some space and shoot left footed but Rogers got down low to stop it and hold onto it.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)

  • 16:43
    53 mins: Dundalk have started the second half the brighter team and are fashioning chances down the left. Again Benson was fed in behind but this time Morrissey did well to get a slide tackle in and dispossess after tracking all the way back.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 16:47
    57 mins: It's Dundalk who are enjoying all of the possession in the second half so far and they've just won a corner. Cork have looked just a little sluggish and haven't got going yet.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 16:49

    58 mins: HANDBAGS!

    The Dundalk corner comes to nothing with McNulty gathering easily under no pressure. However, as he ran to the edge of his box to take the kick out quickly, Brian Gartland left a shoulder on him as he jogged past, causing the Cork goalkeeper to dramaticaly fall to the ground. That sparked a slight melée with McMillan squaring up to McNulty before the referee stepped in and all was resolved. It's all just bubbling away nicely.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)

  • 16:49
    59 mins: The first substitution of the game sees Kieran Sadlier replace Keohane for Cork.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 16:54

    63 mins: Duffy is denied by a good block from Bennett!

    The Dundalk winger cut inside nicely and drove towards the Cork box before attempting to curl a low shot towards the right bottom corner. However, Bennett slid in well to block.

    In other news a fireman on the pitch has just been hit by a flare thrown from the Dundalk section. Thankfully he's okay. Down the other end a Cork fan has attempted to do the same but missed.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)

  • 16:56

    66 mins: Chance for Dundalk!

    McGrath managed to nick the ball 30 yards from the Cork goal and take it into the left hand side of the box before turning back onto his right foot. From there he clipped a cross into the back psot area where it was met by Benson who got his header on target, only to be denied by a good low save from McNulty. Dundalk really are the teasm in the ascendancy at the moment.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)

  • 17:01

    70 mins: Dundalk are enjoying all of the ball now and Cork are struggling just to get a touch. The Lilywhites have had three good chances in the second half but have failed to convert any of them. Cork really need to get going here or they'll find themselves behind.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)

  • 17:02
    71 mins: We have a first change of the game for Dundalk as Jamie McGrath makes way for Dylan Connolly. The former Shelbourne man's lightning pace could do some serious damage at this stage of the game.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 17:04
    73 mins: Another chance for Dundalk and another foul on McNulty. After a driving run from Duffy to force a corner, the delivery was caught by the Cork goalkeeper but he was adjudged to have been fouled, as he has been on countless occasions so far this game.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 17:08
    77 mins: With 13 minutes to go in normal time things have slowed down a little as Dundalk calmly pass it around the midfield. The way the second half has gone you have to imagine Cork would take extra-time at this stage.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 17:10
    79 mins: Sheppard is becoming more and more isolated up top for Cork and has spent most of his second half just chasing lost causes. If there's going to be a winner in normal time you'd put your money on it being Dundalk, Cork seem to have ran out of steam a bit.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 17:11
    80 mins: The first yellow card of the game is shown to Stephen O'Donnell after a late tackle on Conor McCormack.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 17:14
    84 mins: Once again it looks like we're heading for extra-time in the cup final. There's still time for a winner in normal time but both sides are showing less and less attacking intent by the second.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 17:17
    86 mins: Dundalk have a corner after some brilliant skill from Duffy to nutmeg Beattie on the turn. Is this the chance?  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 17:18
    87 mins: The first corner is cleared for another after McNulty spilled the ball in the box. From the second attempt McNulty stays on his line, allowing Gartland to get his head to it but the effort lacks power and the Cork goalkeeper can catch and settle things down. Cork are desperately looking for extra-time now.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 17:20
    89 mins: Even the Cork fans have gone nervously quiet, knowing their side are under pressure in these closing minutes. The Dundalk fans are in full voice and willing a goal for their side but it doesn't look to be coming just yet anyway.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 17:21
    90 mins: We'll have two minutes of added time before the inevitable cup final extra-time.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 17:22
    90+1 mins: Cork have a free-kick on the halfway line and all the big men are forward. Could this be it?  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 17:25

    90+2 mins: What a save from Rogers!

    That's absolutely incredible stuff! The long ball into the box from Beattie beat everybody but was kept alive by Bennett who then fed Dooley. He twisted and turned and created some space on the left before lofting a beautiful clipped cross to the back post. It beat the hands of Rogers and found the head of Sheppard who nodded it back across the six yard box. Bennett came steaming in to flick a shot goalwards from only about three yards out but somehow Rogers got up and back across his goal to save, even after it deflected off Morrissey!

    What a finish to the game and what a chance for Cork to steal the cup!  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)

  • 17:25

    FULL TIME: Dundalk 0 Cork City 0

    We're heading for extra-time for the third year in a row!

  • 17:29

    1 min (ET): We are underway in extra-time!

    Seán Hoare has replaced the injured Brian Gartland for the extra period.  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)

  • 17:31
  • 17:33
    3 mins (ET): As is so often the case with extra-time, it's been a cagey start from both sides. You have to imagine the whole 30 minutes will be pretty cagey with neither side willing to take too many risks. Penalties anyone?  (Dundalk 0 Cork City 0)
  • 17:34



  • 17:36

    7 mins (ET): Just as I say that, Dundalk go and score the goal that they very much deserve.

    A free-kick on the right wing was swung in by Duffy and met by the charging Vemmelund to power a header into the top right corner and send the Dundalk fans into raptures!

    Let's hope that's the last Dane to score in Lansdowne Road until after next week anyway!  (Dundalk 1 Cork City 0)

  • 17:38
    9 mins (ET): Cork have to go for it now and they're attempting to do so with a double substitution. Achille Campion and Greg Bolger have replaced Garry Buckley and Gearóid Morrissey respectively. Can they make the difference?  (Dundalk 1 Cork City 0)
  • 17:40
    11 mins (ET): Cork are showing more attacking intent now because they have to. Griffin went forward dpown the left and delivered a good low ball into the box which was flicked goalwards by Sheppard but Rogers saved easily.  (Dundalk 1 Cork City 0)
  • 17:43
    14 mins (ET): Cork are going forward in numbers but Dundalk are defending in numbers and not allowing them an inch. Vemmelund is down injured at the moment and the game is stopped.  (Dundalk 1 Cork City 0)
  • 17:44
  • 17:44
    15 mins (ET): The goalscorer is up after receving treatment and looks to be okay.  (Dundalk 1 Cork City 0)
  • 17:46
    HALF TIME IN EXTRA-TIME: Dundalk 1 Cork City 0
  • 17:49
    16 mins (ET): The second half of extra-time is underway, Cork have 15 minutes to salvage their double dreams.  (Dundalk 1 Cork City 0)
  • 17:53

    18 mins (ET): Chance for Cork!

    After some neat midfield play, Kieran Sadlier found half a yard of space on the edge of the Dundalk box and flashed a shot inches wide of Rogers' left hand post.

    Meanwhile, John Mountney has replaced Patrick McEleney for Dundalk. (Dundalk 1 Cork City 0)

  • 17:55



  • 17:58

    23 mins (ET): What an impact from the substitute! And what a lovely goal it was too. Sheppard picked the ball up in a central position 30 yards from the Dundalk goal and lofted a gorgeous through pass over the Dundalk defence after they had all stepped up to play the offside trap. However, Campion had timed his move and, with his back to goal, took the ball on the chest before swivelling and volleying with his left foot into the right bottom corner via a slight deflection from the leg of Rogers.  

    A Dane and a Frenchman have scored the goals in the FAI Cup final and we are level again! Penalties?!    (Dundalk 1 Cork City 1)

  • 18:00
    26 mins (ET): Cork have a free-kick on the halfway line and all the big men are forward...  (Dundalk 1 Cork City 1)
  • 18:01
    27 mins (ET): Beattie slips as he takes it but it's kept alive by Griffin on the left. He beats Gannon and fizzes a cross into the Dundalk box but Hoare managed to get a head on it to clear. Suddenly Cork are the team in the ascendancy after failing to threaten for most of the second half and most of extra-time.  (Dundalk 1 Cork City 1)
  • 18:02
    29 mins (ET): Another Cork free-kick on the halfway line...  (Dundalk 1 Cork City 1)
  • 18:03
    29 mins (ET): The long ball into the box is half cleared, falling to Delaney who volleys towards goal but his effort is blocked by O'Donnell. It's recycled by Cork and launched back into the box where it drops for Campion but his effort is blocked superbly by Hoare. Cork are really, really pushing now!  (Dundalk 1 Cork City 1)
  • 18:04
    30 mins (ET): There will be two more minutes of play before penalties!  (Dundalk 1 Cork City 1)
  • 18:05
    30+1 mins (ET): Cork launch the final attack of the game with Griffin going down the left but it's well defended by Gannon and cleared. The resulting ball back into the box is caught by Rogers. Penalties it is!  (Dundalk 1 Cork City 1)
  • 18:06



  • 18:07
  • 18:07
  • 18:08
    That was some serious resilience shown by Cork. After being on the ropes for most of the second half they almost snatched it righ at the death before then going behind in extra-time. However, the substitutions which introduced Bolger and Campion to the game made the difference with the Frenchman ultimately getting the winner. It's anyone's trophy to win now.
  • 18:10
    The penalties will be taken in front of the Dundalk fans in the Havelock Square end and Karl Sheppard is up first for Cork!
  • 18:11

    Sheppard scores!

    The striker puts it straight down the middle.

    Dundalk 0 Cork City 1

  • 18:12

    McMillan steps up for Dundalk ...

  • 18:12

    McMillan scores into the left bottom corner!

    Dundalk 1 Cork City 1

  • 18:12

    Greg Bolger is up next for Cork...

  • 18:13

    And he scores into the bottom left corner as well!

    Dundalk 1 Cork 2

  • 18:13
    O'Donnell is next up for Dundalk...
  • 18:13

    And he scores! An excellent penalty into the bottom right corner.

    Dundalk 2 Cork 2

  • 18:13
    Conor McCormack for Cork...
  • 18:14

    McCormack scores!

    Dundalk 2 Cork 3

    Who is going to miss first?

  • 18:14

    Benson steps up for Dundalk...

  • 18:14

    And scores high into the roof of the net!

    Dundalk 3 Cork 3

  • 18:14
    Beattie is the fourth Cork penalty taker...
  • 18:15

    And the full-back scores!

    These are seriously good penalties.

    Dundalk 3 Cork 4

  • 18:15

    Duffy for Dundalk...

  • 18:15


    McNulty makes a great save to his right and Cork can win it now!

    Dundalk 3 Cork 4

  • 18:15
    Sadlier has the chance to win the cup for Cork...
  • 18:16



  • 18:22

    Well, well, well. It just had to be Mark McNulty, didn't it? After all the controversy during the week involving the Cork goalkeeper, he stepped up to save Duffy's penalty, allowing Sadlier to to slot home and give Cork the double.

    On the whole there was very little between the two teams but that will be extremely hard for Dundalk to take after dominating for much of the game and going ahead in extra-time. It's a second cup final loss in as many years for the Lilywhites and Cork have finally pipped them after playing second fiddle for the last two years.  

    Some great scenes at the end as Cork captain and stalwart Alan Bennett immediately sprinted towards the Cork fans before breaking down in tears at the edge of the box.  

    Another enthralling cup final and another dramatic finish. The FAI Cup is going back down south to the rebel county.  

    That's it from me on a freezing cold evening in Dublin 4. I hope you've enjoyed the coverage and thanks for reading, bye!