Dundalk v Cork City

Can Stephen Kenny's Dundalk do the double double against Cork City?

RuaidhrĂ­ Croke Sun, Nov 6
 
LIVE: Dundalk v Cork City

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  • Good afternoon and welcome to The Irish Times liveblog of the 2016 FAI Cup Final between Dundalk and Cork City! My name is Ruaidhrí Croke and I'll be with you as the action unfolds in this year's season finale where Cork will look to reap revenge on the Lilywhites for last year's final and stop them completing a second double 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 on the way!
  • So, the struggle that has dominated Irish football for the last two years once again reaches Lansdowne Road for the season-ending extravaganza.

    In those three years Dundalk have continually come out on top, winning the league each time and, of course, beating Cork in the cup final last year.

    Can this finally be the day where Cork get their own back?

    They'll certainly fancy their chances coming up against a Lilywhites side that played 2,000 miles away in Russia on Thursday night while Cork have been focussing purely on this game since the league title was decided two weeks ago.

    However, as Dundalk have proven so many times this season, they are a seriously special team. Not only did they go to Russia and put it up to Zenit on Thursday, they came away from it justifiably feeling that they could have beaten a team of 18 internationals on their own turf.

    For Cork the team practically picks itself at this stage with Garry Buckley the only doubt coming into the game. He has passed a fitness test this morning and starts. Meanwhile Mark O'Sullivan can only make the bench.

    The big boost for Dundalk is the re-introduction of captain Stephen O'Donnell to the centre of midfield after an injury. John Mountney is the unfortunate one to miss out on the big day as Chris Shields maintains his place after a superb performance in St Petersburg.

    Robbie Benson misses out due to injury, as does defender Shane Grimes.

    Kick off is at 3.40pm!

  • Cork will take huge solace from the fact that they have beaten Dundalk twice this year in their five meetings. However, when it really came down to it in the league decider a few weeks ago, Dundalk dug deeper and had the class to take the three points.  

    For pre-match reading we have Emmet Malone speaking to Cork's Seán Maguire about his desire to make up for a forgettable day last year when he was left out of the Dundalk squad for the big day in Ballsbridge.

    Touch of revenge in the air for Seán Maguire

    You can also read today's match preview from yesterday's newspaper.

    Dundalk hopes history repeats itself in FAI Cup Final

  • The players have retreated to their respective dressing rooms for a final team talk before the big kick-off. The ground is filling up nicely!

    I'm going to predict 3-1 to Dundalk but it would be nice to see Cork finally get one over on Kenny's team.

  • The teams are out on the pitch and the national anthem is done, it's nearly time!
  • As the flare smoke rises into the darkening Dublin sky the teams both form final huddles. Cork will attack the Havelock Square end in the first half.  

    Here we go!

  • 1 min: The game is underway! (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 4 mins: Dundalk have started well and are dominating possession. Cork are flying in right from the start and already Shields and McMillan have had treatment for heavy challenges. Shields is still off being treats for a cut on the head. It's going to be a physical one.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 6 mins: I couldn't resist. That is funny.

    But back to the game, Shields has re-entered the fray looking like he's belatedly dressed up as Terry Butcher for Halloween. Cork are settling a little bit more now and are keeping the ball. No chances as of yet.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)

  • 8 mins: Cork get the first corner of the game but Dundalk easily clear and break with Shields setting Horgan away down the left. The goalscorer from Thursday in Zenit looks to get it into the box early with a low cross but Kenny Browne is able to deal with it. There's been a great pace to this game so far with both sides going for it from the start. Let's hope it continues like that.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 13 mins:  Gartland strides forward out of his defence and finds McMillan with a good ball over the top but the Dundalk man's touch is a little off and Browne is able to snuff out the danger. It's just a little bit scrappy at the moment with neither side really able to get a foot on it as both are pressing very high, not allowing anyone time on the ball.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 15 mins: From the right Finn finds McMillan in acres of space 30 yards out. The striker turns and drives towards goal but ignores Shields who made a bursting run past him into space on the right. McMillan manages to win a corner but it comes to nothing. He really should have slipped his team mate in there.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 19 mins: Chance for Dundalk! After the quick start to the game it's slowed down a little now as Cork seem happy to retreat into a 4-5-1 formation and watch Dundalk play in front of them. From centre back, Boyle takes that five in midfield out of it completely by spearing a superb 60 yard pass out to Gannon on the right. The full-back cut inside and managed to get a good low ball into the front post where Horgan ran on to it but couldn't manage to keep his shot down.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 22 mins: Trouble here for Dundalk. Stephen O'Donnell has pulled up and looks to be in pain with the hamstring injury which has kept him out for the last few weeks. John Mountney is stripped and ready to come on for his captain but O'Donnell has not given up yet. He's been patched up by the Dundalk physio and returns to the fray!  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 24 mins:  Greg Bolger pulls down O'Donnell with a tackle that would have fitted in a lot better in Chicago last night. Advantage was played as Horgan attacked but he was then fouled by Beattie on the edge of the box and Dundalk get the free kick. Bolger is correctly booked and Horgan will now have the chance to deliver into the area...(Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 25 mins: But it flies over the heads of everyone and out for a goal kick.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)

  • 27 mins: Dundalk fans can relax a little as it turns out it's not O'Donnell's hamstring that's causing the problem but rather a niggle in the calf area. He seems okay now though and is playing without any inhibitions. (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)  
  • 33 mins: There is little or nothing for Cork once they get into the final third - which is a rare occurence in itself. Seán Maguire is completely isolated and doesn't have a chance against Boyle and Gartland with high balls being pumped into him.

    Alan Bennet has been booked for a very poor tackle on O'Donnell who has been in the wars so far.

    But talking about in the wars, Shields is being treated again as the blood absolutely pours down the side of his head. He's really taking this Terry Butcher thing seriously. He's had to change jerseys (he's now number 33) and get re-bandaged but he's back on the pitch once again.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)

  • 35 mins: Shields has definitely gone for 33 just so that we can hear Brian Kerr say "turty tree" in commentary. That's a joy in itself.

    But back to the game. Cork are enjoying a little spell of possession in the Dundalk half now and just forced Gary Rogers into a good clearing punch from a free-kick on the right. They now have another set piece in the same position. Bolger to take...  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)

  • 37 mins: It's half cleared only as far as Morrissey on the edge of the box but he can't get it down to shoot and Dundalk are able to clear fully.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 43 mins: Chance for Dundalk! Cork are caught out in the attack and Horgan is able to turn on the halfway line with acres of space in front of him. He charges towards goal before opening his body and playing a perfect through ball to McMillan who had made the diagonal into the area. The Dundalk striker shot first time, across McNulty, but the Cork goalkeeper stayed tall to get his right leg to it and divert around the post.  

    The first corner comes to nothing but Dundalk quickly force another. Horgan swings it in to the back post where Gartland rises highest and meets but can only direct his header wide.

    That's the best chance of the game so far and McMillan really should have scored!  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)

  • 45+1 mins: Shields stops a Cork counter-attack by pulling down Beattie and is shown a yellow card. Cork have a free-kick in a good position on the right.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • HALF TIME: CORK CITY 0 DUNDALK 0
  • It hasn't been a first half for the ages but you get the feeling this one is just beginning to simmer before coming to the boil. We've already had three yellow cards but only one really clear-cut chance. That fell to McMillan and he really should have done better.  

    Dundalk have probably just shaded it but Cork have come into it a lot more in the last 15 minutes. We should be set for an exciting second 45 minutes!

  • 46 mins: Cork get the second half underway!  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 47 mins: 26,400 is the attendance, up slightly on last year's 25,103. No changes for either team at half time as Dundalk take control of the ball early on in this second half, stroking it around in their own half.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 49 mins: Cork get the first half chance of the second half after Maguire made the most of a long ball forward. The Cork striker managed to take it down and feed Morrissey in the box. He cut inside and shot on his left foot from 16 yards but it was a tame effort that was easily saved by Rogers.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 54 mins: Cork have started the second half as the better team but are yet to create any real chances. Maguire is getting the ball to his feet a lot more and is already looking much more effective.

    Shields head is still seeping blood and he's finally been replaced by Mountney.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)

  • 57 mins: Cork are threatening here. From just inside the Dundalk half Bolger floated a hopeful free kick into the box which was only cleared as far as the D. Dooley ran onto it and hit a first time snapshot which Rogers saved easily but it's another warning sign for Dundalk.

    And they have another chance now as Finn flies in on Maguire and gives away a free kick 25 yards out. He gets booked for the tackle as O'Connor and Buckley eye up this free kick...(Cork 0 Dundalk 0)

  • 59 mins: Buckley takes...and skews it miles over the bar. That was a good chance absolutely squandered there.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 61 mins: But Cork quickly win it back yet again and launch another attack. Sheppard delivers a good ball from the right which Gartland has to head behiind for a corner.

    O'Connor swings it into the middle and Rogers gets completely caught out beneath the ball. Gannon manages to head half clear but it breaks to Bennett who shoots towards goal but again Dundalk get bodies in the way and scramble it clear! Cork are well on top here.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)

  • 63 mins: These Cork attacks are absolutely relentless now. Dooley is the latest to win a free-kick down the left thanks to a foul from McEleney. Bolger whips it into the box but it's just a little too high for Bennett and Rogers is able to collect. Dundalk simply can't get a kick at the moment.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 64 mins: Dane Massey is the latest to receive a yellow card for Dundalk as the cautions mount up. I'll be very, very surprised if we get to 90 minutes without seeing a sending off here.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 65 mins: Cork win yet another free-kick, this time in a very good position after O'Donnell brought down Maguire. He also goes in the book! That's five players cautioned for Dundalk now!

    This is an excellent position for the left foot of O'Connor...(Cork 0 Dundalk 0)

  • 66 mins: From 23 yards he whips it over the wall but can't get it to come down quick enough. Dundalk haven't had a second to so much as breathe in the last 20 minutes.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 69 mins: Dundalk finally get a bit of respite in the form of a free-kick on the left after Bennett fouled McMillan. However Horgan's delivery is far too high and floats harmlessley into the grateful arms of McNulty.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 73 mins: Chance for Dundalk! A rare foray into the Cork half allows Finn in behind on the right. He crosses to the front post where McMillan meets it but the awkward bounce means he can only scuff wide!

    Cork just look to have the legs on Dundalk at the moment. It's not surprising considering the fact that Kenny's men were playing in Russia on Thursday but Cork need to make the breakthrough.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)

  • 76 mins: Chance for Cork! And it was a beautiful move! Dooley surged towards the box before playing a lovely one-two with Maguire on the edge. Receiving it back Dooley slipped it through O'Donnell's legs and on to Morrissey who shot first time. It was straight at Rogers but too hot for him to handle. However the Dundalk goalkeeper did well to get down quickly and flick the follow up off the toe of Maguire who thought he had a tap in!

    Meanwhile Dean Sheils has replaced McEleney for Dundalk.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)

  • 78 mins: Cork replace Sheppard with Chiedozie Ogbene while Ciaran Kilduff comes on for McMillan in the Dundalk ranks.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 80 mins: Chance for Dundalk! Finn is the only one finding any space in behind and manages to get to the end line. He lifts his head and chips it towards Kilduff at the back post but it was just out of his reach!

    Or, as Brian Kerr said, "he couldn't manage to get his big loaf on it!"  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)

  • 82 mins: The game is opened right up now and Dundalk have come right back into it in the last 10 minutes. Both sides look desperate to win it before extra-time. However you'd have to imagine that an extra period would suit Cork a lot better.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 84 mins: Chance for Cork! The best chance of the game so far but Rogers is up to the task! Morrissey looked to feed Maguire in behind on the left. His pass was a little bit off but made it's way through as Gartland lost his balance when trying to cut it out. That allowed Maguire to get his head up and pull it back to the penalty spot where Ogbene was steaming in. The 19-year-old opened his body and shot low first time but Rogers flew across his goal to deflect it away with his left foot! What a last five minutes we have in store here!  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 88 mins: Both teams are really going for it now and it's Dundalk who have Cork camped on the edge of their box.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 89 mins: Chance for Dundalk!! Sheils gets in behind on the left to win a corner and takes it quickly to Horgan. The winger gets into the box and chips it to the back post where Kilduff rises highest but he can't get his header down on target!  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 90 mins: We'll have three extra minutes. Cork have the ball in the arms of McNulty...(Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 90+2 mins: Chance for Dundalk! They're looking the better team now and have come closest to scoring in the last 10 minutes or so. Horgan spread the play wide to Gannon who delivered first time into the box. It was met by a diving header from O'Donnell 12 yards out but, again, it flies over.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • FULL TIME: CORK CITY 0 DUNDALK 0

    EXTRA TIME TO COME!

  • 1 min (ET): Dundalk get extra-time underway!  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 3 mins (ET): It's hard not to see Cork win this from here given that they simply must have more left in the tank than Dundalk. But Kenny's men were by far the strong in the last 10 munutes or so of normal time.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)

  • 6 mins (ET): Mark O'Sullivan replaces Bolger for Cork.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 10 mins (ET): Colin Healy replaces Morrissey for Cork. The substitutions are about all that have happened in this opening half of extra-time so far...(Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 13 mins (ET): It's been a scrappy enough first half of extra-time with both sides looking increasingly tired.  

    Cork almost forced a goal thanks to a lucky deflection off the head of Boyle from an Ogbene cross which drifted just wide of the far post!  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)

  • 15 mins (ET): Finn tries his luck from a long, long, long way out but it flies well wide.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • HALF TIME (ET): CORK CITY 0 DUNDALK 0
  • 16 mins (ET): Cork get the second half of extra time underway. Will we finally see a goal or are we heading for yet another FAI Cup Final penalty shootout?  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 18 mins (ET): Cork take early control of the last 15 minutes and force a corner as Ogbene's cross is cleared behind by Gartland.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 19 mins (ET): O'Connor whips it in deep but it's straight into the arms of Rogers. Both sides look absolutely dead on their feet now. We are staring penalties in the face...(Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 20 mins (ET): Chance for Dundalk! Finn, somehow, finds something left in the tank to surge past the Cork defence on the left and cross low. Bennett manages to get a foot to the cross but it breaks on the edge of the six yard box! Kilduff charges towards it but Browne reacts quicker to boot it clear!  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 22 mins: Horgan tries his luck from range and forces a corner...(Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 23 mins: Mountney sends the corner in but the referee spots a push by Gartland on Browne and awards Cork a free out.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 25 mins: Chance for Dundalk! Horgan swings in a dipping cross from the left which catches McNulty off his line and dips towards the far top corner but the Cork 'keeper is able to backtrack fast enough and get a hand to it.  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 27 mins: Chance for Dundalk!! After winning a free kick right on the halfway line Dundalk take it quick and work it to Finn. Cork hadn't quite set themselves, allowing Finn to move into space and shoot low from 18 yards but it flies inches wide!  (Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • 29 mins: We're into the final minute now before a penalty shootout...(Cork 0 Dundalk 0)
  • GOAL FOR CORK!!!!!!!! (MAGUIRE, 30+1' ET)

    CORK 1 DUNDALK 0!

  • 30+2 mins (ET): From absolutely nothing Cork net what must be the winner! Beattie flung a long throw into the box from the right hand side where it landed at the feet of Maguire. He was able to spin and force a shot towards goal. It was a tame effort but took a deflection off Boyle, beating Rogers and creeping into the bottom corner!

    Absolute scenes in the Aviva!

  • FULL TIME: CORK 1 DUNDALK 0!

    CORK CITY ARE THE 2016 FAI CUP CHAMPIONS!!

  • What a dramatic, dramatic finish. Overall it would have been hard to say either team deserved it as there was little or nothing between them for the whole 120 minutes.  

    But, as a team, Cork deserve this. They've gone toe-to-toe with the best team in League of Ireland history consistently for the last two years and, finally, reap some rewards with a bit of silverware.

  • So, that's that. Dundalk are denied a second double in a row in the cruellest of fashions. But this isn't even the end of their season. They'll have to pick themselves up and go again with two Europa League group games to go where they have a serious chance of reaching the last 32.

    As for Cork, well, it's going to be some party! Thanks for reading along, Emmet Malone's report and reaction will be online at www.irishtimes.com/sport in the next while so stay tuned for that.

    But, with that I shall leave you, bye!