By Denis Hurley
Cork City manager John Caulfield couldn’t fault the effort of his side in coming up just short against the double winners.
“I felt it was an even match, there wasn’t a lot of clear chances,” he said.
“We know that over the last number of years. There were two goals in the first half but not a lot of chances in the second half. The first goal was a set-piece corner, which we normally don’t give away.
“They had a chance from a corner just after that. Sheppard nearly created a few chances, Rogers made a great save just before the end.
“You have to give Dundalk credit for getting the win. Last year, we were double winners, this year they are, they’re a great team. It’s easy to shake hands when you win, it’s not as easy when you lose but that’s what we do.”
Caulfield felt that an injury to Gearóid Morrissey midway through the second half came at just the wrong time for City.
“Gearóid Morrissey was putting his stamp on the game but he had to come off with a groin injury and that disrupted us a bit,” he said.
“Hoban had scored a lot of goals but I don’t think he had any real chance. The only real chance of the second half was when Karl Sheppard got in on his left foot, he came back out and maybe he should have hit it.
“You ask your team to perform in such a big game and they do that, you can’t ask for anything more, you just shake hands and take it.”
Patrick McEleney’s goal came from a Seán Gannon cross following a mistake by Shane Griffin, but Caulfield doesn’t feel the defender will let it get to him.
“He’s disappointed, but Shane Griffin is a phenomenal player,” he said.
“I thought he was very good, he did well going forward, he had been playing really, really well.
“These things happen, on another day you make a mistake and someone covers you, today we were open and McEleney took the chance well.
“Shane will bounce back from this.”