Cork City receive worst Cup final send-off

Bray Wanderers 4 Cork City 1: Bray gave Cork the worst possible FAI Cup final send-off on the last day of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division season.

Cork City receive worst Cup final send-off

Wanderers were unbeaten at the Carlisle Grounds in nine matches since last May.

But two quick-fire scores in the 90 minutes saw Harry Kenny’s side finish sixth in the top-flight table.

The Rebels started by the seaside brightly with Gearoid Morrissey flashing over early on. Conor Kenna then sliced Karl Sheppard’s delivery into his net in the 11th minute before Peter Cherrie smothered Sheppard’s 19th minute low drive.

With the Cup final in mind, the Munster outfit were also dealt a blow with veteran striker Mark O’Sullivan limping off early on.

The tie was John Caulfield’s 99th game in charge of City. They had lost just 13 times before kick-off under his stewardship.

But the 14th defeat was founded in the 33rd minute.

Kevin Lynch’s left-wing ball rolled all the way across to the right side of the pitch where Mark unleashed a stunning 22-yard shot that flew to the top left-hand corner of the net for his first goal for the club.

Irish U21 cap Dylan Connolly then showed why Dundalk have shown an active interest as Bray made it 2-0 in the 35th minute.

From Cherrie’s clearance, the ball was helped on to the ex-Ipswich winger who spotted Mark McNulty off his line and lobbed the stranded Cork keeper form 25-yards.

The result should have been put beyond doubt just four minutes later. Dean Kelly intercepted Kenny Browne’s back-pass. But the striker was denied by McNulty’s last gasp save.

Then in first-half stoppage time, the visitors’ custodian superbly tipped over Connolly’s fierce drive after being slipped in by Marks.

Bray ensured they took points off every other of the 11 teams in the Premier Division in 2016 by snatching a third in the 83rd minute as the unmarked John Sullivan tapped in Connolly’s centre.

Cork bagged a consolation straight away. Sheppard pounced on Kevin Lynch’s back pass and slotted past Cherrie.

Sub Ger Pender though had the final say in the 88th minute when he waltzed past three tackles and fired in from the edge of the box to make it 4-1.

Bray Wanderers:

Cherrie; Harding, Kenna, Clancy McNally 76), Lynch; Sullivan; Marks (Noone 84), Salmon, Moore, Connolly; Kelly (Pender 66).

Cork City:

McNulty; McSweeney, Mulcahy, Browne (Turner 76), Kavanagh; Healy, Gearoid Morrissey (Coleman 61); Sheppard, Holohan, Ogbene; O’Sullivan (Danny Morrissey 19).

Referee:

Robert Hennessy (Clare).

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