Cork City 2 Dundalk 0
New-look Cork City sent out an early season warning on Saturday as they got their hands on the President’s Cup with a comprehensive 2-0 victory over double-winners Dundalk in a feisty encounter at Turner’s Cross.
After playing second fiddle to the Lilywhites over the past two seasons, Cork were eager to start this season off on a high and show Stephen Kenny’s men that they mean business this time around.
They did so in terrific style with a performance that sent the Turner’s Cross faithful home with high hopes for the upcoming campaign.
Of course the main business starts on Friday night when Bohemians come to town and manager John Caulfield isn’t getting carried away with one performance in what is still pre-season, but the City boss was delighted with his side after the game.
“We worked very hard in pre-season and I knew it was a going to be a very competitive game, an ideal game before the start of the season but the indications are that our fitness levels are ok. We were the better team on the day,” said the City boss.
Caulfield had no fewer than seven new signings in his starting XI and they all impressed, especially on-loan Celtic youngster Eoghan O’Connell, Greg Bolger, and Sean Maguire, who scored the second goal.
“We were a bit rusty in certain ways but overall I thought our play in and around the box was very good.
“I really wanted to see how the new lads fitted in and to see what level we were at a week before the start of the season and early indications are that they’ll all be fine.”
Cork played at a much higher tempo than last season and pressed the visitors high up the pitch from the off.
Gavan Holohan scored the opener midway through the first half when he tapped home Maguire’s cross after Gary Rogers had made a great stop to deny Stephen Dooley.
Maguire settled it in the 62nd minute when he stooped to powerfully head home O’Connell’s superb cross from the right, before Brian Gartland was sent off late on for his second bookable offence.
Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny wasn’t best pleased with his side’s performance but vowed his team will improve. “We didn’t play well, we got punished and Cork deserved to win,” said Kenny.
“We were well below standard today. We are in Bray on Friday, which is a tough one and we have Cork in the fourth game of the season again, which we’ll be ready for.”
CORK CITY: McNulty; O’Connell, Browne, Bennett, Dunleavy; Turner, Bolger, Holohan (Beattie 71), Morrissey, Dooley (Sheppard 76); Maguire (O’Sullivan 86).
DUNDALK: Rogers; Gannon (Mountney 63), Gartland, Boyle, Massey; McEleney (Barrett 81), Shields, O’Donnell, Finn, Horgan; Kilduff (McMillan 84).
Referee: G Kelly (Cork).
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