Cork City needed extra-time before eventually seeing-off battling Wilton United to capture the Munster Senior Cup for the first time since 2008 at Turner’s Cross last night.
Munster Senior Cup final
Cork City 4 Wilton United 2
City were expected to brush aside the Munster Senior League First Division outfit but Stephen Daly’s side twice came from a goal down to equalise against the runaway SSE Airtricity Premier Division leaders as they gave John Caulfield’s side a difficult night.
After giving his players the week off last week, City boss John Caulfield fielded a strong side as he looked to claim another piece of silverware.
Evan Murphy made a great block to deny Garry Buckley’s goal bound effort early in the game before Kevin O’Connor opened the scoring when he flighted a superb left footed free-kick into the top corner of Brian Cronin’s net in the 18th minute.
City then lost Ryan Delaney, and with a return to League of Ireland action against Limerick on Friday, they’ll be hoping his injury isn’t as bad as it looked when he hobbled off.
The crowd were expecting the floodgates to open after the opening goal but Wilton defended well and the closest City came to a second was when Murphy headed against his own crossbar from an O’Connor cross.
Then on the stroke of half-time, the league leaders were stunned when Wilton worked a well rehearsed corner kick involving Robbie Walsh and former City favourite Neal Horgan, and when the ball was pulled back to Daly, the player manager made no mistake as he stroked the ball home from inside the box.
Caulfield must have had a few choice words to say at half-time as he expected a lot more from his players against the Cork southside club, and Garry Buckley restored City’s advantage 10 minutes into the second half when he rifled home from the edge of the box after Cronin made a good stop to deny Conor Ellis.
Wilton, who defeated Waterford and Cobh Ramblers on their way to the final, weren’t giving up, and Colm O’Regan equalised midway through the second half when he finished superbly from a tight angle.
A clearly unhappy Caulfield called on Sean Maguire and Stephen Dooley from the bench but still they couldn’t find a winner in the 90 minutes as Daly’s side hung on.
With Wilton out on their feet after putting so much effort in, Achille Campion neatly finished when he flicked the ball past Cronin seconds into extra-time.
Substitute Alec Byrne then tapped home just before the end of the first period of extra-time after Cronin kept out Maguire’s effort.
Smith; Kavanagh (Maguire 73), Delaney (Dunleavy 39), O’Sullivan (Byrne 90), Griffin; Beattie, Bolger, Buckley, O’Connor (Dooley 73); Campion, Ellis.
Cronin; McCleverty (Kent 85), O’Mahony, Murphy, Healy, Ryan; O’Regan, Horgan, (Meehan 77) Daly (O’Mullane 68), Walsh (Foley 97); O’Connell (Young 74).
K O’Sullivan (Cork).
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