Cork City 1 Galway 0
THOUSANDS may have packed out neighbouring Musgrave Park for some blockbuster rugby action but Cork City kept their nascent title hopes in lights with an efficient victory over Galway United at a decidedly off-Broadway Turner’s Cross last night.
The Leesiders were looking to stretch their six-game unbeaten run in the league and broke the deadlock after 16 minutes through winger Billy Dennehy.
Colin Healy offered Faz Kuduzovic the chance to run at Iarfhlaith Davoren on the right flank and the Bosnian produced a delicious ball across the face of the goal which Dennehy dispatched neatly.
It was no more than Cork deserved after an opening period in which they bossed proceedings.
Initially, a busy-looking Kuduzovic carved open the Galway defence with two delicate and quick-fire passes in the tightest of spaces in front of the box. But Behan, who was to toil admirably up front on his own for the majority, squandered the chance.
Moments later, man-of-the-match Dennehy stripped Barry Murphy’s far post of a coat of paint when he contrived to drag his shot across the yawning face of the goal after an expert knockdown from Denis Behan.
Galway were enlivened by the let-off it seemed and when Dan Murray hauled down opposing skipper Jay O’Shea, he gave away a free kick in a promising position to the left of the box.
The subsequent ball was slingshot in and City keeper Dan Connor – until then virtually redundant — could only manage to palm it into Derek O’Brien’s path. The forward snatched at his effort and the ball was scrambled clear.
But City struck back as Dennehy notched the only goal and immediately after the restart, Gamble picked the pocket of O’Brien who was caught labouring on the ball. The midfielder drove forward, squared for midfield partner Duggan who was ultimately crowded out.
The second period was marked by the hosts sitting back on a lead while Galway gamely but bluntly pounded the Cork rearguard with direct advances.
Lone striker Vinny Faherty laid a marker in fourth minute of the second period with an optimistic overhead kick that drifted just wide as Connor was flatfooted, wide but a minute later he outpaced Murray and forced a full length save from Connor to earn a corner that was ultimately wasted.
City almost added a second on 74 minutes after impressive work again from Dennehy that ultimately resulted in Behan forcing a fine save from Murphy.
Galway never threw in the towel – the visitors reduced to sending ‘keeper Murphy up for corners in an attempt to write a Hollywood ending – but a workmanlike Cork won to continue their promising run of form.
CORK CITY: D Connor, D Murphy, G O’Halloran, D Murray, C Healy, J Gamble, F Kuduzovic, B Dennehy, S Duggan, D Behan, P Sullivan.
GALWAY UNITED: B Ryan, S Conneely, D Cooke, G Breen, S Guthrie, J O’Shea, J Russell (D Edwards 73), V Faherty, D O’Brien (J Molloy 41), M McGrath, I Davoren
Referee: N Doyle (Dublin)
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