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Dundalk Go Top Of The Table After Late Winner Over Cork City At Oriel Park

After a two week break, the SSE Airtricity League returned to action with a bang.

Then-league leaders Cork City travelled to a sweltering Oriel Park to face rivals Dundalk who were just a point behind, with both sides having won their last 17 games between them.

It was a lively and even affair to start with, as Cork had some good possession in the opposing half.

Cork’s Jimmy Keohane had an early opportunity, while Dundalk’s Michael Duffy had a half-chance ten minutes in. Krisztian Adorján was booked for a crunching tackle on Gearoid Morrissey, and to somewhat of a lesser extent, Colm Horgan did likewise on Duffy.

The in-form Pat Hoban and Dundalk were threatening now after some early trouble, but a water break paused proceedings given that it was still in excess of 23 degrees in Louth.

Robbie Benson was causing the visitors problems, but the final ball was often lacking. Jamie McGrath mistakenly back passed it to Cummins, but the shot by Barry McNamee was a comfortable save for the keeper.

A host of unsuccessful chances for Dundalk meant that the teams went into half time level.

Dundalk immediately scored upon the restart, as Duffy’s fine vision coupled with Adorján’s movement caught the Cork defence on the hop. The Hungarian still had a lot to do from a tight angle, but the finish was a quality one.

Dundalk threatened to add a second, while Cork brought on Josh O’Hanlon for Cummins in an attempt to fire back.

It would prove to be an inspired decision as  O’Hanlon, who was onside, equalised through a header after Alan Bennett flicked the ball to the back post after 66 minutes.

Karl Sheppard hit the post for City from the right just minutes after, and Hoban was unlucky to not score with a header from another fine free kick from Duffy, who put in a great shift.

Ronan Murray with a great cross from the left just went past Hoban, and hit off Cork defender Sean McLoughlin into the net for a 92nd minute own goal.

Five minutes remained in added time, but bar a last gasp Sadlier free kick, City didn’t have a chance to level it for a second time. Dundalk ran out 2-1 winners to go two points clear of the champions after 24 games, with Cork trailing the free-scoring Lilywhites in the goal differential by 19 goals.

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Author: Chris Kelleher

Student whose interests lie in sports ranging from Darts to MMA, with the likes of Golf, Boxing and Soccer in between. Closet wrestling fan and a lover of sports psychology and stiff jabs.