Dundalk won the Jim Malone Cup for the first time since 2010 with a comfortable 2-0 victory over neighbours Drogheda United, courtesy of second half goals from Andy Boyle and substitute Ciaran O’Connor, reports Gerard Grimes.
Dundalk came into the first Louth Derby of the season unbeaten in pre-season with three wins and a draw under their belt, with two of those victories coming against UCD.
As for the visitors, Drogheda had played three games prior to these fixtures. However, none were against league opposition. A draw against the Irish U19 team was followed by 4-0 win against an AUL/Oscar Traynor select and then a 3-2 defeat to the Irish World University Games team in Blanchardstown on Tuesday evening.
The victory never looked in doubt for the home side, who controlled the game from start to finish.
It was Drogheda who had the first chance of the half with new Drogheda signing Sean Thornton shooting wide from range.
From here on in, it was all Dundalk. The home side created chance after chance, forcing Drogheda’s shot-stopper Micheal Schlingermann into making a string of saves. However, the sides went in level at half time.
Dundalk came out in the second half and continued where they had left off and broke the deadlock on the hour mark when centre-half Andy Boyle heading home a Darren Meenan corner.
Man of the Match, Ronan Finn, who had terrorised the Drogheda defence all night, then went close to doubling the Lilywhites’ lead.
However, the home side secured victory in the 84th minute when two substitutes combined; Ciaran O’Connor tapping home from a Daryl Horgan cross.
Next up for Dundalk is the President’s Cup Final against St. Patrick’s Athletic in Oriel Park, next Saturday, the 28th February, while the Boynesiders have a Leinster Senior Cup tie away to Longford Town on Monday night.
Gary Rogers; Darren Meenan, Brian Gartland, Andy Boyle (capt), Shane Grimes; Chris Shields, Ronan Finn, Kurtis Byrne, Richie Towell, Jake Kelly; David McMillan.
Gabriel Sava, Michael O’Connor, Paul Finnegan, Georgie Poynton, Ciaran O’Connor, Daryl Horgan.
Micheal Schlingermann; Stephen Maher; Mick Daly (capt), Alan Byrne, Joe Gorman; Sean Thornton, Sean Brennan; Lee Duffy, Shane Dunne, Carl Walshe; Tiarnan Mulvenna.
Dylan Connolly, Roy Kierans, Lloyd Buckley, Jason Marks, Daryl Kavanagh, Matthew Rooney, Michael Scott.
Man of the Match
Gerard Grimes, Pundit Arena