Cork dismantle St Pats to return to the Aviva
St Patrick's Athletic 1-3 Cork City
City’s Republic of Ireland under-21 striker, named man-of-the-match, has now scored 12 goals in his last nine games, and 24 for the season.
Twice winners of the cup, and last year’s beaten finalists, Cork won’t know until Tuesday night, when Derry City host holders Dundalk in their semi-final replay, who they’ll meet in the final at the Aviva Stadium on November 6th.
Outplayed on the day, St Pat’s can have no complaints as their season is all but over given they languish in ninth place in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division table, with qualification for Europe next year now unlikely.
Though St Pat’s pressed Cork from the start, forcing two corners inside the opening few minutes, it was Cork who had the first real chance on seven minutes.
Karl Sheppard got a downward header to Stephen Dooley’s corner to force a save with his feet from Brendan Clarke before St Pat’s scrambled the ball clear.
Despite having to replace injured midfielder Geared Morrissey, Cork deservedly took the lead on 24 minutes from their second corner of the game.
This time it was left-back Kevin O’Connor who floated the ball over for Alan Bennett, who cleverly got in front of Clarke, to power a near post header to the back of the net.
St Pat’s gradually built a response with central defender Sean Hoare looping a header from Billy Dennehy’s free kick onto the bar and over just past the half hour.
And they were level on 39 minutes. The impressive Ian Birmingham got into the box on the left to dink over the cross for Christy Fagan to score with a powerful header.
Hoare came close to putting St Pat’s ahead in first half stoppage time, but sliced his shot over the bar as Cork failed to deal with a Billy Dennehy corner.
As they did in the first half, Cork settled the quick in the second and regained the lead five minutes in.
Skipper Greg Bolger won the ball from Jamie McGrath to feed Beattie on the right. And his deep cross saw Maguire out-jump Saints’ skipper Ger O’Brien to send his header to the corner of the net.
Maguire then sealed Cork’s win on 79 minutes when skipping past Darren Dennehy before sliding the ball beyond the advancing Clarke to the net.
St. Patrick’s Athletic: Clarke; O’Brien, Hoare, D. Dennehy, Birmingham; Desmond, Kelly (Barker, 75); Byrne (Timlin, 75), McGrath, B. Dennehy (Corcoran, 81); Fagan.
Cork City: McNulty; Beattie, Bennett, Browne, O’Connor; G. Morrissey (Holohan, 21), Bolger (Healy, 89); Sheppard, Buckley, Dooley; Maguire (O’Sullivan, 85).
Referee: Rob Harvey (Dublin).