Dundalk overcome Cork City to lift President's Cup
In front of President Michael D. Higgins, the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division champions dominated for long spells of the first half until they opened the scoring in the 36th minute to make their superiority count on the scoreboard.
The goal came from a set-piece as Dane Massey rose highest to meet Michael Duffy's corner kick and drill his header into the back of the net.
The Lilywhites doubled their lead in injury-time at the end of the first half and Duffy was again the creator as his inch-perfect cross from the left flank allowed Patrick Hoban to expertly head in from a few yards out.
Cork rallied in the second half and they reduced the deficit in the 65th minute when substitute Kevin O’Connor - back at the club on loan from Preston North End - curled a brilliant free-kick into the top left corner from 25 yards out.
But it wasn’t to be Cork's night as Dundalk hung on to open the 2019 season with a win and claim the President’s Cup for the first time since 2015.
Dundalk will open the defence of their League title at home to Sligo Rovers on Friday, February 15 in Oriel Park, while Cork City travel to St Patrick's Athletic on the same night.
Cork City: McNulty; McCarthy, McLoughlin, Casey, Griffin; McCormack (K O'Connor 62), Morrissey, Buckley; D O'Connor, Cummins, Tilley.
Dundalk: Rogers; Gannon, Gartland, Hoare, Massey; Shields, Benson (Jarvis 90); Mountney, McEleney (Murray 68), Duffy; Hoban (G Kelly 83).
Referee: Rob Hennessy (Limerick).