Dundalk win the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup
Dundalk lifted the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup for the first time since 2015 as they defeated Cork City 2-1 in the final at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Goals in each half from Sean Hoare and Patrick McEleney, either side of a converted penalty by City’s Kieran Sadlier, was enough to see Dundalk end a memorable season with a league and Cup double.
Following a tense opening, the game sparked into life in the 20th minute as Dundalk took the lead through Sean Hoare.
The centre half rose highest before powering his header past the onrushing Mark McNulty and into the top left corner of his net.
But the FAI Cup holders responded perfectly as they levelled within a minute of falling behind when Kieran Sadlier squeezed his penalty under Gary Rogers after Hoare fouled Karl Sheppard inside the penalty area.
The League champions almost regained their advantage moments later but Brian Gartland’s header from another corner was cleared off the line by the alert Shane Griffin.
But Dundalk would again edge in front with 17 minutes remaining as Patrick McEleney headed Sean Gannon’s incredible cross into the bottom right corner despite the best efforts of McNulty in the City goal.
Sadlier almost grabbed a sensational equaliser for Cork late on but his deflected effort from distance was tipped over the bar by the retreating Gary Rogers as Stephen Kenny’s side hung on to claim the silverware for the eleventh time in their history.
CORK CITY: Mark McNulty; Conor McCarthy, Alan Bennett, Sean McLoughlin, Shane Griffin; Conor McCormack (Cian Murphy 85), Gearoid Morrissey (Barry McNamee 67); Jimmy Keohane (Graham Cummins 76), Garry Buckley, Kieran Sadlier; Karl Sheppard.
DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon (Daniel Cleary 85), Brian Gartland, Sean Hoare, Dane Massey; Chris Shields; John Mountney (Jamie McGrath 58), Patrick McEleney, Robbie Benson (Dean Jarvis 90), Michael Duffy; Patrick Hoban.
Referee: Neil Doyle.