Odhrán Crumley reports from the Brandywell Stadium
Derry City have picked up the first trophy of the season, and their first since 2012, as they beati Cobh Ramblers 3-1 to claim the EA Sports Cup at the Brandywell on Sunday evening.
Ronan Hale shot Derry into the lead midway through the first half before Christopher Hull equalised for Cobh just 120 seconds later.
The home side kicked into gear in the second half when Darren Cole headed home a Ben Fisk corner, and Aaron McEneff rounded off the scoring by converting a spot-kick.
Gerard Doherty was the hero with two minutes to play as he killed any hope of a Ramblers revival, saving Shane O’Connor’s penalty down to his right.
Cobh had the first effort of the game as Denzil Fernandes setting off on the counter after Aaron Splaine gave possession away.
Fernandes was fouled inside the Derry half for a free which was sent towards the box. The ball fell to James McSweeney, but he could only shoot to the right and wide of the post.
Derry’s first real effort on goal came from a McEneff free kick just over 20 yards from goal, but the midfielder could not keep the ball down as it sailed high over the bar.
The Hale brothers continued to link up well as the half progressed with some neat intricate play.
One instance allowed Ronan Hale to play McEneff in down the right but his effort towards the far post was well saved by Adam Mylod.
McEneff swung the resulting corner into the area to Ben Fisk who sent the ball towards the back post as Darren Cole watched his header sail into the Cobh netminder’s hands.
Derry took the lead in the 24th minute when Ronan Hale punished a mistake in the Cobh backline before showing real composure to shoot low into the bottom right corner.
The lead did not last very long as two minutes later the visitors equalised, Fernandes with a wonderful run down the right before Kevin Taylor sent the ball across goal for Hull to fire into the empty net.
Neither side created much of note for the remainder of the half as they remained deadlocked at the break.
Derry emerged sharpest from the blocks for the second half, Ronan Hale coming close from the first attack, jinking in the box before seeing his left footed effort saved.
The home team continued to press with a ball over the top almost letting Ronan Hale in as Adam Mylod raced off his line.
Eventually, the ball fell to Fisk, but his effort was bravely blocked by a very game James McSweeney.
Less than ten minutes into the half the pressure told as Jamie McDonagh won a corner for the Candystripes.
Fisk sent the ball into the area where it was met by the head of Cole, and the defender headed into the top right corner of the net.
18 minutes from time, Ian Mylod fouled Jamie McDonagh in the area forcing match referee Ben Connolly to point to the spot.
McEneff stepped up to take the kick and, though the Cobh keeper getting a hand to it, the power proved to be too much as the ball rifled into the net.
There was two left on the clock when David Hurley was fouled in the area and the referee was forced to award a second penalty.
O’Connor stepped up to take the kick and has his effort saved down low to the left by goalkeeper Doherty and the final whistle blew shortly after.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Jamie McDonagh, Dan Seaborne, Darren Cole, Kevin McHattie; Ben Fisk (Adrian Delap 75), Rory Hale (Shane McNamee 93), Dean Shiels, Aaron Splaine (Nicky Low 64), Aaron McEneff; Ronan Hale.
Subs not Used: Eric Grimes (gk), Gavin Peers, Eoin Toal, Cathal Farren.
Cobh Ramblers: Adam Mylod; Kevin Taylor, Ben O’Riordan (Craig Donnellan 73), James McSweeney, Ian Mylod, Gordon Walker; David Hurley, Denzil Fernandes (Cain Leonard 82), Shane O’Connor; Stephen Christopher (Charlie Flemming 61), Christopher Hull.
Subs not Used: Paul Hunt((gk), Jaze Kabia, Liam Cronin, Matthew Lamb.
Booked Shane O’Connor (29).
Referee: Ben Connolly.
Attendance: 3,500 (official).
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Jamie McDonagh (Derry City).