A superb performance from Cork City saw them beat a very poor Dundalk side 3-0 at Turner’s Cross on Friday night.
Gearoid Morrissey opened the scoring, before Vinny Sullivan and Shane Duggan bagged a goal each to consolidate the three points.
The Rebel Army dominated proceedings from the word go, and didn’t let up until the final whistle blew 90 minutes later. They were quite clearly the better side, but, a large part of their dominance has to be put down to just how abjectly poor Dundalk were.
The visitors, understandably, have eyes elsewhere however, with their upcoming play-off tie with either Longford Town or Waterford United.
Cork City had their first real chance of the night right on the quarter of an hour mark. Danny Murphy fired the ball into the box from the left side, and, following some confusion in the Dundalk penalty area, John Dunleavy smashed his shot just wide of the post.
The home side had another, even better chance just a minute later, but Vinny Sullivan failed to adjust his body in time to get proper shot away following Daryl Horgan’s clipped ball into the box, and his miscued shot flew well wide of the post.
City continued to dominate the play, and finally got their reward on 23 minutes.
Gearoid Morrissey seized on a loose ball at the edge of the box, before skillfully jinking his way past a Dundalk defender and potently volleying past the helpless goalkeeper.
The Rebel Army, despite being in the lead, refused to let up, and made it 2-0 just six minutes later. Vinny Sullivan utilised his chest expertly to control a high ball, before expertly blasting past the ‘keeper to put his side into a much deserved two goal lead.
Cork City them almost made absolutely sure of the result two minutes after the restart, when Daryl Horgan fired a cross that Sullivan stabbed just wide.
They then gave Dundalk no way back in the 49th minute. Gearoid Morrissey broke quickly through the middle, before playing in the marauding Shane Duggan down the left hand side, who finished neatly in the opposite corner.
The home side were now in complete and utter control of the entire game, producing a performance that resonated more with last year’s First Division campaign rather than this year.
It was the final home game of Cork City’s maiden season back in the top flight, and they were certainly putting on a show for the 2,782 patrons who made the effort to come out to Turner’s Cross.
They almost turned a superb performance into an absolute rout on 64 minutes, when Daryl Horgan showed his scintillating pace on the counter attack, before sending a perfectly weighted pass in the path of Davin O’Neill, but the FIFA 13 cover boy couldn’t quite convert the brilliant chance.
Things really began to fizzle out then, and the only real incident of note in the last 20 minutes was a Colin Healy free kick, which curled a whisker wide of the post with 84 minutes on the clock.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; John Dunleavy, Gavin Kavanagh, Kevin Murray, Danny Murphy; Ian Turner (Stephen Kenny, 63), Gearoid Morrissey, Colin Healy, Shane Duggan, Daryl Horgan (Danny Morrissey, 75); Vinny Sullivan (Davin O’Neill, 62).
Subs not used: Kevin Burns, Dan Murray, Kalen Spillane, Neal Horgan.
Dundalk: Peter Cherrie; Paul Whelan, Chris Shields, Peter Thomas, Nathan Murphy; Conor McDonald, Stephen McDonnell (Liam Burns, 46), Stephen Maher, Paul Walsh (Robbie Gaul, 59); William Woods (Barry Conlon, 68), Mark Griffin.
Subs not used: Mark Leavey, Chris Reilly, Michael Rafter, Lorcan Shannon.
Booked: Stephen Maher (65).
Referee: Padraigh Sutton.
ExtraTime.ie Man of the Match: Gearoid Morrissey (Cork City).