Date: 7:45 p.m. June 5, 2009
Venue: Turners Cross
Cork started brightly, with Denis Behan and Guntars Silagailis both shooting wide in the first sixty seconds, while the Latvian striker then headed over from a Faz Kuduzovic cross in just the third minute. Cork never really had many clear-cut chances and most of their attempts came from distance. Danny Murphy had his shot saved by Robert Duggan on the 10th minute, which preceded Shane Robinson scuffing wide for the Hoops.
Dan Murray would have scored if he was just a bit more agile after a good move involving Colin Healy and Denis Behan culminated in the Cork captain getting the ball in a decent position only to lose control. The centre defender then shot wide from distance on the half-hour mark as Rovers continued to slow the game down. Corie Tracey then almost put the ball in his own net as he cleared a Colin Healy cross out for a corner.
The first half finished with Cork spurning more good chance’s at the Shed end of the ground. Guntars Silagailis would have been left slightly embarrassed on 43 as his wild effort was closer to a throw-in than being on target. Denis Behan done well, deftly flicking the ball to his co-striker, however, Silagailis blazed high and wide inciting groans from the Rebel Army behind the goal. Joe Gamble then had a shot deflected wide in the final seconds of the half but it would have been an easy save for Robert Duggan anyway.
The second half started in the same manner, with Faz Kuduzovic failing in his attempt at scoring a spectacular overhead kick from a Silagailis cross. Greg O’Halloran then fired over for the Leesiders on the hour mark. Rovers’ best spell came midway through the second half, with Sean O’Connor going close for what was a very negative Hoops’ side. Shane Robinson should have done much better from a decent position in the 70th minute but he fired high and wide of Dan Connor’s otherwise unthreatened area.
The home team tried to stage a late rally but their night was typified by a wasteful free-kick on the edge of the area. Denis Behan rolled the ball to Colin Healy who then passed back to the big Abbeyfeale striker. However, Behan sliced the ball way off of target. Billy Dennehy was introduced to terrorise the Rovers’ defence with his blistering pace and provided an inviting ball to Tim Kiely at the death, only for the young attacker to strike the ball off-target right at the death.
Cork, after an excellent run through April and May, now have just one point from nine. Rovers, meanwhile, will be happier with the point. Cup action next weekend means there is a break in the league. However, the Rebels find themselves just two points behind as we approach the half-way point and they would surely have been happy with that back in March.
Cork City: Dan Connor; Pat Sullivan, Dan Murray, Greg O’Halloran, Danny Murphy; Colin Healy, Joe Gamble, Stephen O’Donnell (Billy Dennehy, 74mins); Guntars Silagailis (Timmy Kiely, 86mins), Denis Behan, Fahrudin Kuduzovic (Shane Duggan, 82mins) Subs not used: Neal Horgan, Mark McNulty
Shamrock Rovers: Robert Duggan; Ian Bermingham, Darragh Maguire, Aidan Price, Corie Tracey; Shane Robinson (Tadhg Purcell, 78mins), Stephen Bradley, Stephen Rice, Ollie Cahill (Greg Cameron, 46mins); Dessie Baker (Sean O’Connor, 46mins) Gary Twigg Subs not used: Barry Murphy, Craig Sives
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Colin Healy was one of the few bright points in this lackadaisical affair. At times, the Irish midfielder was a class apart in midfield.
Referee: Richie Winter