Dundalk’s pre-season preparations include a fundraising match which will take place on Friday, February 14 against the Tommy McConville XI.
One of the traditional curtain-raisers to a new Lilywhites’ campaign, it will take place at Oriel Park and kicks off at 7:45pm.
All proceeds raised from the match will go towards the North Louth Hospice, who provide cancer support for the community by the community.
Sadly, it was in October of last year that ‘Tommy Mac’ passed away after a battle with illness but will always be remembered as one of the greats.
He was a great advocate of this particular Challenge Cup fixture. “It’s an excellent opportunity for local lads who can cross that white line and make a name for themselves,” he said of the fixture last year.
The Tommy McConville XI will be managed by his close friend Dermot Keely and Tommy’s brother, Colm McConville. Woodview Celtic striker Mickey O’Kane will skipper the side.
Dundalk 0-0 Tommy McConville XI *Dundalk win 4-2 on penalties
Two years ago, in August of 2012, the Lilywhites played the local side selected by ‘Mac’ at Oriel Park in the midst of their season and were pushed all the way to a gripping penalty shootout.
Paul Whelan and Billy Smith hit the woodwork for their respective sides in normal time leaving it up to spot kicks to decide the destination of the Challenge Cup trophy.
Dean Smith saved from his namesake Billy and Ger McSorley which, combined with successful conversions from Gary Clarke, Michael Rafter and Conor McDonald left Darius Kierans’ brother Roy the chance to win it for Dundalk which he duly did with a cool finish.
Dundalk: Peter Cherrie; Stephen McDonnell, Chris Shields, Paul Whelan, Nathan Murphy; Lorcan Shannon, Stephen Maher, Conor McDonald, Chris Reilly; Bob McKenna, William Woods.Subs: Finian Farrelly, Dean Smith, Sami Osobe, Roy Kierans, Gary Clarke, Mark O’Brien, Michael Rafter, Cillian O’Connor, Ryan Duffy.
Tommy Mac XI: Robbie Arthur; Stefan McKevitt, Chris Caulfield, Alan McCartney, Andrew Duffy; Owen Armstrong, Paul McArdle, Deco Moran, Raymond McCann; Mickey O’Kane, Billy Smith. Subs: Donal Greene, Padraig Gorham, Philip Duffy, Paul Matondo, Thomas McShane, Jason Mulligan, Gary Mulligan, Dean Shiels, Padraig Browne, Adrian Rafferty, Ger McSorley.
Dundalk 5-0 Tommy McConville XI
Last year, Stephen Kenny’s fledgling Dundalk side secured the silverware in rather more convincing fashion as they set out their stall for the season ahead in some style.
There was to be no coming back for the local players after Dundalk blitzed them with three rapidfire goals in the space of just five early first half minutes that helped the Oriel Park outfit to the victory.
Vinny Faherty scored his first goal for the club on his debut after just 90 seconds of action before Kurtis Byrne doubled their lead after drilling home from a Stephen McDonnell pass.
A minute later they added a third with Byrne again providing a fine finish with Stephen O’Donnell the architect on this occasion.
O’Donnell himself tucked one home nicely before the half-time whistle and a fifth was added in the second half through Keith Ward’s measured low drive to wrap up a top class performance for The Town.
Dundalk: Peter Cherrie; Mark Rossiter (Andy Boyle 50), John Sullivan, Dane Massey (Brat Turker 80), Eoghan Osborne; Stephen McDonnell, Stephen O’Donnell (Darren Meenan 62), Richie Towell, Keith Ward; Kurtis Byrne (Patrick Hoban 62), Vinny Faherty (Sami Osobe 80).
Tommy Mac XI: Robert Arthur (Michael Cooney HT); Stefan McKevitt (Barry McKenna HT), Chris Caulfield (Keith Finnegan HT), Alan McCartney, Drew Duffy (John Smith HT); Ray McCann (Stephen Fisher HT), Patrick Quinn (Gary Clarke HT), Paul McArdle (Owen Armstrong HT), Ger McSorley; Billy Smith, Padraig Hearty (David Ward HT).