Dundalk FC's Dean Jarvis goes down the flank against Drogheda United. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
Dundalk FC 3-1 Drogheda United
Dundalk FC claimed the Jim Malone Cup for the sixth time with a 3-1 victory over Drogheda United at Oriel Park tonight
The words of PA announcer Mickey Duffy at half-time warned that spot-kicks would be required should neither side find a normal-time winner and, indeed, that outcome looked most likely as the match neared its conclusion.
But, somewhat fittingly, a spot-kick from the other Michael Duffy - the home winger - put the Lilywhites ahead for the first time in the contest with just three-minutes to play after Jack O'Keefe had been fouled in the area.
And just as the majority of the large crowd in attendance where re-taking their seats, Dylan Connolly went on a 50-yard run from halfway which resulted in him slotting past Paul Skinner to round off a rather flattering margin of victory for the hosts.
That was because Drogheda gave as good as they got for long periods with Lee Duffy's stunning left-footed strike putting them in front after 14-minutes. The right-winger found space to the left of the goal and arrowed an effort to the top-corner with Gabriel Sava rooted.
Stephen Folan drew Dundalk level with his second goal in as many games for the club at the beginning of the second-quarter, stroking home after Duffy's out-swinging set-piece delivery had landed at his feet.
Prior to Lee Duffy's opener, Lilywhites new-boy Ronan Murray cracked a free-kick off the crossbar, while Drogheda midfielder Luke Rossiter also hit the woodwork with a speculative effort from the halfway line.
Those efforts apart, there was little goalmouth action of note despite Folan having further chances to put the hosts in front. That, of course, was until the final few minutes when the Lilywhites cut loose!
Dundalk FC: Gabriel Sava (Ross Traney 90); Seán Gannon, Brian Gartland, Stephen Folan, Dean Jarvis (Gavin Smith 83); Chris Shields (Georgie Poynton 62), Robbie Benson (Jack O'Keefe 76); John Mountney (Michael Duffy 20), Ronan Murray (Adam Finnegan 86), Dylan Connolly; Jeff McGowan (Cian Flynn 88)
Drogheda United: Paul Skinner; Colm Deasy, Kevin Farragher, Ciarán Kelly, Conor Kane; Jake Hyland, Luke Rossiter (Stephen Meaney 62); Lee Duffy (Kealan Dillon 62), Seán Brennan, Mark Doyle; Chris Lyons (Gareth McCaffrey 62)
Subs not used: Jordan Kelly, James Carroll, Victor Ekanem, Lloyd Buckley, Adam Klmet, Luka Gratzer