Dundalk FC manager Stephen Kenny. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
EA Sports Cup semi-final
Cobh Ramblers 1-0 Dundalk FC
Cobh Ramblers performed a giant-killing at St. Colman's Park this evening to dump holders Dundalk FC out of the EA Sports Cup.
Chris Hull's second-half goal earned Stephen Henderson's men a deserved place against Derry City in the decider as the Lilywhites lost in the last four for the first time since 2015.
Chances were traded in a well-contested opening half, with striker Sam Byrne and Stephen Folan, on his return to the side after injury, going closest for Dundalk with respective efforts.
Cobh showed well and forced visiting 'keeper Gabriel Sava into action, though the sides still went to the break scoreless.
Stephen Kenny made nine changes to the side which lost 4-0 in Thursday's Europa League match against AEK Larnaca. Daniel Cleary and Dylan Connolly were the only players to be retained; however, seeking an improvement on the resumption of play, the Dundalk manager introduced another of the starters in Cyprus, Dean Jarvis, at half-time.
The second half was disappointing from the visitors, however, as Cobh set their stall out early. Hull had the ball in the net after a strong start by the hosts, only to be denied by the official's for offside.
However, the striker would make the breakthrough with 15 minutes to go as, after the Dundalk defence failed to deal with a forward delivery, Hull latched on to the ball and slid beneath Gabriel Sava.
The Lilywhites introduced attacking cavalry in a bid to get back on level terms, and Cleary went close in injury-time.
But Ramblers weren't to be denied as Dundalk suffered a second successive defeat.
Cobh Ramblers: Adam Mylod; Kevin Taylor, Gordan Walker, James McSweeney, Ben O'Riordan; Shane O'Connor, David Hurley (Craig Donnellan 90), Ian Mylod; Denzil Fernandes, Stephen Christopher, Chris Hull (Cian Leonard 90)
Subs not used: Paul Hunt (gk), Jaze Kabin, Liam Cronin, Michal Sadys, Stephen O'Connor
Dundalk FC: Gabriel Sava; George Poynton, Daniel Cleary, Stephen Folan, Dane Massey; Karl Fitzsimons (Dean Jarvis HT), Karolis Chvedukas (Jack O'Keeffe 79); John Mountney, Ronan Murray, Dylan Connolly; Sam Byrne (Jamie McGrath 66)
Subs not used: Ross Treacy (gk), Nedas Maciulatis, Pablo Cavalcante
Referee: Seán Grant (Wexford)