Dundalk FC before tonight's game at Turner's Cross. (Pic: Sportsfile)
Cork City 1-2 Dundalk FC
One of Dundalk's most loyal servants, Dane Massey, marked the first piece of silverware of the 2019 season with a lead bullet header as the Lilywhites collected the President's Cup with a 2-1 win over Cork City at Turner's Cross on Saturday evening.
Dundalk were extremely sharp from the outset and immediately went on the front-foot against a tame Cork, who had won the past three renewals of the event between the two clubs.
The Lilywhites - now led by Vinny Perth, who will taste his first official competitive game in charge against Sligo Rovers next Friday - could have gone ahead early but Michael Duffy's stinging shot was gathered at the second attempt by Mark McNulty.
After Patrick Hoban hit the post, Dundalk did let a little control slip midway through the half. But they were in front on 36 minutes when Massey connected with Duffy's corner to give his side a deserved advantage. That set-piece had come moments after John Mountney's strike was deflected inches wide.
It got better for the Oriel Park outfit on the stroke of half-time when Duffy again supplied the delivery which was met by Hoban who made it two goals in four days with a trademark headed finish, as team-talks changed at both ends.
Cork, as expected, started the second period at a good tempo. And, just as Dundalk had appeared to have weathered that storm, Cork struck on 64 minutes through a wonderful free-kick from Kevin O'Connor, who signalled his return from Preston North End just seconds after appearing from the bench.
But Dundalk reaffirmed their foothold after that and held out for victory.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; Conor McCarthy, Dan Casey, Seán McLoughlin, Shane Griffin; Dáire O'Connor, Gearóid Morrissey, Conor McCormack (Kevin O'Connor 63), Garry Buckley, James Tilley; Graham Cummins
Subs not used: Tadhg Ryan (GK), Colm Horgan, Alan Bennett, Darragh Rainsford, Ronan Hurley, Cían Murphy
Dundalk FC: Gary Rogers; Seán Gannon, Brian Gartland, Seán Hoare, Dane Massey; Chris Shields, Robbie Benson (Dean Jarvis 90+1); John Mountney, Patrick McEleney (Seán Murray 68), Michael Duffy; Patrick Hoban (Georgie Kelly 83)
Subs not used: Aaron McCarey (GK), Daniel Kelly, Stephen Folan, Daniel Cleary
Referee: Rob Hennessy (Limerick)