Dundalk are still on track for the double
Dundalk's hopes of a league and cup double are still very much alive after they clinched a place in the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup final with a comfortable 2-0 semi-final win over Longford Town at Oriel Park.
The Lilywhites lived up to their pre-match billing as red hot favourites with a dominant performance, although it took them until just before half-time to break the deadlock, when Paddy Barrett rose to power a header into the net from Daryl Horgan’s corner kick.
Horgan was also involved in Dundalk’s second goal, with his pass setting up a shooting opportunity for Ronan Finn, whose effort ended up in the back of the net after taking a deflection off Longford defender Pat Sullivan.
Stephen Kenny’s side can now look forward to appearing in their first FAI Cup final since 2002, and will now return their focus on recapturing the league title with a win at Tallaght Stadium against Shamrock Rovers this coming Friday evening.
Cork City have a date with Dundalk
John Caulfield’s Cork City will provide the opposition for Dundalk in the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup final after a hard fought 1-0 win over Bray Wanderers in the other semi-final at the Carlisle Grounds on Sunday afternoon.
After running Stephen Kenny’s side close in last season’s league campaign, and shaping up as likely runners-up again this time around, the Leesiders have an opportunity to collect some silverware at Dundalk’s expense at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday November 8th, thanks to a goal from Danny Morrissey in the 59th minute of the semi-final.
The goal arrived after a long clearance from City goalkeeper Mark McNulty was flicked on by Garry Buckley, and Morrissey beat the advancing Bray goalkeeper Peter Cherrie in a chase for the ball to force it to the net.
However, it took an outstanding save from Cork keeper McNulty to secure the win for his side, when he made a terrific blocking save from a fierce close-range volley struck by Wanderers’ substitute Emeka Onwubiko two minutes from time.
Galway glee but Sligo setback in the relegation battle
In the only league game of the weekend, two goals from Enda Curran earned Galway United a crucial 2-1 win over Sligo Rovers in the Connacht derby clash at Eamonn Deacy Park.
The victory lifted Galway out of the relegation play-off place, and in turn pushed the Bit O’Red deeper into danger, with only goal difference keeping them out of the relegation zone.
It was a vital win for Tommy Dunne’s side, with Curran scoring twice in the space of three minutes at the midway point in the second-half to put the Tribesmen on course for victory, and although Dinny Corcoran pulled a goal back for Sligo six minutes from time to set up a nervy finish, the home side held on to secure the points.
With four games left, any two of seven clubs could end up occupying the relegation positions, and some fascinating fixtures are in prospect over the next few weeks with many of the clubs involved set to meet one another.