Dan Murray 90' + 2' -
A late Dan Murray header has breathed new life into the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division title race, as Cork City beat Shamrock Rovers 1-0 in dramatic fashion in what was a brilliant advert for League of Ireland football here in Turners Cross.
Murray rolled back the years and scored a header which was similar to some big ones he scored for the club in the 2005 season, the year Cork City last won the league.
The game was played at a fantastic pace throughout and both sides gave it their all. But City got the goal which closes the gap on league leaders Dundalk to just three points.
City headed into the game with the belief that they could still keep their league title ambitions alive. While Rovers made the trip to Leeside with the intention of trying to qualify for Europe next season, while also closing the gap between them and second placed Cork.
Both sides started the game on the front foot with early chances for both sides. Among them was John O Flynn’s chance when he turned well and shot just wide after a good long ball from Darren Dennehy.
Rovers had a great chance to go ahead on 18 minutes when Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters shot just over the bar from the edge of the box,when he saw Mark McNulty off of his line.
As the half wore on, you could see the excitement levels among the supporters increase. Shamrock Rovers’ Stephen McPhail went close on the half hour mark when his free kick was saved by McNulty in the Cork goal.
City had a good chance of their own when Garry Buckley’s shot from 25 yards out was tipped around the post by Barry Murphy in the Rovers goal.
At the half time interval everyone in the crowd could reflect on what had been a very exciting 45 minutes and as the second half wore on you could sense that the City players had been made aware of the result in Inchicore.
Cork were the side who had most of the ball in the second half and they went close with some half chances, but you sensed the game was going to end 0-0, or even worse for City with the attacking danger that Rovers possessed all throughout the game with their attacks down the wing, with Simon Madden looking a threat all night.
Just as it looked as though the game would end in a draw City came up with that late, late winner. City won a corner on the 92nd minute which was taken by Colin Healy. His cross was met by the head of Dan Murray to send the City supporters wild.
It is going to be a grandstand finish to the title race and one all followers of Irish football can look forward to.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; John Dunleavy, Dan Murray, Darren Dennehy, Ross Gaynor; Colin Healy, Gearóid Morrissey, John O’Flynn (Danny Morrissey, 87), Garry Buckley, Liam Kearney (Josh O’Shea 61); Mark O’Sullivan.
Subs not used: John Kavanagh, Cillian Morrison, Gavin Kavanagh, Dave O’Leary, Kevin O’Brien (gk).
Bookings: Gaynor (16).
Shamrock Rovers: Barry Murphy; Luke Byrne, Conor Kenna, Jason McGuinness, Simon Madden; Stephen McPhail, Patrick Cregg (Ronan Finn 59), Robert Bayly, Kieran Waters, Sean O’Connor (Gary McCabe 80); Karl Sheppard (Ciaran Kilduff 74).
Subs not used: Craig Hyland (gk), Robert Cornwall, Shane Robinson, Dean Kelly.
Bookings: KM Waters (82).
Referee: Paul Tuite
Extratime Man of the Match: Dan Murray (Cork City).