Champs Cork leave it late
St Pats Ath 2 Cork City 3
Champions Cork City did it the hard way as the got the defence of their Premier Division crown off to a winning start in dramatic fashion at Inchicore last night.
A crowd of 2,771 were treated to a roller-coaster of a contest with Kieran Sadlier scoring directly from a corner in the 82nd minute to snatch the points for the Leesiders.
Cork's new signings Barry McNamee and Graham Cummins propelled John Caulfield's side into a 2-0 lead after just 11 minutes, but a straight red card to Cummins in the 26th minute turned the game on its axis.
Aaron Barry turned the ball into his own net to lift Pat's hopes as they trailed 2-1 at the interval. A minute after the restart the hosts were level when Conan Byrne was on target.
All the momentum was now with Pat's as they used their numerical advantage to good effect and dominated possession. However, the lead goal never came as City put their bodies on the line.
As the game began to look like it would end in stalemate Sadlier struck direct from a corner to seal the deal as the 23-year-old former West Ham trainee curled in a right-footed kick from the left-hand side into the net.
It means last year's kingpins are up and running for the season, with Waterford to come next week.