Hull the hero as Cobh shock Dundalk
Chris Hull was the toast of First Division outfit Cobh last night after causing the shock of the League of Ireland season so far by dumping holders Dundalk out of the EA Sports Cup and booking their place in the final.
Hull struck for the winner with 15 minutes remaining at St Colman's Park after being put through by Stephen Christopher's wonderful through-ball.
Dundalk made nine changes to the team that started their Europa League defeat by AEK Larnaca in Cyprus last Thursday, with Dylan Connolly and Daniel Cleary the only two survivors as Stephen Kenny rested plenty of his regulars.
Cobh, managed by Dubliner Stephen Henderson, began full of intent and Dundalk goalkeeper Gabriel Sava made a good save to keep out Christopher's curling effort early on.
Disciplined without the ball and purposeful on it, Ramblers went close once more when Shane O'Connor played a beautiful ball through for Denzil Fernandes.
With Connolly starting to cause problems out wide for the Cobh defence, Dundalk went close to taking the lead in the 28th minute, when Stephen Folan headed the ball just wide from a John Mountney free-kick.
Cobh, however, stuck to their task and Hull sparked wild scenes of celebration among the Ramblers faithful when he scored, sparking memories of the club's four-match 1983 FAI Cup semi-final epic against Sligo Rovers.
There would be no reunio with Sligo, however, as yesterday's other semi-final at the Showgrounds went the way of Derry City.
Goalkeeper Gerard Doherty broke Rovers' hearts as Derry booked their place in the final with a smash-and-grab victory.
Rory Hale scored the only goal of the game, but Doherty was Derry's real hero, making three sublime saves to keep Sligo at bay.