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Sunday 17 December 2017

Late Benson goals puts Cork City party on hold

Cork City 1 Dundalk 1

Cork City’s Conor McCormack reacts following a tackle from Dundalk’s David McMillan
during their SSE Airtricity Premier Division match alk at Turners Cross last night
Cork City’s Conor McCormack reacts following a tackle from Dundalk’s David McMillan during their SSE Airtricity Premier Division match alk at Turners Cross last night

Dundalk remain the League of Ireland champions, but they left it late to deny Cork City at Turner's Cross last night as Robbie Benson's 87th-minute goal secured a draw for the Lilywhites.

In front of 6,983 people, John Caufield's side came close to securing the win needed to claim the title, but Benson met Dylan Connolly's low cross to ensure the celebrations were postponed. Having begun the game wearing number 18, a blood injury saw the midfielder wear 27 and then 36 and completed the mathematical set with his ninth league goal.

The opening goal came on the 20th minute as City's pressure told, albeit with the aid of some luck. From Dooley's low cross, Buckley had time to take a touch but his shot was poor. However, Gary Rogers couldn't hold it and, with Jimmy Keohane sliding in, Sean Hoare tried to clear under pressure only for the ball to hit Brian Gartland and end in the net.

Dundalk brought on captain Stephen O'Donnell and switched wingers Michael Duffy and Dylan Connolly, with the latter having a deflected shot which McNulty dealt with on 73. Two minutes later, a weak punch from the goalkeeper fell to Duffy 20 yards out, but he screwed his shot wide.

There was still time for them, though, and the home crowd was silenced when Benson slid in to meet the cross from Connolly.

City sought to respond and they had one half-chance, Buckley heading over from Karl Sheppard's cross, but it wasn't to be. They turn their attentions to Friday's cup semi-final against Limerick, with the game away to Bohemians on October 13 their next chance to secure the title.

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