By Henry O’Donovan
Cork City were 1-0 winners against Limerick at Turner’s Cross on Friday night. Garry Buckley’s first half goal was enough to secure victory and send John Caulfield’s men into their third FAI Cup final in a row.
The City boss made two changes to the side that started against Dundalk. Conor McCarthy came into the side at right-back in place of Steven Beattie and Kieran Sadlier started on the wing for Jimmy Keohane.
The home side looked to attack from the beginning and got their first chance in the 10th minute. A Shane Griffin corner from the right found the head of Ryan Delaney six yards out, but his header was narrowly over the crossbar.
City took the lead four minutes later. Good build up play between Karl Sheppard and Kieran Sadlier saw the latter cross from the right to the back post, where Buckley was on hand to prod it home from close range.
Buckley almost added a second in the 21st minute. Another Griffin corner found him free in the box six yards out but he couldn’t find the target with his head.
Limerick had a couple of chances, the first in the 23rd minute. Rodrigo Tosi got free and got a shot away from the edge of the penalty area, which Mark McNulty was able to easily gather. Four minutes later Chiedozie Ogbene had a shot from distance, which was bravely blocked by Conor McCormack.
The visitors came within a whisker of an equaliser one minute before half-time. Ogbene’s shot from the edge of the box had McNulty at full stretch to get his fingertips to it, and he reacted quickly to gather the ball before the onrushing attacker could get to the rebound.
There were few notable chances in the second half. Limerick came close in the 55th minute as Tosi headed inches over the crossbar.
City came close to adding a second in the 63rd minute as Sadlier crossed from the right, but the ball was just too high for Buckley’s head.
There was one moment of panic for the City defence five minutes before the end. Shane Duggan’s corner resulted a goalmouth melee, but the home side was able to scramble the ball away.
The FAI Cup final takes place on November 5 at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin.
Referee: Ray Matthews.