Cork City signed off the 2013 Premier Division in style with a pulsating 4-2 win over champions St. Patrick’s Athletic at Turner’s Cross on Friday night.
City led by three goals at half-time after strikes by Gearoid Morrissey, Daryl Horgan and Ciaran Kilduff.
St. Pat’s showed why they’re champions with a spirited comeback in the second half as goals from Chris Forrester and Ger O’Brien brought it back to 3-2 but City had the last laugh with in-form striker Danny Morrissey tapping in late on to seal the win.
The Leesiders gave St. Pat’s a guard of honour before the match but that’s where the hospitality ended as the champions were shocked by a clinical first half display by City.
Gearoid Morrissey struck first for the hosts when he intercepted Ger O’Brien’s pass inside his own half before striding forward, playing a neat one-two with Kilduff, and firing low past Brendan Clarke for a superb opener.
Horgan made it two just before the half hour when he sprung the offside trap and finished confidently past Clarke.
On-loan striker Kilduff made it three on the stroke of half-time as John Kavanagh headed the ball into the feet of the striker who was given too much space to volley into the far corner on the turn.
Liam Buckley switched to 4-4-2 at half-time with Anto Flood coming on to partner Christy Fagan up front and Jake Kelly also entering the fray.
The move paid off in the 54th minute when Kelly’s cross from the left was turned in by Forrester much to the delight of the away fans behind the goal.
With 12 minutes remaining the Dubliners made it 3-2 in spectacular style as O’Brien struck an unstoppable drive into the top corner from 30 yards.
The fairytale comeback wasn’t to be, however, as Danny Morrissey tapped in late on from Neal Horgan’s drilled cross from the right to seal the three points for City.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; John Kavanagh (Neal Horgan,74), Darren Dennehy, Dan Murray (c), John Dunleavy; Ian Turner, Gearoid Morrissey, Colin Healy, Daryl Horgan; Ciaran Kilduff (Stephen Kenny,90), Danny Morrissey (Shane Duggan,90).
Unused subs: Kevin Burns, Danny Murphy, Kalen Spillane, Rob Lehane.
Bookings: Turner (77).
St. Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Ger O’Brien, Kenny Browne, Conor Kenna (c) Ian Bermingham; Conan Byrne (Aidan Price 55), Killian Brennan, Shane McFaul (Jake Kelly 46), Chris Forrester, Daryl Kavanagh (Anto Flood 46); Christy Fagan.
Unused subs: Pat Jennings, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Sean Gannon, Peter Durrad.
Referee: Alan Kelly
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Gearoid Morrissey (Cork City).