Dundalk FC’s EA Sports Cup win on Saturday was the club’s seventh success in the competition. They remain the second most successful side in the League Cup’s history after Derry City, who have won it 11 times. Three of the club’s wins have now come in the Stephen Kenny/Vinny Perth era, following on from previous successes in 2014 and 2017. This was the second time the club has won the competition in a shoot-out having beaten Cork Alberts 4-3 on penalties following a 4-4 draw over two legs back in April 1978.
Four out of five for McGrath and Hoare
Having also been part of St Patrick’s Athletic’s EA Sports Cup winning sides of 2015 and 2016, Dundalk duo Jamie McGrath and Sean Hoare have now won four of the last five EA Sports Cups. Saturday was a first major trophy for Vinny Perth as a head coach/manager while there were eight survivors in the squad from the side who won the competition back in 2014, including current assistant first team coach Ruaidhrí Higgins who played that day.
Saturday’s final was the fifth time that Dundalk and Derry City have met in all competitions this season. Of the 510 minutes played they have been level for 304 of those. Declan Devine’s side have yet to beat the Lilywhites this year.
Duffy on target
Michael Duffy’s first half strike against Derry City on Saturday was just his third ever goal in the EA Sports Cup. His two previous goals were both scored for Derry in a 2-0 win away to Bohemians at the quarter-final stage in July 2013. It was his 11th career goal at the Brandywell and his 36th for Dundalk, equaling the return of Terry Flanagan who was a winner of the competition with Dundalk in 1977-78 when the Lilywhites beat Cork Alberts in the final, also on penalties.
Lucky 13 for Gannon
Sean Gannon’s strike against Derry City on Saturday was the 13th goal of his career and his ninth for Dundalk. It was just his second in the EA Sports Cup. His first was the opener in 4-1 win for Shamrock Rovers over LimerickFC at Tallaght Stadium on August 6th 2012
First shoot-out in four years
Saturday’s game was the first EA Sports Cup final to go to penalties since St Patrick’s Athletic beat Galway Utd 4-3 in 2015. Current Dundalk player Sean Hoare missed for Pat’s that night.
Shields the shoot-out king
The winner on Saturday was not the first big penalty scored in a shoot-out by Chris Shields in his career. He also scored the winning penalty in a 7-6 shoot-out win for Bray Wanderers over Monaghan Utd at the Carlisle Groundson November 8th 2010 to keep Bray in the top flight.
Rare penalty save
Leaving aside shoot-outs, Aaron McCarey’s spot kick save from Shane Duggan against Waterford FC on Monday last is the first in regular time of a game since Gabriel Sava saved from Mauricio in Dundalk’s 2-1 defeat against Zenit St Petersburg in Tallaght in October 2016. McCarey has saved three of the last five penalties he has faced in normal time since returning Ireland to play with Warrenpoint Town last year.
Second career hat-trick
Daniel Kelly’s hat-trick away to Waterford FC on Monday night was the second of his career. He now has five goals against Alan Reynolds’ side this season. He’s also the first Dundalk player to score a hat-trick in the FAI Cup since Ger McCarthy did so in a 7-1 win against Monaghan Utd back in 2005.
Dundalk level on Player of the Month wins
Daniel Cleary’s SSE Airtricity/SWAI Player of the Month award for August was Dundalk’s 47th in total, a record they share with Bohemians. Cleary is the 13th player at the club to have won what is now 27 awards in the Kenny/Perth era.