Bray People - - SPORT - DANIEL GOR­MAN at the Carlisle Grounds



AS part­ing gifts go, a 20th league goal of the sea­son, an as­sist and three points isn’t half bad.

Seanie Maguire signed off of do­mes­tic duty for Cork City as he nudged them closer to seem­ingly in­evitable Pre­mier Di­vi­sion glory against Bray Wan­der­ers.

De­spite an ex­traor­di­nar­ily event­ful 16 days be­tween the Co. Wick­low’s fix­tures against Dun­dalk and City, the Seag­ulls put on a united front as they pushed the fu­ture ti­tle win­ners right up un­til the 87th minute when Jimmy Keo­hane sealed the win.

There were signs of life early on for Bray when Ja­son Marks’ cross was met by a stoop­ing Mark Salmon. It had Mark McNulty scram­bling but it even­tu­ally faded wide.

Cork should have taken the lead in the fifth minute and from there on in, they had Bray by the throat.

City en­joyed re­lent­less joy down the left flank through Kieran Sadlier and his flighted cross found Maguire un­marked.

The usu­ally clin­i­cal front­man got his an­gles wrong though and he failed to pun­ish Bray’s lack­lus­tre mark­ing.

Maguire would not the same mis­take twice. Eight min­utes later, he started and fin­ished the move that broke the dead­lock.

He sprayed a de­li­cious di­ag­o­nal ball from left flank to right and Shep­pard’s con­trol was al­most as tasty.

He rolled it back to Steven Beat­tie to de­liver the cross and there was Maguire ar­riv­ing to beat Hugh Dou­glas to the ball and head Cork ahead de­spite Cher­rie get­ting his fin­ger­tips on the ef­fort.

No blame could be laid on Cher­rie there but he al­most gifted City a sec­ond.

Mark Salmon pinged a pass back to Cher­rie and he killed it dead with his first touch.

He then seemed to ig­nore the omi­nous, in-rush­ing Maguire be­fore kick­ing it off him.

The ball struck Maguire, it re­bounded off Cher­rie and spun into Maguire’s path but it trick­led over the goal-line just as he was about to pounce.

The Pre­ston bound striker con­tin­ued to be a thorn in Bray’s de­fence as he lost a 50-50 with Dou­glas but im­me­di­ately peeled off him which al­lowed him to latch onto Sadlier’s first-time pass.

Maguire stood Conor Kenna up be­fore glid­ing past him and tried to re­peat the trick against Cher­rie but the Scot just man­aged to halt the ball.

Sadlier con­tin­ued to en­joy the free­dom of the left flank and his 40th minute cross al­most pro­duced City’s sec­ond but Keo­hane’s header didn’t match his leap and it fin­ished the wrong side of the far post.

Mark McNulty was a spec­ta­tor in the open­ing half but he was kept on his toes af­ter the in­ter­val.

A slide-rule pass down then right from Ryan Bren­nan al­lowed Aaron Greene to latch onto it and an­gle his run into the box but with no op­tions cen­trally and the an­gle tight, a snap­shot into the side net­ting was the best he could man­age.

Wan­der­ers thought they had beaten McNulty in the 56th minute when Gary McCabe’s in­tended cross from a free floated past ev­ery­one and into the net but it was chalked off for push­ing seem­ingly.

Maguire was then inches from killing off Bray’s spir­ited sec­ond half show­ing.

He col­lected Steven Beat­tie’s pass and floated past two de­fend­ers but his strike came back off the post and Achille Cam­pion failed to beat Cher­rie with the fol­low-up.

With only the slen­der­est of leads to show for all their dom­i­nance, the City fans be­gan to grow hes­i­tant.

When an in­jury to Conor McCor­mack didn’t see ref­eree Robert Har­vey halt pro­ceed­ings, the ten­sion was ramped up.

Bray played on and con­tin­ued to re­tain pos­ses­sion un­til Ryan De­laney clat­tered McCabe and left him in a heap.

City goal­keeper Mark McNulty then raced from his goal to re­mon­strate with the ref­eree and both men were booked af­ter a spot of hand­bags be­tween the sides.

All was for­got­ten by the vis­it­ing fans though as they wrapped things up with four min­utes to go.

A sliced clear­ance from Seag­ulls skip­per Conor Kenna fell to Maguire and he crossed for Keo­hane to fin­ish.

Maguire then re­ceived a stand­ing ova­tion as he de­parted in the 91st minute.

BRAY WAN­DER­ERS: 1. Peter Cher­rie; 8. Keith Buck­ley, 2. Hugh Dou­glas, 4. Conor Kenna, 19. Kevin Lynch; 3. John Sul­li­van,

8. Mark Salmon; 7. Ryan Bren­nan, 11. Gary McCabe, 23. Ja­son Marks; 9. Aaron Greene. Sub. - Dar­ragh Noone for Salmon.

CORK CITY: 1. Mark McNulty; 7. Jimmy Keo­hane, 3. Alan Ben­nett, 5. Ryan De­laney, 20. Shane Grif­fin; 8. Conor McCor­mack; 10. Steven Beat­tie, 26. Garry Buck­ley, 15. Kieran Sadlier, 19. Karl Shep­pard; 24. Sean Maguire. Subs. - Conor El­lis for Shep­pard, Sean O’Ma­hony for Maguire, Achille Cam­pion for Buck­ley.

REF­EREE: Robert Har­vey.

VENUE: Carlisle Grounds, Bray.

Aaron Greene of Bray Wan­der­ers skips be­tween Cork City duo Jimmy Keo­hane and Alan Ben­nett.

De­nis O’Con­nor be­hind the Cork goal in the first-half of the match.

Steven Beat­tie of Cork City clears the ball past Ja­son Marks.

Peter Cher­rie makes a save early in the game.

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