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the side for dropped from meeting at the same venue a week earlier.
He admitted rotation was difficult but said the strength of the squad was keeping everyone on their toes right now ‘It’s tough,’ he said of being left out. ‘I haven’t experienced it much at Dundalk but when I get the chance I have to take it with two hands. Jarvy is an excellent full back as well so competition is only healthy.
‘You have to give credit to Limerick for last week because they were excellent. They defended really well and Tommy had them set up really well. I think we learnt from that. We spent the week working on breaking down teams who sit deep and that came to the fore with a good win tonight and possession wise we dominated I felt.
‘The early goal always helps. We aimed to score in the first 20 or 25 minutes and we did that. I thought Pat Hoban was exceptional tonight and Mickey Duffy was back to his normal self.
‘The whole squad is playing great stuff and everyone is pushing each other. The competition throughout the squad is phenomenal really so when you get into that starting 11 you have to keep the jersey.’
Massey, who contributed two assists in Friday’s win, will now be out of action until the trip to Cork on September 21st but it’s one he is gearing up for and relishing the prospect of. ‘It’s strange,’ he said.
‘We’ve gone from a hectic schedule to no game but we just need to keep going and keep our heads down. We’ve a big two weeks ahead of us so we’ll just focus on Cork.
‘We’ve two weeks to prepare for that game. Obviously, Cork are very strong at home. I think they’ve only lost one game at home this year but if we win it’s a massive step towards winning the league so it’s a huge game.
‘We need to beat them down there. We’re well overdue a win down in Turner’s Cross but it won’t be easy because I’m sure the place will be sold out again and it’ll be a great atmosphere.’ A Kevin Toner free kick in stoppage time at the end of the first half of extra-time saw Dundalk miss out on a place in the Leinster Senior Cup final to St Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park on Monday.
While the country’s oldest trophy might not be headed for Oriel Park, there were plenty of positives to take on the night for manager Stephen Kenny.
Debutants Mark Traynor and Dylan Hand shone on the night against a strong Pat’s side while vital minutes were given to the likes of Patrick McEleney and John Mountney, both of whom came through the 120 minutes of action unscathed.
While it was Liam Buckley’s men who advanced to the final with Shelbourne, Dundalk certainly had their chances of getting there having created the better of the openings throughout the 90 minutes.
Indeed, despite early pressure from the hosts it was they who threatened first with Murphy having to push a McEleney free kick over after 21 minutes.
By contrast it would be 10 minutes later before Dean Clarke registered the first shot in anger for the home side, an effort which Gabriel Sava managed to gather at the second attempt.
Sava pulled off an even better save on 42 minutes when he finger tipped a James Doona effort over after Dundalk had failed to clear their lines.
The Lilywhites then had the ball in the net on 44 minutes but Georgie Kelly’s finish from McEleney’s through ball was deemed to be offside - something that manager Kenny did not agree with.
Like in the first half, Pat’s continued to apply most of the pressure at the start of the second half but the best early chance of the half fell Dundalk’s way with McEleney’s inswinging free kick on 55 minutes being flicked on by the head of Hand, whose effort fizzed just over Barry Murphy’s crossbar.
Moments later Lee Desmond was forced into a great challenge to prevent Georgie Poynton from getting in on the left while a good spell of pressure for the visitors also saw McEleney force a save from Murphy.
After Sava saved from Clarke at his near post, Dundalk went even closer at the other end on 75 minutes when substitute Nedas Maciulatitis skimmed the top of the crossbar with a shot from the left of the penalty area.
Perhaps the best opening came three minutes later. Poynton carried the ball out of defence with Maciulatitis picking it up to release Mountney. He slipped McEleney in but with just Murphy to beat he fired to the left and wide.
Sava helped Dundalk to reach extra-time after that with a superb stop to keep Achille Campion’s header out from Clarke’s cross while a Doona free late on flashed just wide after creeping under the visitors wall.
It was largely one way traffic in extra-time with Clarke threatening on a number of occasions. From one of his attacks he saw a shot blocked by hand with Darragh Markey hitting the outside of the post with the follow up.
Hand then came to his side’s rescue again on 104 minutes. Sava got caught in no man’s land chasing Doona to a diagonal ball. As he retreated goalwards, Doona turned to shoot only to see his effort helped over by the defender’s outstretched leg. Ryan Brennan then failed to find the target after meeting the resultant corner with his head.
The breakthrough would arrive though in the second minute of stoppage time when Toner curled a free over the Dundalk wall to the bottom right hand corner after Hand was adjudged to have fouled Brennan.
The young Dundalk side struggled to mount a meaningful fightback in the second period of extra-time with Brennan, Michael Barker and Campion all threatening to add to Pat’s lead.
It was the home side who advanced but there were positives aplenty for a Lilywhites side who can be proud of their efforts.
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Murphy; Barker, Desmond, Leahy, Toner, Clarke; Lennon; Turner (Campion 62), Brennan, Kelly (Markey 65); Doona (Keegan 112). Subs not used: Clarke, Byrne, Madden.
DUNDALK: Sava; Traynor (McGuire 71), Hand, Folan, Fitzsimons; Mountney, O’Connor, Poynton (O’Keeffe 106), Cavalcante (Maciulatitis 74); McEleney, Kelly. Subs not used: Treacy, Lotefa, McNally, White.
REFEREE: Alan Patchell.
John Mountney congratulates Georgie Kelly after his goal.