Report: Ryan McMullen
Two super saves from Leon Pohls late on sealed a point for Rovers on the road in Cork.
Following Friday’s historic night in Inchicore, Stephen Bradley made 10 changes to his side with Lee Grace the sole survivor from the team that started the game in Richmond Park.
Leon Pohls, Sean Hoare, Kieran Cruise, Sean Gannon, Conan Noonan, Naj Razi, Darragh Nugent, Liam Burt, Simon Power and Aaron Greene all came into the starting 11.
Simon Power had the first of the chances 7 minutes in but his dink dropped just wide of the post with Cork ‘keeper Tiernan Brooks off his line.
Shortly after, Power was troubling City again as he took a free kick not too far outside the box, this time he tested Brooks but he managed to get down low to his left to push Power’s effort away to safety.
The two sides both had good spells of possession but couldn’t manage to create any significant opportunities until the 33rd minute when Tiernan Brooks was forced to come out and palm away a Liam Burt cross that looked to be heading for Aaron Greene who had picked up a clever position at the back post.
The sides went in level at the break after a first half that a much-changed Rovers side largely dominated.
Simon Power was very unlucky not to put the Hoops ahead just a minute into the second half. A Liam Burt cross was met by the head of defender Sean Hoare who cushioned a header into the path of Power but his outstretched volley went just over the bar.
On the hour mark, Rovers played some lovely link-up play on the edge of the box with Naj Razi playing a ball into Sean Gannon who opted for placement rather than Power with his side foot effort well saved by Tiernan Brooks low on his right-hand side.
Rovers continued to dominate possession throughout the second half but just couldn’t seem to find the breakthrough they were looking for.
20-year-old Conan Noonan was named in the starting 11. He had a really impressive performance playing in the middle of the park alongside 17-year-old Naj Razi who continued to impress Hoops fans after his appearance against Drogheda United.
In injury time, Hoops goalkeeper Leon Pohls came to the rescue as he reacted quickly to a Barry Coffey header from an Aaron Bolger cross and made a superb save in the bottom right corner.
Less than a minute later and in the last minute of the game, Pohls made another fantastic stop as he kept out Andrii Kravchuk’s cross come strike that looked to be heading for the top corner of the net.
In the end, the two sides had to settle for a point in Turner’s Cross. Following the full-time whistle, the Rovers players and staff made their way over towards the packed away end to applaud the several hundred travelling fans where they also got a terrific photo taken with the Hoops supporters in the background that can be found on any of the club’s social media accounts.
It’s all eyes on Friday now for Rovers as they play their final game this season against Sligo Rovers. The four-in-a-row champions will lift their 21st title after the final whistle on the night, Kick-off is at 7.45 pm in Tallaght Stadium.
Cork City: Brooks, Honohan (Murphy 71’), Coleman ©, Dijksteel (Drinan 71’), O’Donovan (Bailey 78’), Kravchuk, Bolger, Worman (Owolabi 78’), Coffey, Bargary (Walker 89’), Keating.
Cork City unused substitutes: Byrne, Crowe, Kabia, Fitzpatrick.
Shamrock Rovers: Pohls, Hoare, Grace ©, Cruise, Gannon (Kavanagh 86’), Noonan, Razi, Nugent, Burt (Burke 64’), Power, Greene (Gaffney 64’).
Shamrock Rovers unused substitutes: Mannus, Lopes, Cleary, Watts, O’Neill, Towell.