Battling Finn Harps were beaten 1-0 by Cork City in their opening Airtricity League Premier Division game at Finn Park.
Sean Maguire’s 44th minute strike proved to be the winner in an entertaining and well-contested encounter.
City had to play the final 20 minutes with ten men after Gerry Buckley got a second yellow card for a rash challenge on Ciaran O’Connor, and at times they were clinging on in a rip-roaring finish.
Cork began with three new arrivals, Ryan Delaney, Jimmy Keohane and Conor McCormack while Harps had four players in their starting 11 who were making their debuts, Killian Cantwell, Ciaran O’Connor, Caolan McAleer, and former City striker Danny Morrissey, who scored 14 goals in an injury-hit time with City. He signed for Harps during the close season.
Harps’ big name signing, the former Northern Ireland international Paddy McCourt, only started on the bench for the home side, but came on for the final quarter.
Chances were few and far between in the game, with Cork having the best of them.