An exceptional 30-yard strike from young forward Denis Behan after 59 minutes saw Cork City secure a 1-0 over Shelbourne in Group 2 of the Setanta Cup at Turner's Cross tonight.
Both defences had dominated this cagey encounter until Behan's sublime strike ultimately settled affairs.
But the goal acted as a catalyst and both sides subsequently sparked into life, ensuring a dramatic finish that saw Northern Ireland referee David Malcolm send off two players in the closing ten minutes.
Cork midfielder Joe Gamble literally saw red when he head-butted Jamie Harris.
Deep in stoppage time the league champions were also reduced to ten men when defender Dave Crawley was harshly dismissed for an incident with City's man of the match George O'Callaghan.
Cork City: Devine, Horgan, Murray, Bennett, Woods, Murphy, Gamble, O'Callaghan, Kearney, Behan (Fenn 79), Doyle (O’Halloran 85)
Shelbourne: Williams, Heary, Hawkins, Rogers, Crawley, S Byrne (Cawley 77), Moore, Cahill (Hoolahan 72), Crowe (Harris 64), Baker, J Byrne