Drogheda United have completed the re-signing of defender Lloyd Buckley, who will be eligible for Friday’s First Division league opener ...Thu, Feb 22 2018
Cork City are the League Of Ireland Premier Division champions for the first time since 2005 following a scoreless draw with Derry City in the rescheduled game at Turner's Cross on Tuesday night.
It may have dragged on for a little longer than most had expected, but John Caulfield’s side have eventually got the job done and over the course of the 2017 season they have gotten their just rewards.
The club has been through much over the period since their last league success. But this is a testament to the drive and determination of those involved with the club, on and off the pitch, to put City among the elite in Ireland once more.
Caulfield has improved City every season under his reign and he has been building towards this achievement for the last four years.
It is a game that will not live very long in the memory, but all City fans will care about is that they were there to witness the moment their side were confirmed League Of Ireland champions.
The damage caused by Hurricane Ophelia at Turners Cross had cast renewed doubt in regards to if it was feasible for the game to go ahead.
However the FAI confirmed that the game was to go ahead yesterday evening, albeit with the damaged Derrynane Stand closed.
Cork had the majority of the possession in the early stages but very little in the way of penetration in front of goal. The closest they came was when Gearóid Morrissey’s effort sailed over the bar.
Derry looked content to see their opponents have the ball, such was the lack of a meaningful threat coming their way.
The visitors went close to opening the scoring, when Barry McNamee dispossessed Stephen Dooley and played in Rory Patterson and his chipped effort was tipped around the post by Mark McNulty.
Shortly afterwards, Harry Monaghan went close with a headed effort from a corner.
Garry Buckley’s free kick was saved by Gerard Doherty before the halftime break, but during the 15-minute break, it did not feel like a title-winning performance or atmosphere around the ground.
The tension grew from a Cork perspective as the second half grew and their edged closer to their overall target.
The hosts failed to force Doherty into a proper save in truth, as Caulfield’s side seemed to be lacking in urgency and creativity in attack on the night.
That will be potentially something they will have to really rectify if they are to have any chance of beating Dundalk, the in form team of the second half of the season, in the FAI Cup final in the Aviva Stadium.
They may not have done it with the swagger which was evident during the days when Sean Maguire was in the side, but they achieved their overall goal in the end.
All Cork City supporters will care about is the fact they are now champions of Ireland.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; Steven Beattie (Conor McCarthy 70), Ryan Delaney, Alan Bennett, Shane Griffin; Conor McCormack, Gearóid Morrissey; Stephen Dooley (Kieran Sadlier 61), Garry Buckley, Jimmy Keohane; Karl Sheppard (Achille Campion 90+1).
Subs not used: Greg Bolger, Connor Ellis, Robbie Williams, Alan Smith.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Conor McDermott, Darren Cole, Aaron Barry, Dean Jarvis (Nicky Low 76); Harry Monaghan, Aaron McEneff, Ronan Curtis, Barry McNamee, Ben Doherty; Rory Patterson.
Subs not used: Eric Grimes, Jamie McIntyre, Sam Todd, Eoin Toal, Lukas Schubert, Sean McBride.
Referee: Ray Matthews.
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Steven Beattie (Cork City).