Friars equaliser denies new-look Cork a dream start
Derry City 1 Cork City Foras Co-op 1
WHILE the majority of football fans in Ireland were keeping a close eye on the Premier Division, two of the country's biggest clubs were facing each other at the Brandywell.
Derry City hosted Cork City Foras Co-op with both sides fielding much changed line-ups from last season -- the Rebel Army in particular, after only finding out last week that they would be playing senior football.
The newly formed club appointed ex-Derry City man Tommy Dunne as manager and his first job was to cobble together a team for last night's encounter.
Although he managed to get 11 players, he had only two substitutes on his bench.
Nevertheless, 200 loyal Cork supporters made the 500-mile round trip to support their team.
Derry have also had their off-field problems and their squad -- apart from leading marksman Mark Farren -- were all brought up a stone's throw away from the Brandywell.
Both teams looked as though they were playing together for the first time and in the visitors' case that was certainly true, but the match burst into life on 49 minutes when poor defending by Derry allowed Davin O'Neill to spectacular volley home the first goal in the short history of Cork City Foras Co-op.
The goal sparked wild celebrations among the travelling fans and despite the fact their side had fallen a goal behind, the home supporters could also appreciate the significance of the goal.
However, it took Derry until only the 63rd minute to level things as Ruairi Harkin's in-swinging free-kick was headed home by Emmett Friars, and that was enough to earn a share of the spoils.
Derry City -- Doherty, McCallion, Scoltock, McChrystal, Friars; Harkin, McEleney (Parkhouse 52); Molloy, McClean; Sweeney (Cassidy 76); Farren.
Cork City -- McNulty, Turner, Rogers, Mulcahy, O'Halloran, O'Neill, Deasy, Lordan, Cummins, Forde, Heffernan.
REF -- Paul Tuite (Dublin).