Cork celebrate title party with a victory
Cork City 1 Bray Wds 0
Premier Division champions Cork City celebrated receiving the trophy at Turner's Cross last night with their first league win since August 21.
A first-half goal from Conor McCormack was sufficient to give John Caulfield's side the three points, with their previous league victory having come against Finn Harps, though there had been three FAI Cup triumphs in the interim.
Despite a weakened side as priority was given to the cup final against Dundalk in eight days' time, the night when City received the trophy was never likely to be upstaged by Bray.
From the off, the Rebel Army were in control in front of 5,768, with Kieran Sadlier especially lively as he played off Karl Sheppard up front. Sheppard, Sadlier and McCormack had early efforts as City dominated and it was when a Sadlier cross was half-blocked that McCormack was able to net from close range on 22 minutes.
Minutes later, it looked as if Stephen Dooley had squared for Sheppard to make it 2-0 but the flag had been up before the winger received the ball. Other chances fell to Sadlier, twice denied by Peter Cherrie, while McCormack shot over from a corner routine and so did Sheppard. In addition, Hugh Douglas had to make a timely clearance from Conor McCarthy's cross.
Two minutes into the second half, a good Cork move involved Sheppard, Sadlier, Jimmy Keohane and Connor Ellis was only terminated thanks to a great Jason Marks tackle.
Bray did briefly threaten after that, with captain Aaron Greene leading their charge. From Mark Salmon's pass, Greene had a goalward shot deflected, allowing Mark McNulty to save, while he set up Gary McCabe, who had his shot blocked.
At the other end, it took a wonderful Cherrie save to deny Sadlier on 71, and the goalkeeper was alert two minutes later as he came to claim when Keohane's pass nearly put Sheppard in.
Garry Buckley also had a chance late on but his tame shot was easy for Cherrie.
It mattered little though, as it was all over bar the shouting. For the City fans, there was certainly a lot of that last night.
CORK CITY - McNulty; McCarthy, Bennett (Beattie 90), Williams, Griffin; McCormack, Keohane; Ellis (Buckley 66), Sadlier (Morrissey 90), Dooley; Sheppard.
BRAY WANDERERS - Cherrie; Rogers (Rossiter 87), Douglas, Foran, Moore; Salmon (Pender 69), Sullivan; Noone, McCabe (Ellis 80), Marks; Greene.
Ref - G Kelly (Cork)