Monday 23 July 2018

Cork City finally clinch Airtricity Premier Division title with draw at damaged Turners Cross

Cork City 0 Derry City 0

17 October 2017; Cork City players and supporters celebrate winning the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division after the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Cork City and Derry City at Turners Cross in Cork. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
17 October 2017; Cork City players and supporters celebrate winning the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division after the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Cork City and Derry City at Turners Cross in Cork. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
29 September 2017; Alan Bennett of Cork City celebrates following the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup Semi-Final match beween Cork City and Limerick FC at Turner's Cross in Cork. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Andrew Horgan

Cork City have finally secured the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division title after securing the point they needed at Turner’s Cross.

It may have been a tame way to do it, but John Caulfield and his players didn’t care as they celebrated their first title in 12 years and ended Dundalk’s three- year hold on the trophy.

The Leesiders have been struggling for goals on home soil since Sean Maguire swapped the green of Cork City for the white of Preston. The Rebels have plundered just three goals since the end of July, with Garry Buckley notching one whilst the other two came courtesy of the opposition.

It wasn’t until the 26th minute mark that they created their first opportunity of note here but after being urged to shoot by the 5,857 in attendance, Gearóid Morrissey drove his strike well over the bar.

Derry, needing a win to leapfrog Shamrock Rovers into third spot, went the closest to scoring in the first through Rory Patterson.

The striker secured possession on the edge of the Cork penalty but his clever lob attempt was just tipped over by the retreating Mark McNulty.

Harry Monaghan had a glorious opportunity to score for the Candystripes moments later but he couldn’t direct his free header from a corner past McNulty.

With the first half drawing to a conclusion, Garry Buckley twice decided to try his luck from distance but on both occasions, the visiting No 1 Gerard Doherty was able to make a comfortable save.

The second half began with a similar tempo to the first, with Derry sitting deep and Cork struggling to find the killer pass to break through.

Cork’s best efforts at finally ending the stalemate continued to come from distance as Jimmy Keohane was the next to let fly from 20-plus yards but again Doherty gathered with ease.

John Caulfield replaced a quiet Stephen Dooley with Kieran Sadlier just past the hour and the summer signing offered more urgency to the Cork attack.

Cork’s next change was a bit more conservative as young defender Conor McCarthy replaced Steven Beattie with 20 minutes to go as thoughts turned to maintaining the clean sheet that would secure the trophy.

City pressed and forced a couple of corners late in proceedings but the lack of goals failed to dampen spirits as the Cork celebrated wildly at full-time.

CORK CITY – McNulty; Beattie (McCarthy 70), Bennett, Delaney, Griffin; McCormack, Morrissey; Keohane, Buckley, Dooley (Sadlier 61); Sheppard (Campion 91).

DERRY CITY – Doherty; McDermott, Cole, Barry, Jarvis (Low 77); McEneff, Monaghan; Doherty, McNamee, Curtis; Patterson.

Ref – R Matthews (Westmeath)

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