Cork City raised the SSE Airtricity League trophy tonight following a 1-0 win over Bray Wanderers in front of another packed, sold-out Turner’s Cross.
With little at stake for either side, the story of the night was City looking to cap off an excellent league campaign with a victory. John Caulfield re-jigged his starting eleven, moving Kieran Sadlier into the “number 10” role with Connor Ellis and Stephen Dooley occupying either wing. Karl Sheppard started up front. Robbie Williams partnered Alan Bennett at the back with Ryan Delaney suspended.
City applied the pressure early on, Sheppard coming close after an excellent pass from Sadlier. The latter tried his luck at goal and came close on a number of occasions throughout the evening, but his left-footed effort after the ten minute mark was unlucky not to find the back of the net.
McCormack scored his second of the season just after the 20 minutes. Sadlier caused problems for Bray down the right, causing Bray’s Jason Marks to scuff his clearance. McCormack pounced and fired the ball past Peter Cherrie.
Sheppard had the ball in the net moments later. Sadlier again the instigator, he played Dooley in down the left and he squared the ball to Sheppard for the easy tap in but the linesman had his flag up. McCormack found himself in good position again just before half time. A short corner from City found the midfielder in space but his shot flew just over the bar.
During half time, the Turner’s Cross crowd was treated to a showcase of representatives of the 1992/93 and 2005 league champions.
As the time drew nearer to City lifting the trophy, the second half provided little in terms of goalmouth action. Sadlier had the best chance of the half, but Cherrie was in excellent form all night and denied the City attacker a goal to cap off an excellent man of the match performance.
Sheppard had the last real chance of the game. Sadlier played a delightful through-ball to to the City number 19, but again Cherrie proved too difficult to beat.
As the final whistle of the blew, the home fans waited in eager anticipation for the Leesiders to lift the League of Ireland Premier Division trophy for the first time in 12 years. Alan Bennett and John Dunleavy shared the honour, and the team then completed a full lap of honour to thank the fans for their support all season.
Up next for the Leesiders is a trip to the Aviva Stadium to face Dundalk with the FAI Cup on the line.
Referee: Graham Kelly.
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