It was a fitting end to a superb season. Graham Cummins, with his last touch in a City shirt, steered his header into the back of the net in the 94th minute up in Tolka Park, to give Cork City the Airtricity League First Division title at only the second time of asking.
The Rebel Army only needed a point to secure promotion to the promised land of the Premier Division, but had to win if they wanted the league title – which they did, in dramatic style.
Following the club’s demotion to the second tier of Irish football in 2010, there was a great sense of achievement that Cork City FC, as a fan-owned club, had returned to dine at the top table of Irish domestic football.
Prior to the final-day drama at Tolka Park, the highlight of the season was undoubtedly a fine August evening in Turner’s Cross, when City thumped rivals Shelbourne 4-1 in a crucial title battle, a result that really swayed the balance in the title race.
All in all, it was a great year for football on Leeside. City finished the league campaign as champions, losing only one league game in the process, reached the final of the inaugural EA Sports Cup only to lose to Derry in the final at Turner’s Cross, and crashed out of the FAI Cup at the quarter final stage at the hands of St. Pats.
Cummins was undoubtedly the star performer of Tommy Dunne’s side (thus earning himself a move to Preston North End), but there were significant contributions from many players, as City overhauled Shelbourne’s seemingly insurmountable lead at the top of the table to clinch the title.
Note 1: Cork City and Shelbourne automatically promoted to the Premier Division.
Note 2: Monaghan United promoted by winning the promotion/relegation play-off.
League of Ireland First Division 2011
|1||Cork City (C) [Note 1]||30||20||9||1||73||26||47||69|
|2||Shelbourne (P) [Note 1]||30||22||2||6||62||24||38||68|
|3||Monaghan United (P) [Note 2]||30||21||4||5||60||27||33||67|