AUL season in review: Cups of joy for Glen Celtic, Killumney and Park United

AUL season in review: Cups of joy for Glen Celtic, Killumney and Park United
The Glen Celtic squad and management team with the trophies they won in 2011-12 season: St Michael's Cup, City Challenge Cup and AUL 1 League trophy. Picture: Barry Peelo.

HERE, in the latest in our series looking back at a decade of Cork soccer, the focus is on 2011-12 as we continue our AUL review of the last decade.

As with other seasons in the past, this one had plenty of excitement and here we will concentrate on looking at the ups and downs as well as some of the big moments that grabbed the attention back then.

Using the same framework as we did in previous reviews, we commence with the highs that caught our attention over that season first.

To begin with, there was certainly no doubt as to who was the team of the season.

Glen Celtic were one of the sensations of that season and from the very off, they hit the ground running, defeating everyone in sight as they blazed their way with conviction towards winning the league one title.

They played some sweeping and attractive football throughout the campaign with their striker John Corcoran and midfield maestro Patrick Long playing a pivotal role as they swept relentlessly forward to complete a memorable season.

In Cup competitions, they won the St Michael’s Cup after defeating Knockraha 3-2 and the City Challenge Cup - following a 2-0 victory over Crescent Athletic.

What a terrific run they also had in the FAI Junior Cup and they were unlucky to have made an exit from the competition after suffering a 6-7 defeat in the penalty shoot-out against Wicklow Rovers after a 1-1 draw over extra time.

In the Premiership, history was made for Mitchelstown club Park United when their wait for 19 years to win the Premier League came to an end and it arrived after they defeated Coachford 2-0 near the end of the season to send their fans into an ecstatic state at Brigown.

They had a chance to make it a massive double but went down 0-1 against Killumney United in the AOH Cup final.

Although Coachford failed to win a trophy that season, they would have certainly looked back on it as one that had so much of a so-near-and-yet-so-far feel about it.

After facing a backlog of league fixtures as a result of decent runs in cup competitions, they had a right go at the race for the title but, in the end, the hill became too difficult to climb and had to settle for the runners-up spot.

They reached the AOH Cup semi-final two-legged affair but lost out against eventual winners Killumney in the end.

They also reached the quarter-final stage of the Munster Junior Cup but were unlucky to go down 1-2 away to Tramore (Waterford) while losing out to Bansha in the fifth round of the FAI Junior Cup following a 2-4 defeat in a penalty shoot-out.

On to some of the lows now and as per usual, the national competitions proved to be a huge challenge for the Cork AUL sides.

Park United players and management team celebrate with the Premier League trophy in 2011-12. Picture: Barry Peelo.
Park United players and management team celebrate with the Premier League trophy in 2011-12. Picture: Barry Peelo.

But, despite that, I believe it is also well worth mentioning that teams from the lower sections of the league did ever so well.

Second division side Fairview got out of Cork for the first time in their history but, were humbled out of the competition when they lost on penalties in the fifth round stages to Athenry after it was 1-1 over extra time.

Glen Celtic, who were another first division side, put in a massive performance against Wicklow Rovers in December before eventually bowing out in the fifth round stages 6-7 on penalties after it was 1-1 over extra time.

Springfield also did extremely well, but made their exit in the fifth round when they went down 0-2 to Ballymun and first division side Innishvilla were out-gunned by Broadford in their fifth-round tie also.

It was left to Kinsale to fly the flag for the AUL but, in January, the sea-siders made a trip to Dublin to take on Kilbarrack in the sixth round and despite putting up a gallant show, they made their exit from the competition after going down 0-1 that day.

Then, in the Munster Junior Cup, Castleview played their fifth-round tie at home but, failed to produce a good performance on the day and made an exit from the competition after going down 2-3 against Broadford.

Aside from Coachford who made it to the quarter-final stage when they were defeated by Tramore of Waterford, all other sides exited from this competition in the early rounds.

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