MARLBORO TRUST swept the boards by winning the elusive treble of shield, league and cup for the first and only time to date, becoming only the fourth team to have achieved the feat, and brought the curtain down on a memorable first decade of the millennium.
The decade saw the emergence of Cork Plastics, MCM, EMC and Marlboro Trust onto the championship roll of honour and by the time the 2009/10 season came around Trust, under the inspirational guidance of manager Aidan Kelleher, were ready to regain the premier title they relinquished to EMC for the first time the previous season.
In the start of the season shield competition, teams were divided into four groups of five.
After EMC, Island Tavern, Marlboro Trust, Nissan Fermoy, Cork Airport, Tile King, QC Data and Deady Security made it through to the last eight, Marlboro moved on to face Fermoy Nissan along with EMC who locked horns with Island Tavern in the semi-finals.
Both last four ties took place at Pfizer Pk. on Sunday, November 9th and resulted in Trust defeating Nissan 2-0 and EMC’s Peter O’Donovan deciding the destination of their contest with Island Tavern by grabbing the only goal of a tight affair.
The final scheduled for Turner’s Cross in late November was postponed until Friday, March 19th 2010 due to a waterlogged pitch and in the interim Marlboro set their sights on catching early leaders Airport, Nissan Fermoy, The Elm Tree and Herlihy’s Centra in the league.
A 3-1 win over Island Tavern on November 29th at Killeady courtesy of a hat-trick of goals from the in-form Jason Coughlan finally took Trust to the top of the table. Cork Airport’s 4-1 win over Tavern in late January was enough for them to open up a three-point lead over their rivals who were otherwise engaged in the opening round of the Mooney Cup competition.
A week later as Trust were being held to a 1-1 draw by Fermoy Nissan, goals from Stuart Howard, Aidan Lombard and Steven Glasgow increased Airport’s lead to five points. Airport fell away in late February and early March and a drive from Nissan Fermoy catapulted them to the top with the title now going down to a two-horse race with Trust.
In the Mooney Cup draw Marlboro came first out of the hat and were drawn to face first division Cash’s Export at Killeady on Sunday, January 24th. Jason Coughlan’s 11th-minute corner was touched in by Joe Monaghan only for Daniel Mutzberger to equalize from the penalty-spot seven minutes later.
Another Coughlan corner was headed in by Andy Fitzpatrick later in the half to seal another home second-round tie with Cork Airport on February 21st, which Trust won comfortably, 4-0.
QC Data were eliminated 3-1 in the quarter-final despite going behind to an early Gavin Rogers opener for the visitors. After Jason Coughlan levelled direct from his own corner-kick before the midway point of the first-half, second-half goals from Pat McSweeney and Monaghan set up a last four duel with shield finalists EMC a week after Marlboro clinched their first shield trophy, 2-0, in torrential rain, courtesy of two from top scorer, Monaghan.
Both cup semi-finals took place on Sunday, March 28th at Pfizer Pk. and were decided by a single goal each, Gearóid Collins netted for Tile King in the morning encounter and McSweeney for Trust who glanced Gerry Hewitt’s inch-perfect cross past Ken O’Mahony. The final on Sunday, April 18th at Turner’s Cross went to a nail-biting penalty shoot-out after Collins and Dave O’Brien exchanged first-half goals. With the teams evenly poised at four successful kicks each and Tile King having missed their fifth, Eric Montgomery stepped up to clinch Trust’s second trophy of the season.
The week after the cup final victory was a defining one in the destination of the championship as wins over Airport, 4-1, and Fermoy Nissan 4-0 strengthened Marlboro’s grip at the top. Only six points from their remaining five matches were required to seal a third title in five seasons and claim the coveted treble for the first time. Wins over Deady Security and Tile King done the trick and ended a glorious campaign which finished with only one defeat in ninety minutes.
Other winners that season included Cash’s Export in the First Division, Deady Security in the Jackie O’Driscoll Premier Cup and Kilcully Decking in the Frank Linehan First Division Cup.