Throwback Thursday: Double delight for Cork Examiner in 1992

Cork Business League was booming when the Examiner, Centra and ESB all picked up two trophies each
Throwback Thursday: Double delight for Cork Examiner in 1992

The Cork Examiner history makers made it successive doubles in 1992. Back: Denis McCarthy, Brian Murray, David Higgins, Don Bevan, Paul O’Keeffe, Sean Murphy, Kieran Falvey, John Merritt. Front: Frank Linehan, Paul Howley, Jim Courtney, Frank Drummond, Pat Broderick, Peter O’Callaghan, Jim Kelleher.

THIRTY YEAR AGO, the Cork Business League was on the crest of a wave with the high numbers which competed in the '80s remaining steady going into the early years of the '90s.

The 1991/92 season was noteworthy for being the only campaign before or since to record three teams achieving double successes, namely, Cork Examiner (First Division League and Mooney Cup), Centra (Bank of Ireland Shield and Premier Cup) and ESB (Second Division League and Cup). 

Thirty-four teams set out on the weekend of August 24-25 to compete in the early season shield competition with Measurex, who would later change names to Motorola, competing for the first time.

By early November the number had been whittled down to four with the plump tie being the meeting of five-time winners Postal Workers and 1989 winners Liebert at Pfizer Park. 

After Tom Barry’s cross was converted by Tim McCarthy to give Postal a 15th minute, John O’Neill’s lightning pace outstripped the Workers’ back-four. His subsequent shot was parried by Tom Archer for Sean Hannafin to fire in the equalizer. With the wind at their backs, in the second 45, Liebert pushed on for the winner and Stephen O’Keeffe duly obliged on the hour following a goalmouth scramble.

In the afternoon tie, Seanie Barry’s Centra, who achieved consecutive promotions in the previous two seasons, needed extra-time to overcome Roches Stores 3-2. Centra’s Donal Murray and Benny Galway exchanged goals with Noel McCarthy and Anthony O’Reilly before Derek Forde headed in Murray’s right-wing cross in the fourth minute of extra-time. 

The final on Sunday, December 1, at Pfizer Park, was convincingly won by Centra, 3-0, despite Liebert dominating the opening 45 minutes. Murray opened the scoring in the 55th minute before the Galway brothers, Benny and Joe sealed victory with goals in the 65th and 75th minutes respectfully.

Centra made it a double success later in the season when they picked up the Premier Cup following a 3-2 win over Aer Lingus on Wednesday, May 13th. Reigning First Division champions Cork Examiner started their defence with a resounding 6-1 win over Youghal Yarns at Midleton on Sunday, November 3. Don Bevan and Peter O’Callaghan both scored twice with Sean Murphy and Paul Howley also among the goals. 

By the end of May, Examiner had just pipped Postal to the title by a solitary point, only losing twice in the 18-match campaign and scoring an impressive 54 goals, 17 ahead of their nearest rival.

Examiner’s AIB Cup’s defence began on Sunday, January 26, at Midleton, winning 5-3, while Centra, who they would meet later in the final, overcame County Council 5-2 on the same day. At 2-1 win over First Field Engineers set up a last four tie for Examiner against the Old Mill. 

Michael O'Driscoll, sponsor, presents the AIB Cup to victorious Cork Examiner vice-captain Kieran Falvey following the 1-0 win over Centra at Turner's Cross in 1992.
Michael O'Driscoll, sponsor, presents the AIB Cup to victorious Cork Examiner vice-captain Kieran Falvey following the 1-0 win over Centra at Turner's Cross in 1992.

A 3-0 replay win kept the Academy Street team on course for the league and cup double, a feat never achieved in the history of the league. With the pressure mounting, Aer Lingus were in no mood to give the holders an easy ride in the semi-final. Martin Sugure edged Aer Lingus ahead five minutes into the second half only for Don Bevan to crash home a relieved equaliser 10 minutes from time. 

The replay on Thursday, April 23, was won 2-1 to leave Examiner within touching distance of the historic double.

The final at Turner’s Cross on Sunday, May 3 was a tense affair and was decided by a last-minute winner from sub Brian Murray. Only on the pitch a number of minutes after replacing injured skipper Jim Courtney who had received a nasty knee injury, Murray bravely launched himself at a cross from Don Bevan to head past the out-stretched fingers of Paul Morgan. 

Centra's John Horgan tussles for position with Cork Examiner full-back Pat Broderick during the AIB Cup Final at Turner's Cross on Sunday, May 3, 1992.
Centra's John Horgan tussles for position with Cork Examiner full-back Pat Broderick during the AIB Cup Final at Turner's Cross on Sunday, May 3, 1992.

Earlier, referee Frank Hourigan and his assistants Bill Killackey and Finbarr Bevan were kept busy as both teams grappled to gain the upper hand. AIB trophy sponsor Michael O’Driscoll, who himself played in the 1990 decider and replay against Liebert, presented the cup to vice-captain Kieran Falvey much to the delight of manager Dave Ahern, founder member Frank Linehan and former player and committee member Pat O’Callaghan.

ESB began their double quest on Sunday, September 22, with a home defeat to Our Lady’s Hospital Utd, who themselves would gain promotion following a play-off win over AIB. A 2-1 win over CIE Utd two weeks later got the season up and running for the Electricity Board who would go on to lose just twice for the remainder of the campaign. Martin Lynch, James Healy, Jim McSweeney, Colm Baker, Martin Casey, Tom Tyrrell and winger Noel Lucey were prominent throughout the championship run.

The divisional cup run began with a 4-0 win over Naval Services at the ESB Grds. on Thursday, April 9. 

Irish Steel were put to the sword in the quarter-final on the first Sunday in May, going down 5-1, to the champions before True Temper lost out to a single goal in the semi-final. The final at Pfizer Park on Sunday, May 25 against Hickeys produced a cracker with ESB needing to come from behind to claim the double. 

The Board would go on to consolidate their growing stature in the top flight by winning the title and Premier Cup in 1996/97 and reaching the Mooney Cup and shield finals in the 1993/94 season.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130

Echo WISA

Read all about the monthly winner’s and more.
Click Here

EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more