Graham Cummins on where and when Cork City will win the First Division title

10 points clear of Galway United, Colin Healy's side are heading to the Premier Division again
Graham Cummins on where and when Cork City will win the First Division title

Cork City midfielder Barry Coffey heads clear from Waterford's Shane Griffin at the RSC. Picture: Patrick Browne

AFTER an eventful Friday night, victory for Cork City against Galway United at Eamonn Deacy Park this weekend will ensure that Colin Healy’s men are crowned champions and will return to the top flight for the first time in three years.

Ruairi Keating’s 94th-minute winner against Waterford as well as Galway dropping points for the fourth successive league game leaves City 10 points ahead of the Tribesmen, who have five games remaining, with the Rebel Army having four.

A draw against Galway will not be enough to secure promotion for City on Friday night. That outcome would mean City may have to wait until their home fixture against Wexford on October 7 to win the title as Healy's side are not in action for three weeks after the Galway game. 

However, were they to get a point at Eamonn Deacy Park, and the Tribesmen were then to lose to Treaty United on the 30 September, City would be crowned victors without playing.

Were City to lose away to Galway; the most likely scenario would be that the Rebel Army would need to win away to Athlone Town on October 14 to win the league. 

Cork City's Josh Honohan tackles Waterford's Roland Idowu. Picture: Patrick Browne
Cork City's Josh Honohan tackles Waterford's Roland Idowu. Picture: Patrick Browne

And if they can’t get the job complete then, they will have another opportunity the following week in their last game of the season against Bray Wanderers at Turner's Cross.

A lot will be made of Galway's poor run of form in recent weeks as one of the main reasons why City are on the verge of landing the big prize but that would be disrespectful to Healy’s men. 

City have only lost two games in the league this year and have won 12 of their 14 away games which is a remarkable feat.

Looking back on the campaign so far, there are a couple of reasons they find themselves in such a strong position. Having such a good start, when they were a free-flowing attacking team that brushed opponents aside, gave them the confidence they needed to believe they were good enough to win the division.

GRIND IT OUT

Another marker was their first away win over Wexford. It was the first time City had to dig deep to grind out a victory, which is something they have done on numerous occasions since. 

That night gave the players the belief that once they went in front; they would be defensively good enough to see out the game. It was the night this young City side learned how to win ugly.

Most recently, their success over Cobh Ramblers, in a game they fell behind in they still managed to come away from St Colman’s Park with all three points. 

That night, it was known to the players that Galway were losing, but they never panicked even when going a goal down. 

The team have shown great character and I believe the harmony in the dressing room has a lot to do with that. 

All the players seem to be good friends with one another, which is key to being a successful group in any sport.

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