Cork City are within touching distance of the First Division title

Victory away to John Caulfield's Galway United will wrap up the league for the Rebel Army
Cork City are within touching distance of the First Division title

Cork City manager Colin Healy celebrates following his side's victory at the RSC in Waterford. Picture: Michael P Ryan/Sportsfile

WHILE tonight’s game is not a must-win encounter, victory would see Colin Healy’s Cork City be crowned First Division champions.

Some may say they would prefer to see City win the title at home in Turner’s Cross. While I agree it would be a bigger occasion and better atmosphere in front of a home crowd, there would be nothing wrong with beating John Caulfield’s Galway United on the road to seal the deal.

While City are away, there will be a huge travelling support roaring them on. They’ll make more than enough noise at Eamonn Deacy Park.

City currently sit top of the table 10 points clear of Galway who have five games remaining. Anything other than a win tonight for City keeps Caulfield’s side in the running, even if the odds would be against them.

We could also see a scenario where Galway drop points against Treaty United on the last day of September to hand the title to City but nothing beats being on a pitch when glory is secured.

So while I’m sure Healy will accept the league trophy any way he will get it, I feel the players and manager would prefer to clinch the title after being involved in the action.

City have a three-week break after this game so they’d have a sweet time celebrating if they can get over the line in Galway. They’d be finishing the season playing without any pressure. A dream scenario.

City have to be commended for their points tally this season.

With 64 in the bank already, they have only lost two games in the league winning 12 of their 14 away, it really is the form of champions in waiting.

The confidence they have shown all season even when they’re on the road without the Turner’s Cross faithful behind them has been a key factor across the campaign.

Cork City's Cian Bargary takes on Waterford's Junior Quitirna. Picture: Patrick Browne
Cork City's Cian Bargary takes on Waterford's Junior Quitirna. Picture: Patrick Browne

Winning games against the team, facing teams like Wexford and Cobh, where we didn’t witness great football, was massive. The result was all that mattered in those matches and eventually proved crucial in their bid for the league title.

Sometimes winning ugly has to be done and all will be forgiven when they win the league title.

And I am confident to say “when” because there’s no doubt from me that they will win it, regardless of the final score on Friday night.

DESERVE

Throughout the season City have been one of the best attacking teams while defensively they were consistently solid, conceding only 16 goals while scoring 58.

This is why they deserve to be where they are.

While at times over the course of the campaign, I didn’t enjoy the football they played, the majority of the time they’ve given me plenty to cheer about.

I look forward to more of that tonight.

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