TONIGHT, Cork City will take on Cobh Ramblers in the final of the 2022 Munster Senior Cup.
Turner’s Cross will hold the final Cork derby of the season and one of the oldest trophies in Irish sport is up for grabs.
The original Munster Senior Cup ran from 1901 until 1914 and it featured a number of British army sides.
This tournament was abandoned when the First World War broke out and it was re-established in 1922 under a brand new Munster Football Association.
This new organisation was the brainchild by Harry Buckle, an Irish international who moved to Cork after surviving a sectarian attack in Belfast.
He was central to the creation of Fordsons, the first League of Ireland side from Cork, and the creation of an organisation designed to give order to the game in the south of Ireland.
The Munster Senior Cup quickly established itself as a major trophy and this captured the imagination of people across the province. In 1927, 6,000 people turned up for the final between Cork Bohemians and Cahir Town at Turner’s Cross.
The competition represents a long tradition that embodies spirit of football across the province and Cork.
Anyone can beat anyone in the Munster Senior Cup, regardless of what division or competition they play in.
The tournament often features the best teams from Cork taking on League of Ireland sides and grinding out results.
This is what makes the 2022 final extra special, two of the most storied clubs in Leeside are meeting in the final.
Cork City have 19 titles to their name and that makes them the most successful side in the history of the competition.
Cobh Ramblers have won the Munster Senior Cup on five different occasions, with their most recent success came in 2016.
Monday’s will see the two Cork clubs meet in the final for only the fifth time in their 38 year history.
City and Cobh’s first meeting in the competition was in the final in 1988 and the Rebel Army won 1-0 at Turner’s Cross.
Christmas Eve in 1989 saw the two teams meet in the semi-finals and the Rebel Army ground out a 1-0 victory.
The irregularity of the two Cork clubs meeting in the tournament can best be attributed to the high calibre of teams in the Munster Senior Cup.
City learned this in their first two outings in the competitions, as they were beaten by Wembley Rovers in 1985 and Waterford in 1986.
A City/Cobh final looked certain in 2017 but the Ramblers were beaten on penalties in the competition’s semi-finals by Wilton United, who were playing in the Munster Senior League First Division at the time.
The Rebel Army had a similar experience in 2016 when they faced Rockmount in the quarter-finals.
The two sides met at Bishopstown and City started a strong team containing Mark O’Sullivan and Sean Maguire.
The game finished 1-1 and penalties were needed to separate the two teams. In the shoot-out, Kevin O’Connor and Greg Bolger missed for City and Rockmount progressed.
In the final at Turner’s Cross, the Munster Senior League side were narrowly beaten 2-1 by Cobh.
City and Cobh were on different sides of the draw in 2020, the last edition of the Munster Senior Cup.
The Rebel Army progressed to the final by beating Mayfield United and Midleton. Cobh stumbled against Carrigaline United at the quarter-final stage.
This year they both navigated a tricky draw that brought them across the province.
City’s campaign began at the quarter-finals, where they beat Midleton 3-0 at Turner’s Cross. They faced Treaty United, who knocked out Waterford, in the next round and they won 3-0 at the Market Fields.
Cobh opened their campaign with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Bandon. The next round paired the Ramblers with a high-flying Rockmount team. The northsiders, who won the Munster Senior League and Intermediate Cup last season, were the defending champions when they welcomed Cobh to Rockmount Park last July.
This looked like a potential upset, as Rockmount’s last venture in the Munster Senior Cup ended with them beating Cork City in the final. Shane Keegan’s team navigated the game with ease and they beat the northsiders 4-0.
They also met in the first round of the 2022 FAI Cup and a first-half goal from Ruairí Keating gave City the win at St Colman’s Park.
Monday night will be a totally different game between the two clubs.
Not only is local bragging rights up for grabs, but also a trophy.