Cork City look to end all the drama and storm home
Potential league decider gets go-ahead despite damage to stand from Hurricane Ophelia
Hurricane Ophelia winds damaged the roof of a stand at Cork City’s Turner’s Cross ground. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
Cork City v Derry City, Turner’s Cross, Tuesday, 7.20pm (Live on RTÉ2)
Following the draw against Bohemians in Dalymount Park, manager John Caulfield sought to play down the idea that his side’s delay in wrapping up this league title might be becoming a concern.
“Our first league win was after two playoffs, the last one was hanging in the balance the very last game of the season and here we are now, three games to go and we only need a point,” he said.
Okay, it might not have gone to the wire yet but after the last 24 hours, the conclusion to this campaign still seems to be matching its predecessors for drama.
The damage caused by Hurricane Ophelia at Turner’s Cross on Monday had cast renewed doubt on whether it was practical for the game against Derry City to go ahead at its rescheduled time of 7.20pm on Tuesday.
The FAI confirmed on Monday evening that the game would go ahead, albeit with the damaged Derrynane Stand being closed, reducing the capacity from just over 7,000 to 6,000 for the game.
Speaking earlier in the day, Derry manager Kenny Shiels was of the belief that the game would go ahead after a visit to the ground in the immediate aftermath of the storm.
“It looks bad on social media but the stand that the roof came off is small and they are going to take that away,” he said. “The rest of the ground is sound so it’s actually looking quite good at this stage.
“It’s been difficult for the players, thinking one thing then another, but people have died in this storm and so preparing for a football match seems a trivial thing.”
The stakes are not quite as high for the visitors as they were that night in 2005 when either side could have won the title but Derry could go third, above Shamrock Rovers, if they win their game in hand.
It would be easy to see why Caulfield would reject the suggestion that the title should be in the bag by now.
Still, there must be a desire around the club to get things done so as to take the pressure off and allow the preparations to start for next month’s FAI Cup final against great rivals Dundalk.
Nicky Low, Jamie McIntyre and Dean Jarvis are all available again for the visitors while Conor McCormack may return for the hosts on what might yet, when the wind and rain move on, be another memorable night at Turner’s Cross.