Damien Duff finally made his League of Ireland debut last night, coming on in the dying moments in Tallaght immediately after a third Shamrock Rovers goal had ensured the comprehensive victory which boosts the Hoops European dreams while leaving Cork City’s title aspirations hanging by the slenderest of threads.
Short of Paul McGrath doing a Bejamin Button and reconstituting himself as the fabled ‘Black Pearl of Inchichore’, it’s hard to think of an Irish footballer whose appearance in the League of Ireland will generate more genuine delight than that of Damien Duff.
The immediate rawness of the defeat might have faded but, even a couple of months after Cork City saw the league title slip from their grasp on the last night of the season at Oriel Park, manager John Caulfield still has to pause for thought when asked if his dominant feeling about 2014 is one of quiet satisfaction at a second-place finish and a return to Europe or haunting disappointment at the thought of the one that got away.
Daryl Kavanagh has rejoined former club St Patrick’s Athletic from Cork City, bringing to four the number of players who have left Turner’s Cross in recent days, following the departures of Denis Behan, Adam Rundle and, on loan to Waterford United, Danny Furlong.
THE draw for the quarter-finals of the FAI Ford Cup has thrown up a brace of appetising derbies, with St Patrick’s Athletic at home to Bohemians in Dublin and Waterford United hosting Cork City in a re-run of last Friday’s Munster match-up at the RSC, which Cork won 3-0.