The home side were struggling despite numerical advantage after Shamrock Rovers’ full-back Trevor Croly received a second yellow card. But Murray put away a George O’Callaghan free kick, giving his side the lead in the 67th minute of a tense league tie.
The strike sparked off a five minute spell of brilliance which yielded a goal from O’Callaghan after a wonderful passing movement involving Kevin Doyle and lionhearted midfielder Greg O’Halloran.
And, if the fans were jubilant, City manager Pat Dolan was ecstatic.
“George is very important to us,” he said. “We talked about it a few weeks ago. We needed to get him scoring goals.
“He got an important goal in Longford but his goal tonight was special.
“At half time we talked about him gambling to get into the box in advanced positions and that’s exactly what happened. Greg (O’Halloran) produced a big header on the edge of the box and he finished it.”
While he was full of praise for Kevin Murray’s spectacular goal he singled Kevin Doyle out for special mention, in particular for his first-half performance that saw him cause havoc in the Rovers’ defence.
“Kevin Doyle lifted everybody tonight,” the City Manager insisted. “I thought his performance in the first 45 minutes was spectacular, particularly when he was playing against men like McGuinness and Palmer.
“It is a very experienced Rovers back four hard to break down.
“They have three championship winning medals between them.”
He made no secret of his delight in beating Shamrock Rovers who travelled to Turners Cross for their “home” gave having been evicted from Milltown.
“Rovers are a really good side. We’ve seen a lot of them and their performances have all been excellent. They have quality all over,” he said.
“Coming into a game like this you worry about little components of the team.
“Winning up in Longford was good. You see what Longford did to Drogheda last night. At half-time we talked about set pieces and where people should be and we got a reward for it. This side have a good hunger and they’ve got desire and they are good qualities to have.
“The exciting thing about it is that there’s still lots of improvement to do and that’s a great thing. Maybe the other sides have not been concentrating on us for the past 10 years. The sides coming out of Dublin are so far ahead off the field but we rectifying that. We are catching up.”
The dismissal of Croly 10 minutes into the second half had a major bearing on the outcome. Rovers manager Liam Buckley felt that the sending off was somewhat harsh.
“We had to re-jig our shape but we were caught by City from a free kick,” he said. “We will be disappointed to let a goal in from that end.
“I am not sure about the sending off. You would need to see in on television. Trevor (Croly) was on a yellow card already and he had to go if he tugged his opponent. But he said he was pulled back and he felt it should have been a free the other way.
“This result knocks us back a bit. We were hoping to take a result out of here and be in contention from a European perspective so we’ll be disappointed.”
SHAMROCK ROVERS: Ryan; Croly, Palmer, McGuinness, Keith Doyle; T.Grant, Boughanem; Colwell, Keddy; Molloy, Fitzpatrick.
Subs: Gough for Fitzpatrick (56 mins.), Reynolds for Boughanem (69 mins.), Haylock for Keith Doyle (85 mins.).
CORK CITY: Devine; Horgan, Coughlan, D.Murray, Woods; C.T.O'Brien, K.Murray, O'Halloran, Kearney; Kevin Doyle, O'Callaghan.
Sub: Bennett for O'Halloran (85 mins.).
Referee: D Deady.