Roy Keane was just one of many happy Cork men at Turner's Cross as he watched Cork City beat new champions St Patrick's Athletic 4-2 in a highly entertaining Airtricity Premier League game.
The visitors were welcomed onto the pitch by a guard of honour from the home side, but the goodwill extended no further in the first half as City rampaged their way to a 3-0 lead at half-time through goals from Gearóid Morrissey,
Daryl Horgan and Ciarán Kilduff. Morrissey grabbed his second late on.
St Pat's showed their pride in a game where little was at stake for either side when they began the half with real alacrity and Chris Forrester scored an excellent goal. Manager Liam Buckley made three substitutions by the 55th minute and switched to 4-4-2.
Ger O'Brien scored with a super long-range strike but Pat's could not gain parity.
For Cork referee Alan Kelly, the game was memorable for being his last domestic game for awhile as he heads off to ref in the MLS in the US soon.
Cork City began in a 4-4-2 formation with St Pat's lining out in a 4-3-3 that at times appeared more like 2-5-3 as full-backs Ger O'Brien and Ian Bermingham appeared to be auditioning as wingers.
Despite the visitor's aggressive start, it was Cork City who had the first really good chance, although centre-forward Danny Morrissey's shot was well saved by the legs of goalkeeper Brendan Clarke. Morrissey was put through one on one after a clearance from City goalkeeper Mark McNulty.
The first goal wasn't long coming though and it was another Morrissey who got it. Gearóid Morrissey smartly intercepted Ger O'Brien's attempted pass in midfield. He played a neat one-two with forward Ciarán Kilduff and swept a shot towards the bottom left hand corner. Clarke got a hand to it but it still crept in.
An entertaining game got more enjoyable for the home fans when Daryl Horgan grabbed their second after half an hour when Ian Turner sent him through on goal with a lovely reverse pass. Horgan lifted it coolly into the far corner.
St Pat's roused themselves from their post-league winning lethargy to carve out their best chance of the half after 38 minutes. Darren Dennehy halted Chris Forrester's advances with a superbly timed tackle in the box. The ball fell to Christy Fagan, who found the side netting from close range.
City finished the half with a third after 45 minutes after a string of attacks. After a number of crosses were repelled, John Kavanagh headed a ball into the box, where Kilduff chested it down, and expertly slotted past an exposed Clarke.
St Patrick's showed more resolve in the second half and scored a great goal eight minutes into the second half. Half-time sub Jake Kelly crossed a lovely ball from the left corner flag, picking out Chris Forrester whose controlled first time half-volley pinged off the far post for a goal of real class.
Ger O'Brien brought the visitors real hope when he lashed a ball in from around 30 yards out after 78 minutes after a free-kick was rolled to him.
Cork City had a flurry of late chances and Danny Morrissey grabbed another when he tapped in from close range from a Neal Horgan cross.
Cork City: Mark McNulty, Ian Turner, Darren Dennehy, Gearóid Morrissey, Colin Healy, Danny Morrissey (Shane Duggan 90), John Dunleavy, Dan Murray (C), Daryl Horgan, John Kavanagh (Neal Horgan 74), Ciarán Kilduff (Stephen Kenny 90).
Subs not used: Danny Murphy, Rob Lehane, Kalen Spillane, Kevin Burns.
St. Patrick's Athletic: Brendan Clarke, Ger O'Brien, Ian Bermingham, Conor Kenna (C), Kenny Browne, Killian Brennan, Daryl Kavangh (Jake Kelly 45), Christy Fagan, Chris Forrester, Shane McFaul (Anto Flood 45), Conan Byrne (Aidan Price 54).
Subs not used: Pat Jennings, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Sean Gannon, Peter Durrand.