Damien Richardson and Cork City are eircom League Premier Division champions after they deservedly won the title decider against great rivals Derry City at a packed Turners Cross tonight.

Cork went into the game a point behind the Foylesiders, so nothing less than a win would suffice as their manager tried to win the first championship crown of his 40-year professional career.

The home side took the game to Derry from the off and might have scored inside 30 seconds when a Liam Kearney cross was headed inches over the crossbar by the returning John O'Flynn, who had passed a fitness test to start his first game in a month.

But O'Flynn was not to be denied after 18 minutes when he brilliantly headed a Roy O'Donovan cross past David Forde for a deserved lead goal.

Cork dominated the remainder of the half with some superb passing football, but it seemed as if the second goal might not arrive.  A draw would have been enough to give Derry the title.

But a second Cork goal, in the 61st minute, sealed their first title since 1993. Denis Behan set up Liam Kearney, who rolled the ball past Forde in front of a packed Shed End which will close tomorrow to make way for a new stand. 

Derry brought on Pat McCourt, but he was denied by a brilliant one handed save by Michael Devine, who somehow kept out the Northern Ireland international's header from eight yards.

So, Cork are champions - and how their loyal fans celebrated at the final whistle.

The double is now on the cards, as the Rebels meet Drogheda United in the FAI Cup final on December 4.