Cork City made it back-to-back wins for the first time this season and it was enough to send them to the top of the SSE Airtricity League First Division as they defeated Munster and title rivals Waterford 2-0 at Turner's Cross on Monday night.
A smart Ruairí Keating finish and a Darragh Power own goal - both in the space of three first-half minutes - earned City the three points that sends them above Waterford and into first place albeit on goal difference.
After a quiet opening 14 minutes to the game, despite the noise coming from packed home and away end which combined for a crowd of 3,012, the game sparked into life on the quarter of an hour mark as City took the lead.
The pitch at the Cross has seen better days - it's perhaps still recovering from the Cork derby played here just 72 hours earlier - but that could also be cutting captain Eddie Nolan slack as he failed to control Kevin Joshua’s back pass.
Either way, Ruairí Keating was alive to the loose ball and kept his composure when bearing down on goal, allowing him to slot past the onrushing Brian Murphy, who got a touch on it but couldn’t keep it out.
Things got even better for the home side as they doubled their lead just three minutes later with Keating again heavily involved.
The number nine beat his marker to Barry Coffey’s long pass down the right flank and cut into the penalty area. He looked to set up Cian Murphy in front of goal but Darragh Power appeared to stop it from reaching him and could only turn it into the back of his own net in the process.
Waterford failed to recover before the interval and City could have added more to their tally but neither Barry Coffey nor Cian Bargary could hit the target with their efforts from the edge of the penalty area.
Visiting manager Ian Morris made two substitutions by the 57th as he looked to get his team a foothold in the game but they almost fell three goals behind shortly before the hour but Murphy did superbly to tip Matt Healy’s fierce hit wide of his far post.
The Blues finally had a sight on goal with 63 minutes on the clock but substitute Roland Idowu could only blast his effort wide of the near post from a good position inside the box.
City keeper David Harrington was called into action twice as the game drew to a close and on both occasions he was able to prevent both Lewis Britton and Phoenix Patterson’s powerful strikes from finding his bottom left corner as the Leesiders hung on for a significant victory.
Cork City: David Harrington; Jonas Hakkinen, Ally Gilchrist, Kevin O’Connor; Darragh Crowley, Aaron Bolger, Barry Coffey, Matt Healy (Matt Srbely 89), Cian Bargary (Ronan Hurley 72); Cian Murphy, Ruairí Keating.
Waterford FC: Brian Murphy; Darragh Power (Tunmise Sobwale ht), Eddie Nolan, Kevin Joshua (Niall O’Keefe 73), Jeremie Milambo; Phoenix Patterson, Anthony Wordsworth, Shae Griffin, Yassine En-Negah (Cian Kavanagh 73); Ouitirna Junior Armando (Roland Idowu 57), Lewis Britton.
Referee: Paul Norton.
Elsewhere in the second tier, John Caulfield's Galway United continued their strong start to the season with a 2-1 win at home to Treaty United at Eamonn Deacy Park.
Wilson Waweru and Stephen Walsh left the westerners 2-0 up at the break, Enda Curran responding for the visitors midway through the second half. Galway held out to go level on points with Cork at the top, with a game in hand.
Bray Wanderers earned their first points of the season, coming from behind against Longford Town at Bishopsgate. With Gary Cronin coming up against the club he managed last season - at least in its previous incarnation - the midlanders took an early lead, Sam Verdon scoring before the 10 minute mark.
However, Pat Devlin's side had the lead by the interval, Kurtis Byrne levelling on 20 minutes, with Paul Fox firing home the lead goal with five minutes left to half-time. The Seagulls held firm from there to register a 2-1 win, the first league points for the amalgamated entity.
Two goals in the dying minutes gave Cobh Ramblers a dramatic away win at the still point-less Athlone Town.
Beineon O'Brien Whitmarsh gave Cobh the lead on the 15 minute mark, Thomas Oluwa equalising deep in injury-time in the first half. It remained 1-1 until a rollercoaster final 10 minutes, Carlton Ubaezuonu giving the midland club the lead on 83 minutes.
At the death, Cobh snatched away victory and then improbably grabbed all three points, Danny O' Connell equalising on 89 minutes before O'Brien Whitmarsh nabbed the winner in the fourth minute of added time.