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Dundalk down Cork to seal Irish title

Second-half goals by Stephen O'Donnell and Brian Gartland ensured Dundalk FC defeated Cork City FC 2-0 on the final day of the season to leapfrog their rivals and become Irish champions.

Dundalk celebrate with the trophy
Dundalk celebrate with the trophy ©Sportsfile

Dundalk FC have completed a remarkable turnaround in their fortunes to win their first league title in 19 years in a dramatic title decider on the last day of the season.

The Lilywhites, one of Ireland's most successful clubs in the 1970s and 1980s, had endured some tough times of late including a long spell in Ireland's second tier and a brush with relegation in 2012. Stephen Kenny's side, who finished second last season, finished off the 2014 campaign with a 2-0 win at home to Cork City FC on the last day of the season to seal their tenth title.

Cork led Dundalk by a point with one game to play so Kenny's outfit needed to beat their title rivals in the decider. Cork almost went in front late in the first half when a free-kick by Billy Dennehy struck the upright. Dundalk captain Stephen O'Donnell, who was making his first start in six months after a long lay-off due to a knee injury, fired them in front on 47 minutes and defender Brian Gartland added a second goal on 83 minutes.

"I am absolutely thrilled, this means the world to us as we had to work so hard to win this title," said Dundalk winger Daryl Horgan. "Fair play to Cork for pushing us so hard for so long. Most of us have not won a league title before but this is a young team. Hopefully this is the first of many and we will look forward to the UEFA Champions League next year."