Dundalk FC's Dane Massey. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
Three Little Birds - the unofficial anthem of the Shedside Army - blasted out of the visiting changing room at full-time of Friday night’s match at Turner’s Cross.
Dundalk FC players celebrated, as did their supporters. The 1-0 win over Cork City was, in effect, a title clinching triumph, and the Lilywhites weren’t going to let it pass without enjoying it.
“That’s the tune we’ve been singing all year and there’s no better place to sing it than in your rivals’ back garden,” left-back Dane Massey, a constant of the soon-to-be four title wins under Stephen Kenny, told The Democrat.
“We were well due a win down here. The last win, three-and-a-half years ago, it’s too long, especially if you want to win leagues. You have to win in your rivals’ back garden which we did. We’re absolutely ecstatic. It’s going to be an enjoyable trip home.”
The early lead afforded to the Lilywhites by Chris Shields’ deflected effort gave the winners comfort and allowed them to negotiate Cork’s threat quite easily.
However, it was the positivity of Dundalk which caught the eye and Massey offers credit to his manager, Kenny, for wanting to win the game when a draw would have maintained their six-point lead.
“We knew that there would be a considerable gap (in the table) if we won so we didn’t come down looking for a draw, we came down to win the game and Stephen set us up to get the win.
“Anyone could have come down here and settled for a draw, but I don’t think he’s ever sent a team out to play for a draw.
“We played our own football and in parts of that game we played well and obviously it’s a tough challenge. Cork are a very direct and physical team. But I thought we were excellent.”
He added: “We’re nearly there. If we win on Tuesday, realistically, it’s pretty much done.
“It’s crazy stuff, and the other two years that we didn’t win it we finished second. I can’t complain, every year, every title, it’s just an amazing feeling.”