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Cork City's Alan Bennett pays lovely tribute to Derry after a traumatic season

The Candystripes suffered through the pain of losing captain Ryan McBride in March.

Image: Tom Beary; ©INPHO/Tom Beary/INPHO

MINUTES AFTER BEING crowned SSE Airtricity League Premier Division champions for the first time in 12 years, veteran Cork City defender Alan Bennett wanted to pay tribute – not to his team – but to their opponents.

The 0-0 draw at Turner’s Cross ensured the championship was heading back to Leeside but it also secured European football for Derry City next season.

And, given the harrowing nature of their campaign, that’s quite the achievement.

Bennett took a moment to reflect on the Candystripes’ success and the way they came together after the death of captain Ryan McBride back in March.

“Just a point on Derry and them as a club,” he told RTE.

“At the start of the season they lost their captain, Ryan McBride. A team-mate, a player. It’s incredible. It’s an absolute credit to them how they got together and put together a really good season. That’s them qualified for Europe now. I don’t think I would’ve been able to do it after losing a friend. So that’s an absolute credit to them and congratulations to them.”

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Draw with Derry sees Cork City clinch first Premier Division title in 12 years

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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