ROCKMOUNT are through to the semi-finals of the FAI New Balance Intermediate Cup after they deservedly defeated Collinstown 2-1 at Rockmount Park on Saturday night.
A superbly taken brace from Daniel Duggan at the end of the first half was enough to send Rockmount into the final four, despite Collinstown pulling a goal back through their captain Luke Fitzpatrick shortly after half-time.
UCC were knocked out over the weekend by holder Maynooth while Crumlin United are also through to the last four. There's a Cork derby next Sunday to complete the semi-final line-up, Avondale at home to Midleton.
Rockmount started the game on the front foot and they threatened to open the scoring after just four minutes but Cian Kelleher’s shot from the right flashed across the face of goal.
The home side thought they had taken the lead moments later after a neat interchange between Evan Galvin and Wayne Doherty allowed Duggan to finish from a tight angle, but the flag was already raised for offside.
The Cork side remained in control and they squandered a glorious opportunity just shy of the quarter-hour mark.
Kelleher pulled the ball back from the endline following a surging run, but after Duggan turned it into the path of Doherty, the striker scuffed his shot wide of the near post.
Collinstown created their first chance of note moments later, but Paul McMahon’s mishit cross from the right was claimed by goalkeeper Brendan O’Connell at his near post.
It was the hosts who looked more like breaking the deadlock and the lively Galvin was inches away from doing so midway through the first half.
The winger’s excellent touch and clever turn created space on the edge of the opposition’s penalty area, but his powerful strike sailed narrowly wide of the far top left corner.
Rockmount are finely poised in the race for the Beamish Stout Senior Premier Division title, in second, one point behind leaders Cobh Wanderers having played one game fewer.
Their hopes of winning the national competition received a huge boost when they finally took the lead with the first period drawing to a close.
Galvin’s defence-splitting pass sent Cian O’Driscoll through on goal, but after he was denied by a tackle from the on-rushing goalkeeper, Declan Woods, Duggan collected the loose ball and coolly fired it past the recovering defenders on the line.
Collinstown failed to recover from that goal and Rockmount, sensing an opportunity, duly added a second before the break.
And it was Duggan again who got it, as his darting run to the near post allowed him to emphatically side foot a cross into the net via the underside of the crossbar.
The half-time break seemed to be exactly what the visitors needed and they began the second half with a bit more urgency.
They were rewarded for their approach shortly after the restart when they made it 2-1 thanks to their talisman, Fitzpatrick.
Striker Gerard Shortt headed a corner back into the path of Fitzpatrick and the centre-back expertly planted his header past the keeper from a few yards.
The Dublin side was now the team on the front foot and Daniel Matthews tried to find an equaliser with a long-range free-kick but O’Connell caught and held his ambitious attempt.
Galvin again caused problems with his pace at the other end and he nearly restored his team’s two-goal lead past the hour, but his thunderous shot flew just past the near post.
Collinstown threw everything at Rockmount in the closing stages — even sending the keeper up for a corner — but their best chance of a leveller fell to Shortt and his fierce drive was well saved as Rockmount hung on to the victory.
ROCKMOUNT: Brendan O’Connell, Cian Kelleher, Kenneth Hoey, Jason Sexton, Cian O’Driscoll, James Carson, Evan Galvin, Danny Aherne, Wayne Doherty, Daniel Duggan, Jack Waters.
Subs: Jordan Keegan for Wayne Doherty (74), Stephen Montgomery for Daniel Duggan (89).
COLLINSTOWN: Declan Woods, Tony McLeever, Dylan Nolan, Luke Fitzpatrick, Dean Carpenter, Stephen Grogan, Paul McMahon, Daniel Matthews, Gerard Shortt, Aaron Behan, Ian McNeill.
Subs: Gareth Brogan for Daniel Matthews (69).
Referee: David Coleman Assistant Referees: Mark O’Connell and Eddie McNally.