ROCKMOUNT got their season off to a perfect start with a Group 2 win over UCC in the Keane Cup.
New Rockmount manager Edward Kenny will be pleased with the result and the performance as his side came from behind to deservedly take the spoils.
Luke Casey was the star man with a super display which saw him draw a foul for a penalty for Rockmount’s equaliser before finding the net himself in the second half.
Rockmount had the better of the early exchanges with Kevin O’Connell firing over from inside the penalty area after five minutes.
A minute later Casey burst forward on the left and crossed to the far side of the box and the ball fell for Eoin Murphy, but his tame shot was easily held by UCC keeper Callan Scully.
Casey had a go himself five minutes later, his shot from 25 yards going narrowly wide of the diving Scully.
Casey continued to impress and he set up O’Connell after another good break on the left, but the striker didn’t get great contact with his shot and the ball went wide.
Despite their early pressure, Rockmount fell behind in the 14th minute. Conor Bowdren broke on the right and his cross into the box found Michael Fahy at the far side and he volleyed the ball past Rockmount keeper Ben Maher.
Rockmount came close to an equaliser seven minutes later when Murphy controlled the ball on the edge of the box, but his shot was saved by Scully.
Three minutes later, at the other end, a good move involving UCC’s Eoghan Vaughan, Fahy, and Rory Doyle saw the latter’s driven shot across the goal go wide at the far post.
UCC went close again just before the half-hour mark when Ronan Hennessy’s free from 30 yards brought a fine save out of Maher for a corner; from Doyle’s flag-kick Ethan Hurley headed over.
Moments later though, Rockmount were level when loose play in the UCC penalty area saw Casey pounce, but he was fouled before getting his shot off and Murphy tucked away the penalty.
Rockmount jumped in front on 37 minutes when Jack Waters, on as a sub for the injured Cian O’Driscoll, sent in a teasing cross from the left that was turned into his own net by UCC’s Rian O’Sullivan.
The home side almost made it 3-1 on 42 minutes when Broderick played a measured pass into O’Connell, but Scully was equal to his shot.
Rockmount were well in control heading into the second half and UCC struggled to make inroads.
With Casey a constant threat on the left and Broderick pulling the strings in midfield, Rockmount continued to dominate and midway through the half, they increased their lead.
Broderick played another slide-rule pass into Casey who raced clear of the UCC defence before tucking the ball past Scully.
Casey turned provider moments later, teeing up sub Cian Leonard whose shot from the edge of the box needed a save from Scully.
UCC did have a chance to get back into the game when a through ball was missed by a couple of Rockmount defenders, allowing sub Robert Geaney O’Brien to race clear, but his attempted lob of Maher, with his first touch of the game, went wide.
Casey had the ball in the net again for Rockmount after another through ball, but this time he was called offside, while Leonard force another stop from Scully in injury-time, but overall Rockmount can be very pleased with this display.
ROCKMOUNT: Ben Maher, Cian Kelleher, Jason Sexton, Cian O’Driscoll, Adam Crowley, Danny Aherne, Eoin Murphy, Nathan Broderick, Kevin O’Connell, Niall Hanley, Luke Casey.
Subs: Jack Waters for O’Driscoll (26 inj), Cian Leonard for Murphy (65), James O’Connell for Broderick (78), Kyle Keeley for Casey (86).
UCC: Callan Scully, Jack O’Sullivan, Stephen O’Connor, James Sheehan, Ethan Hurley, Rian O’Sullivan, Conor Bowdren, Ronan Hennessy, Eoghan Vaughan, Rory Doyle, Michael Fahy.
Subs: Alex Minihane for Fahy (60), Robert Geaney O’Brien for Bowdren (71), Cathal Crowley for O’Sullivan (73).
Referee: Eddie McNally.
Elsewhere on the opening night of the Keane Cup, there were wins also for St Mary’s, Blarney United, Wilton United, and Fermoy.
First division heavyweights Castleview and Blarney met at O’Sullivan Park for their Group 3 clash, with the visitors coming away 2-0 winners.
Conor Cronin opened the scoring five minutes before half-time and Thomas Carroll doubled their lead in the 73rd minute.
In the other game in this group St Mary’s were 2-1 winners away to Douglas Hall.
Ian Roche hit a hat-trick and Dave Tobin grabbed a brace as Wilton beat second division rivals Riverstown 5-3 in their Group 5 game at Pat Bowdren Park.
Goals from Owen O’Neill, Steve Quinlan, and Dominic Wojtas helped Fermoy to a 3-2 away win over Kilworth Celtic in Group 6.