MSL soccer: Rockmount book place in Keane Cup quarter-finals

MSL soccer: Rockmount book place in Keane Cup quarter-finals

Ringmahon’s Sean Blake and Rockmount’s Cian Leonard contest an aerial ball during their Keane Cup game. Picture: Jim Coughlan

Ringmahon Rangers 2

Rockmount 2

ROCKMOUNT are through to the quarter-finals of the Keane Cup thanks to their 2-2 draw at Ringmahon Rangers on Thursday

A point sufficed for the visitors, who pipped their Mahon rivals on goal difference, to seal a last-eight place against group 7 winners Carrigtwohill United who also went through on goal difference at the expense of Pearse Celtic.

Rockmount started the game in blistering fashion and it was clear they weren’t going to settle for the required point.

Chances were traded early on from Rockmount’s Nathan Broderick and Ringmahon’s Pa O’Brien. That was in the first three minutes and a minute later Rockmount were in front when Kevin O’Connell pounced in the box to score from close range after a defensive header broke nicely for the striker.

Five minutes later O’Connell was in again after a ball over the top, with Ringmahon looking for an offside decision that never came, and it was left to keeper Eric Grimes to snuff out the danger by closing the striker down before he could do any damage.

Moments later, hesitancy in Ringmahon’s defence allowed Cian Leonard to get control of the ball and his shot on the turn was inches wide.

Rockmount’s pressure paid off again just before the quarter-hour mark when Luke Casey’s cross under pressure from the left was met by Leonard who crashed the ball home from just inside the six-yard box.

Rockmount were well in control at this point; solid at the back, lively up front, and the scoreline left Ringmahon needing to score three if they were to advance.

The visitors continued to press and a Broderick shot took a deflection for a corner after a determined Leonard got his cross in, getting up off the ground to retrieve the ball after he had been initially being fouled.

Another chance quickly followed when Danny Aherne’s corner was met by Niall Hanley, whose glancing header went wide at the far post.

Ringmahon needed a response and it came in the 20th minute when Anthony McAlavey hit a dropping ball perfectly from 25 yards which flew past Mark Power in the Rockmount goal.

Back in the game, Ringmahon went in search of a second goal and O’Brien fired wide from 25 yards.

Rockmount continued to pose a threat and Broderick fired over after some good build-up play; an ambitious effort from O’Connell brought an easy save out of Grimes, while a Casey effort from the right angle of the box found the side netting.

Rockmount were worth their half-time lead and they didn’t rest on their laurels in the second period.

Seven minutes in they almost restored their two-goal lead when Casey set up O’Connell on the left of the box, but Grimes did well to save at his near post for a corner.

Just before the hour mark, Grimes was called into action again, taking the ball off Casey’s foot as he burst onto a lovely threaded pass through the middle. The loose ball broke for Leonard, but the keeper was up quickly to deny him also.

Ringmahon enjoyed a good bit of possession after that, but they never really threatened Power’s goal with any real chances of note.

Danny Long had a shot outside the box go over while young full-back Ewan Ring had an effort deflected for a corner following good work by Jack Cairns.

More good Ringmahon play led to Long getting another shot away on 78 minutes, but his effort went well over.

Rockmount weren’t without their chances either as Casey forced another save out of Grimes for a corner.

Time was running out for Ringmahon and they kept pressing for an equaliser; it arrived in injury-time when substitute Dylan Hayes was fouled in the box and McAlavey tucked the resulting penalty away.

It was too little too late, though Ringmahon will be happy enough to have fought back and get a draw from game they could easily have lost.

RINGMAHON RANGERS: Eric Grimes, Ewan Lee, Aaron Aherne, Cian Kingston, Philip Keane, Sean Blake, Cameron Harlson, Anthony McAlavey, Jack Cairns, Daniel Long, Patrick O’Brien.

Subs: Roy Long for O’Brien (39 inj), Dylan Hayes for Aherne (65), Roy Collins for Lee (81). Daniel Gibson for Harlson (87).

ROCKMOUNT: Mark Power, Darren Mannix, Jason Sexton, Adam Crowley, Cian O’Driscoll, Niall Hanley, Nathan Broderick, Danny Aherne, Cian Leonard, Kevin O’Connell, Luke Casey.

Subs: Jack Waters for Leonard (75), Eoin Murphy for Leonard (84), Kyle Keeley for Casey (inj time).

Referee: Dan Deady.

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