Donnellan and Sherlock the heroes for College Corinthians in Keane Cup final

Rockmount defeated after thrilling penalty shootout
Donnellan and Sherlock the heroes for College Corinthians in Keane Cup final

Craig Donnellan, College Corinthians captain, celebrates the Keane Cup final win with his teammates. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

College Corinthians 1 Rockmount 1 (Corinthians win 4-3 on penalties)

COLLEGE Corinthians lifted the Munster Senior League's Keane Cup on Friday night as they defeated Rockmount 4-3 on penalties after a tense final at Ringmahon Park remained 1-1 at the end of extra time.

Daragh O’Sullivan Connell’s goal had given Corinthians, who had Cory Galvin dismissed moments earlier, the lead in the second half but Rockmount quickly hit back through Luke Casey.

The teams were still locked at 1-1 after 110 minutes so a shootout was required to finally decide the destination of the silverware with Corinthians securing the honours thanks to two saves from Shane Sherlock which allowed Craig Donnellan to fire in the winner.

Both sides’ attention will soon switch back to their league campaign where there are just three points separating the two in the Beamish Stout Munster Senior League Senior Premier Division table with Rockmount winning both their games while Corinthians have also made a successful start but have played a game fewer.

And it was the men for Whitechurch who started this game on the front foot and they had their first sight at goal with just eight minutes on the clock.

In truth, it was only half a sight at goal as Danny Aherne did well to cleverly flick the ball over his own head but on the turn, he could only drag his volley well wide of the far corner.

Corinthians soon grew into the cup tie but their decisive pass in midfield and the final third let them down on numerous occasions with their manager Joe Gamble - for whom that wasn’t a problem in his Cork City days - urging them to relax and keep possession.

The first chance they created of note came shortly after the quarter of an hour mark but after doing well to press and reclaim a weak layoff on the edge of the opponent’s penalty area, Killian O’Brien’s goalbound effort was well blocked by the defence.

The Castletreasure club ought to have taken the lead in the 32nd minute but after a rushed clearance from goalkeeper Mark Power fell straight to Shane Daly Butz, the former City attacker saw his first-time effort brilliantly tipped around his post by the recovering shot-stopper.

Rockmount spurned a couple of great opportunities to hit Corinthians on the counter-attack as the first period drew to a close but they would threaten again through Luke Casey, although his thunderous drive inside the box was brilliantly saved by the outstretched Shane Sherlock.

Corinthians’ hopes of claiming the cup suffered a huge blow at the beginning of the second period as they were reduced to ten men when Cory Galvin - another former Cork City player - was shown a second yellow card.

Amazingly, they broke the deadlock just before the hour thanks to O’Sullivan Connell who drilled a low shot past the keeper at the near post following good build-up play involving Paul Deasy and Daly Butz.

But Rockmount would level terms moments later when Luke Casey rose well and expertly planted his header into the far top left corner after being found with an excellent cross from Nathan Broderick.

The Yellow and Greens piled players forward in search of a winner but they failed to truly test the opposing number one as the game crept into extra time.

In the extra 20 minutes, Rockmount dominated but they couldn’t grab the crucial third goal of the game as Murphy saw a free saved, Danny Aherne had a close-range strike deflect over before Jason Sexton lifted over the top from a few yards.

So penalties were needed and Sherlock became the hero, saving twice to help his side come from behind to allow Donnellan slot home the winning spot-kick.

 Eoin Murphy, Rockmount, battling Andrew Neville, College Corinthians. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Eoin Murphy, Rockmount, battling Andrew Neville, College Corinthians. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

COLLEGE CORINTHIANS: Shane Sherlock, Killian O’Brien, Andrew Neville, David O’Connor, Conor Walsh, Craig Donnellan, Paul Deasy, Daragh O’Sullivan Connell, Cory Galvin, Evan Galvin, Shane Daly Butz.

Subs: Cian Murphy for Paul Deasy (73), Liam Cronin for Daragh O’Sullivan Connell (95), Destiny Okonkwo for Shane Daly Butz (112).

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

Subs: Jack Waters for Niall Hanley (77), Daniel Duggan for Nathan Broderick (97), James O’Connell for Cian O’Driscoll (114).

Referee: Eddie McNally.

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