Bonagee United 0
ROCKMOUNT are through to the semi-finals of the FAI Centenary Intermediate Cup after they narrowly defeated Bonagee United of Donegal 1-0 at Rockmount Park on Sunday afternoon.
A powerful header from Adam Crowley inside the opening minutes proved to be the difference between the two sides as Rockmount marched on for a meeting with Maynooth University Town in the last four of the competition.
Rockmount have been in incredible form in the Beamish Stout Munster Senior League Senior Premier Division this season and currently top of the table having won 10 and drawn two of their opening 12 fixtures.
Roared on by a huge local crowd they almost took the lead in the second minute but Bonagee goalkeeper Oisín Lannon did well to get his hand to Luke Casey’s inswinging free-kick from the right-wing and turn it over his crossbar.
The home side continued to dominate the opening exchanges and with just four minutes on the clock, they got the early goal that their display deserved thanks to Crowley.
Eoin Murphy’s dangerous corner picked out his brother Cian — formerly of Cobh Ramblers and St Mary’s — at the back post and he nodded the ball into the path of Crowley, who planted his powerful header into the roof of the net from a few yards out.
United, who had never reached this stage of this prestigious competition before, responded well and they had their first sight at goal moments later, but Michael Funston’s ambitious lob from at least 40 yards was easily saved by goalkeeper Mark Power.
The hard surface was making it difficult for both teams to get their passing game going and coupled with a number of injuries and fouls on both sides, this encounter lost its rhythm.
The visitors again went close midway through the first half but Michael Funston — formerly of Finn Harps — saw his header from a Tony McNamee long-throw drift harmlessly wide of the near post.
The duo also combined effectively before half-time, but striker Michael Doherty could only scuff Funston’s knockdown straight at Power.
Rockmount also had another good sight at goal, but they couldn’t double their advantage as Eoin Murphy’s free-kick from the left of the penalty area was easily saved by Lannon.
The tempo failed to rise in the second half although Eoin Murphy did have another decent chance to make it 2-0 shortly after the restart, but he blasted his free from a good position well wide of the far left upright.
This cup tie did briefly liven up in the 67th minute when United threatened to snatch a leveller, but Jack Parke’s header from Jordan Armstrong’s free-kick was stopped by Power at the back post.
Bonagee threw more men forward in search of an equaliser in the closing stages, but the closest they came to scoring was a McNamee strike from the edge of the box which sailed just past the far top left corner after they had done well to apply pressure by forcing a number of set pieces late on.
Rockmount used all their experience to slow the game down and ensure they hung onto the victory which keeps their dream of landing a fourth intermediate cup in their history alive.
ROCKMOUNT: Mark Power, Cian Murphy, Kenneth Hoey, Jason Sexton, Adam Crowley, Christopher McCarthy, Eoin Murphy, Danny Aherne, Niall Hanley, Nathan Broderick, Luke Casey.
Subs: Hughie Donovan for Eoin Murphy (60), James O’Connell for Nathan Broderick (82), David Stack for Niall Hanley (88), Jack Waters for Christopher McCarthy (91).
BONAGEE UNITED: Oisin Lannon, Jamie Lynch, Darragh Ellison, Gareth Breslin, Jack Parke, Dan O’Donnell, Michael Funston, Tony McNamee, Michael Doherty, Dean Larkin, Jordan Armstrong.
Subs: Garbhan Grant for Dean Larkin (72), Aidan McLaughlin for Jordan Armstrong (88).
Referee: Declan Fogarty.