MSL soccer: Rockmount beat Maynooth to seal place in FAI Intermediate Cup final

MSL soccer: Rockmount beat Maynooth to seal place in FAI Intermediate Cup final

Rockmount’s Eoin Murphy is fouled by Maynooth University Town’s Jake Corrigan during their FAI Intermediate Cup semi-final at Rockmount Park. Picture Dan Linehan

Rockmount 3

Maynooth University Town 1

ROCKMOUNT are off to the final of the FAI Centenary Intermediate Cup after their 3-1 semi-final win over Maynooth University Town at Rockmount Park on Saturday.

The Cork side are now just one game away from their first FAI Intermediate Cup title since 2008.

Rockmount will face Bluebell United in the final at the Aviva Stadium after they beat fellow Leinster Senior League side St Francis.

This was a contest that showcased much of what is good about this Rockmount side which is managed by Edward Kenny.

Rockmount have lots of positive characteristics; they work hard without the ball and they have quality in the attacking third of the pitch.

Rockmount’s Christopher McCarthy challenges Maynooth’s Jack O’Connor during their FAI Intermediate Cup semi-final at Rockmount Park. 	Picture Dan Linehan
Rockmount’s Christopher McCarthy challenges Maynooth’s Jack O’Connor during their FAI Intermediate Cup semi-final at Rockmount Park. Picture Dan Linehan

The opening half was tight and there was very little to separate the two teams, with the significance of what was at stake in clear evidence.

Rockmount were solid at the back with Jason Sexton and Kenneth Hoey leading by example.

However, Maynooth threatened on the half-hour mark when Jack O’Connor was just unable to get his head to a good cross by Paddy O’Sullivan into the penalty area.

In the 35th minute, Rockmount went close to opening the scoring when a Niall Hanley drive from outside the box went just wide of the mark.

On the stroke of half-time Rockmount were given the perfect chance to go ahead from the penalty spot. Eoin Murphy successfully converted with a beauty of a strike high to the corner of the night.

That was enough to see the home side hold the advantage at half-time after a closely contested opening half of football.

There was a twist in the tale early in the second half as Maynooth struck to get back on level terms. Following a goalmouth scramble across the box, on hand was Jack O’Connor to knock the ball home at the back post after an initial shot by Paddy O’Sullivan arrived into his path via a deflection.

This minor blow didn’t hold Rockmount back and they finished the game the stronger side.

Rockmount thought they were ahead again on 67 minutes, but Cian Murphy’s header was saved by Maynooth keeper Derek Sterio.

The home side’s momentum grew the longer the second half progressed. Nathan Broderick had an effort saved, while Danny Aherne blasted wide with a powerful strike.

Maynooth, who had former Shamrock Rovers and Shelbourne attacker Ciaran Kilduff as part of their coaching set-up, reminded their hosts of the danger they posed when Darragh Gannon went close from a corner kick.

Rockmount’s Jason Sexton goes down under pressure from Maynooth’s Jack O’Connor during their FAI Intermediate Cup semi-final. 	 Picture Dan Linehan
Rockmount’s Jason Sexton goes down under pressure from Maynooth’s Jack O’Connor during their FAI Intermediate Cup semi-final. Picture Dan Linehan

Rockmount went into the lead with 10 minutes remaining courtesy of Luke Casey. Picking up the ball on the edge of the box, the Ireland amateur international controlled it neatly before scoring with a fine finish to the corner.

The hosts could feel cup final fever within their grasp and they hit the clinching goal with five minutes remaining.

Hitting Maynooth on the break, Broderick surged forward and he was on hand to slot the ball home.

That secured Rockmount’s place in the FAI Intermediate Cup decider, one which they look well equipped for based on this performance.

ROCKMOUNT: Brendan O’Connell; Cian Murphy, Kenneth Hoey, Jason Sexton, Adam Crowley, Christopher McCarthy, Eoin Murphy, Danny Aherne, Niall Hanley, Nathan Broderick, Luke Casey.

Subs: Hughie O’Donovan for E Murphy (73), James O’Connell for McCarthy (87), Jack Waters for Hanley (89).

MAYNOOTH UNIVERSITY TOWN: Derek Sterio; Jack O’Connor, Dylan Pierce, Mark Colgan, Darragh Gannon, Conor Dunne, Sven Biansumba, Jake Corrigan, Paddy O’Sullivan, Jackson Ryan, Alex Fitzgibbon.

Subs: Eoin O’Neill for Biansumba (h/t), Conor Delahunty for Colgan, Jay Amour for O’Connor (both 82),

Referee: Edwin McNally.

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