Cobh Wanderers 0
ROCKMOUNT were crowned Beamish Stout Senior Premier Division champions on Wednesday when they defeated Cobh Wanderers 1-0 at Rockmount Park.
Rockmount went into the game needing just one point to land the title but took all three when Eoin Murphy’s corner with 12 minutes remaining was finished to the net by his brother Cian whose header beat Cobh keeper Shane Hallahan.
It was Rockmount’s 13th league win from 15 outings, a tremendous achievement, and it brought the premier division title back to the club for the first time since 2015.
Having landed the title in the Munster Senior League’s centenary year, Rockmount boss Eddie Kenny, his management team, and his squad of players will be hoping to complete a centenary double when they face Bluebell United in the FAI Intermediate Cup at Turner’s Cross on Saturday, May 14.
It was clear from early in the season that Rockmount were going to take some stopping and at the halfway stage in the campaign, they had amassed 27 points from nine outings.
They’ve had a few nervy moments in recent months, dropping points in a couple of draws while they also slipped to defeats at local cup level, but there was never a doubt that they would accomplish their primary goal which Kenny admitted from the outset was to win the league title.
The game on Wednesday will be remembered more for its significance rather than it being a good game of football.
Rockmount seemed anxious early on to get on the scoresheet; they enjoyed a lot of possession, but their shooting was mostly from distance and rarely threatened the Cobh goal.
Indeed, Cobh provided the earliest threat when Dave Curran ran clear on goal, but just as he was about to pull the trigger he was fouled, with a free on the edge of the box the decision, though Cobh thought they should have got more.
Their penalty claims were waved away, the free came to nothing and Cobh went on to play second fiddle for the remainder of the game.
Still, Rockmount struggled to create decent chances, particularly in the first half.
Eoin Murphy had a chipped effort from out wide go over while David Stack’s high ball forward from halfway on the right also dropped just over the crossbar.
Eoin Murphy was full of running throughout the game, constantly going at Cobh’s defence and just after the half-hour mark, he broke in from the left and got a powerful right-footed shot away that looked on target but was blocked in the box by a defender.
The ball was recycled, and Luke Casey sent in a cross from the left which Nathan Broderick headed wide.
Rockmount had the best chance of the half with seven minutes remaining. Danny Aherne’s free near the left touchline sailed over the Cobh defence and Hallahan; Broderick had stolen in behind, but he volleyed his effort over with the goal gaping.
Broderick went close again a minute before half-time when he did well to make space in the penalty area for a shot that went narrowly over.
Rockmount had Cobh pinned back for most of the second half, though again, shots on target were scarce.
A minute in, Adam Crowley did have a header go over from Eoin Murphy’s corner, with the latter also having a couple of long-range efforts go off target before turning provider with a cross from the left that a stretching Broderick almost got a crucial touch on inside the six-yard box.
The deadlock was broken on 78 minutes when the Murphy brothers combined for defender Cian to head home and the celebrations had begun.
Cobh threatened to make it a tense finish when a brilliant 25-yard strike from Curran forced a fantastic save for a corner from an otherwise untroubled Brendan O’Connell with two minutes remaining.
With a minute left Rockmount captain Ken Hoey, who had been on Intermediate Cup press duties in Dublin earlier in the day, came on just in time to lift the trophy and complete the first part of what will hopefully be a centenary league and intermediate cup double.
ROCKMOUNT: Brendan O’Connell, James O’Connell, David Stack, Cian Murphy, Adam Crowley, Christopher McCarthy, Eoin Murphy, Danny Aherne, Nathan Broderick, Niall Hanley, Luke Casey.
Subs: Hughie O’Donovan for McCarthy (70) Jack Waters for Hanley (76), Cal Sheehy for Murphy (85), Kenneth Hoey for Broderick (89).
COBH WANDERERS: Shane Hallahan, Eoin Hastings, Luke Smith, Diarmuid Kearney, Gary Collins, Dave Curren, Sebastian Dons Uado, Kevin Foster O’Reilly, Stewart O’Rourke, Ross McCarthy, Tom Noonan.
Subs: Alan O’Flynn for Hastings (42 inj), Alec Laurent for Smith (51), Davin O’Neill for Uado (88).
Referee: D O’Sullivan assistants, R O’Leary, L Fogarty