KNOCKNAGREE held their nerve in extra time to land the Donagh Hickey Motors Duhallow Cup Football title from a gritty Rockchapel in an entertaining decider at Dromtarriffe.
Tight games come down to small margins and when it came to 20 minutes of additional time, Knocknagree just about grabbed the dividends thanks to an all important winning point kicked by joint captain Fintan O’Connor.
Though neither side operated at full strength, the clash of the 2020 Cork County Premier IFC winners against the 2021 IFC victors generated anticipation and the clash lived up to its billing in a game of swaying fortunes.
Knocknagree enjoyed a decent start only for Rockchapel get to grips with the challenge to avail of telling contributions from William Murphy, Moss O’Keeffe, Cormac Curtin and Mickey McAulliffe.
And in a rewarding move, Cormac Curtin blasted the ball off the Knocknagreee post only for the lurking Jack Curtin pounce for the contest’s only goal, Rockchapel holding a 1-5 to 0-7 advantage at the interval.
And Rockchapel restarted impressively to extend their grip only for Knocknagree conjured up a recovery through the efforts of Michael Mahoney, Gary O’Connor, Danny Cooper and Donough Moynihan as Fintan O’Connor and 'keeper Patrick Doyle pointed.
However Knocknagree were thankful to a terrific block from Doyle to deny Jimmy McAulliffe at the end of a sweeping Rock’ move.
That ensured Knocknagree turned up the tempo, a pair of O’Connor points squared up the contest 0-15 to 1-12 by the end of the hour.
Into extra time, Rockchapel went close to a goal, a brilliant reaction from Doyle turned William Murphy’s effort around the post. Scores became a premium as Doyle and McAulliffe swopped points, all square by the close of the first period.
With both sides tiring after giving their all earlier, it came down to a survival battle, Rockchapel failing to convert decent chances, crucially Knocknagree delivered the winner from an O'Connor special.
Scorers for Knocknagree: F O'Connor 0-6 (0-3f), P Doyle 0-4 (0-2f, 0-2'45), N O'Connor 0-2, K Buckley, D Moynihan, D O'Connor, J Dennehy, G Looney 0-1.
Rockchapel: J Curtin 1-0, M McAulliffe 0-3, C Curtin 0-2 (0-1f), N Linehan 0-2 (0-1f), J O'Callaghan 0-2f, C Curtin 0-2 (0-1f), S Hickey 0-2.
KNOCKNAGREE: P Doyle; M Mahoney, M Doyle, G O’Connor; D Cooper, K Buckley, T O’Connor; D Moynihan, David O’Connor; J Dennehy, J F Daly, F O’Connor, N O’Connor Denis O’Connor, G Looney.
Sub: D Twomey for N O’Connor.
ROCKCHAPEL: M Geaney; B Carroll, E O’Callaghan, S Curtin; W Murphy, M O’Keeffe, K Collins; C Keppel, S Hickey; J O’Callaghan, M McAulliffe, C Curtin, N Linehan, J Curtin, J McAulliffe.
Subs: D O’Callaghan for C Keppel (inj), N O’Callaghan for N Linehan, S Geaney for E O’Callaghan (inj).
Referee: J Kelleher (St. John’s).