Rockchapel through in PIFC but Naomh Abán head to relegation playoff

Mickey McAuliffe was the top-scorer again for the Duhallow outfit
Rockchapel through in PIFC but Naomh Abán head to relegation playoff

Mickey McAuliffe was on the goal trail against Naomh Abán for Rockchapel. Picture: John Tarrant

Rockchapel 1-11 Naomh Abán 0-7 

ROCKCHAPEL proved a notch above Naomh Abán to earn progress to the business end of the Bon Secours Premier IFC thanks to a comfortable Group C victory at Dromtarriffe.

By doing so, the 2020 IFC winners performed the business in a dour battle and the reward is a quarter-final against 2021 IFC kingpins Iveleary. Not the greatest of spectacles, the performance will not unduly concern Rockchapel, rolling up the sleeves and gritting their teeth when required.

A shower prior to the throw-in meant both sides took time to settle with neither team availing of scoring opportunities before a breeze assisted Naomh Abán broke the deadlock, Dermot Ó Ceallaigh converting a pointed free on 13 minutes. Rockchapel waited to the 18th minute to open their account, Jimmy McAuliffe punched over the opposing crossbar.

That score roused Rockchapel, Mickey McAuliffe finishing with precision to boot home the game’s only goal. At times, Naomh Abán lacked composure to shoot five wides whereas Rockchapel looked more focused, particularly McAuliffe on landing a pair of points with defender Pat Curtin adding another for a 1-4 to 0-2 interval advantage.

Though Rockchapel resumed in a positive mode through a McAuliffe point but neither side operated with fluency. Still, Rockchapel looked well positioned and a productive burst yielded points for Daniel O’Callaghan, Nicholas Linehan and Jack Curtin for a clear 1-8 to 0-2 gap.

In fairness to Naomh Abán, they failed to throw in the towel, Niall Ó Ceallaigh and Deaglán O hAllamháin landed their only points from play with Dermot Ó Ceallaigh adding a brace from frees.

Rockchapel held control, Linehan and fellow substitute Cormac Curtin pointing to secure a place in a quarter-final while for Naomh Abán it’s a relegation playoff against St Vincent's to determine their status for 2023.

Scorers for Rockchapel: M McAuliffe 1-3, N Linehan 0-2 (0-1 f), D O’Callaghan 0-2, J McAuliffe, P Curtin, J Curtin, C Curtin 0-1 each.

Naomh Abán: D Ó Ceallaigh 0-3 f, A Ó Luasa 0-2 f, N Ó Ceallaigh, D Ó hAllamháin 0-1 each.

ROCKCHAPEL: L Collins; B Carroll, E O’Callaghan, S Curtin; P Curtin, M O’Keeffe, K Collins; C Kepple, D O’Callaghan; J O’Callaghan, W Murphy, J McAuliffe; J Curtin, S Hickey, M McAuliffe.

Subs: J Forrest for B Carroll (28), C Curtin for J O’Callaghan (40), N Linehan for J McAulliffe (48).

NAOMH ABÁN: F Walker; T Ó Catháin, T Ó hAilíosa, M Ó Ceallacháin; C de Roiste, D Ó Loinsigh, S Ó Riordan; E Ó Críodáin, C Ó Donnchú; R de hÍde, A Ó Luasa, P Ó Liatháin: Dermot Ó Ceallaigh, D Ó Laoire, N Ó Ceallaigh 

Subs: D Ó hAllamháin for S Ó Riordáin (41), Donal Ó Ceallaigh for D Ó Laoire (44), M Ó Liatháin for C Ó Donnchú (48).

Referee: J Murphy  (Castletownroche).

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