MSL soccer: Rockmount hit Blarney for four to claim second league win

MSL soccer: Rockmount hit Blarney for four to claim second league win

Blarney United’s Greg Barrett and Rockmount’s Adam Crowley challenge for the ball during their Beamish Stout Senior Premier Division game at O'Shea Park. Picture: Jim Coughlan

Blarney United 0

Rockmount 4

ROCKMOUNT made it two wins from two in the Beamish Stout Senior Premier Division as they comfortably defeated Blarney United 4-0 at O’Shea Park on Thursday night.

Luke Casey’s first-half finish was followed by a penalty from Eoin Murphy and superb strikes from substitute Cian Leonard and Jack O’Sullivan in the second half to ensure Rockmount continued the excellent start to the defence of their title, making it two losses out of two for Blarney in the process.

In truth, it was a game that the Whitechurch club pretty much dominated through its entirety although it took them time to threaten the Blarney goal as the home side’s defence held firm in the opening exchanges.

Rockmount’s 1-0 win over Avondale United, followed by their 1-0 victory away to Ringmahon Rangers in the fourth round of the Beamish Stout Senior Centenary Cup, meant that they came into this fixture in a confident mood and they showed that by dominating possession.

Blarney's Arseni Lamanov is tackled by Rockmount's  Adam Crowley. Picture: Jim Coughlan
Blarney's Arseni Lamanov is tackled by Rockmount's  Adam Crowley. Picture: Jim Coughlan

Their first sight at the target came in the eighth minute when Murphy’s ambitious shot from long-range was easily held by goalkeeper Stephen Gahan, who then stopped a similar attempt from Casey moments later.

Murphy and Casey were two members of the Rockmount team that were called up to the Republic of Ireland’s amateur 20-man squad for their fixture against Northern Ireland the night before; they were joined by goalkeeper Brendan O’Connell, defender Adam Crowley, and midfielder Nathan Broderick.

United soon grew into the game and shortly after Greg Barrett sent an effort from distance harmlessly wide of O’Connell’s right post, striker Dave Desmond was denied the chance to fire his side in front by a sensational last-ditch tackle by Crowley.

From the resulting corner, the visitors had their best chance to break the deadlock midway through the first half, but after a rapid counter-attack led by Broderick, Murphy’s thunderous drive was stopped by Gahan.

They continued to press forward and not long afterwards Broderick blazed narrowly over from a good position inside the penalty area and then Casey sent a header narrowly wide of the bottom left corner, they deservedly took the lead in the closing stages of the first half.

The opening goal came in fortuitous circumstances as Gahan failed to collect a hopeful David Stack cross into the box, giving Casey the simplest of tasks of rolling the ball into the gaping net from a few yards out.

Then, at the beginning of the second half, the league champions had the perfect opportunity to double their lead when O’Sullivan was brought down inside the area by Alan Quill.

Murphy took responsibility for the spot kick and even though Gahan dived the right way, he couldn’t prevent the attacker’s fierce hit from finding the bottom right corner of the net

Blarney's Dave Desmond is tackled by Rockmount's Jason Sexton. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Blarney's Dave Desmond is tackled by Rockmount's Jason Sexton. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Blarney, to their credit, went close to halving the deficit almost immediately, but Dave Desmond couldn’t get enough power to head Dylan McAuliffe’s clipped cross home.

Desmond saw a snapshot saved just past the hour mark but the FAI Intermediate Cup holders soon all but sealed the win when substitute Cian Leonard turned cleverly before seeing his shot deflect past the keeper from 20 yards to make it 3-0.

A few minutes later Rockmount completed the scoring with the best goal of the night.

Sub Christopher Hull picked out O’Sullivan with an incisive pass but then it was all about the midfielder's quality as he touched the ball past his marker before blasting it into the roof of the net.

BLARNEY UNITED: Stephen Gahan, Alan Quill, Joe Bailey, Sean Keane, Luke O’Sullivan, Gavin O’Sullivan, Dylan McAuliffe, Conor Stokes, Dave Desmond, Arseni Lamanov, Greg Barrett.

Subs: Cian Connolly for Quill (64), Louis Hanover for Barrett (73), Oliver Keane for Lamanov (73), Michael Cronin for Gavin O’Sullivan (76).

ROCKMOUNT: Brendan O’Connell, Kevin Taylor, David Stack, Adam Crowley, Jason Sexton, Jack O’Sullivan, Eoin Murphy, Danny Aherne, Nathan Broderick, Ian Mylod, Luke Casey.

Subs: Cian Leonard for Luke Casey (59), Hull for Murphy (63), Christopher McCarthy for O’Sullivan (69), Cian Murphy for Crowley (76), James O’Connell for Taylor (75).

Referee: Dan Deady.

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