Rockmount AFC 1
(AET) – Ballymackey win 4-3 on penalties
A nail-biting finish for all involved, Rockmount and Ballymackey needed penalties to decide their SFAI Subway U12 National Trophy Quarter Final, with the Tipperary outfit coming out on top by the finest of margins on Sunday.
It was the home side who got off to the faster start, putting pressure on the visitors from the off.
The away side however were well up to the task, Aidan O’Gorman in particular was outstanding at the back all the way through.
Oliver O’Brien had the first shot on target of the match, his powerful effort gathered well by Ballymackey keeper Tadgh Murphy who was almost faultless for the whole game.
The away side then had a chance of their own then, when the breaking ball fell to Conal Hart-nett at the edge of the box but his effort trailed to the left and wide.
Harnett was involved again minutes later, stepping up to take a free from just inside the oppo-sition half and rattling the crossbar with a brilliant effort that would have been worthy of a goal.
A lot of the play was condensed in the middle third of the pitch, the frenetic pace of the game meaning there was little by the way of clear chances for either side.
Conor Buckley was the danger man up front for the hosts, involved in two chances one after the other on twenty minutes but still Murphy held strong between the sticks.
Rockmount were pressing on more than the visitors but were unable to make that dominance count.
Then somewhat against the run of play Theo Dunne was played through the middle with a long ball, finishing well with a controlled strike into the bottom left corner to put the visitors in front just before the break.
Rockmount had the first chance of the second half, a long range strike gathered well by the keeper.
Ronan O’Mullane was full of enterprise for the hosts, driving his team on from the middle of the park but still his side were struggling to break down the resolute defence of Ballymackey.
Like so many cup games it took a moment of pure magic for Rockmount to find that all-important equaliser.
In added time of the second half the impressive Ronan O’Mullane stepped up and struck an outrageous volley from 25 yards into the right top corner to send the game to extra time in the most spectacular fashion.
Extra time had drama of its own, keeper Finlay O’Riordan keeping Rockmount in the tie with a brilliant save on the goal line.
Then Oliver O’Brien thought he won it for the home side with a rasping strike from 25 yards but his effort just couldn't get on the right side of the crossbar.
With the score still level after extra time, spot kicks would decide the game.
Ballymackey came out on top of this exciting cup tie in the end; Micheál Fitzpatrick with the winning penalty for his side, sparking a pitch invasion from the travelling support.
Rockmount AFC: Finlay O’Riordan, Ronan McCarthy, Oliver O’Brien, Jamie O’Riordan, Garrett O’Sullivan, Ronan O’Mullane, Tom Forrest, Tom Kelleher, Conor Buckley, Brendan Leahy, Cullain Ryan, Ethan Roche, Joe Coughlan, Cillian McSweeney.
Ballymackey: Tadgh Murphy, Ben Platt, Aidan O’Gorman, Conal Hartnett, Dan Daly, Micheál Fitzpatrick, Paul Williams, Kian Kennedy, Sean Treacy, Theo Dunne, Pauric Sheehy, Oliver Duff.
Referee: Pat Ryan