Rockmount seal consecutive Intermediate titles


Rockmount seal consecutive Intermediate titles

Rockmount defeated Cockhill Celtic on penalties to win the FAI Intermediate Cup for the second time in a row in Sligo's Showgrounds.
23rd Apr 2023

Despite chances for both teams, Adam Crowley and Lee McColgan scored for their respective teams, and after a tense penalty shootout, James Bradley's sudden death miss ensured that the cup would be going back to Munster. Both teams had early scoring chances.

Rockmount's Luke Casey thought he had given his team the lead after a deft flick into his path, but Casey's left-footed shot just missed the target. Luke Rudden successfully collected the ball in the area and then forced Brendan O'Connell to make a save in the Rockmount goal.

After 17 minutes, Adam Crowley gave Rockmount the lead when he volleyed past Doherty from a free kick as he was unmarked to run to meet the ball in the Cockhill goal area. Sexton moments later hauled down Rudden in the area, and the referee pointed to the spot to award Cockhill a penalty.

As he had done in every round of this season's competition, Lee McColgan stepped up to take the penalty kick and equalised by putting the ball beyond O'Connell after his attempt went in off the post. Garbhan Friel nearly gave Cockhill Celtic the lead when he headed from a free kick into the box forward, but it just went over the crossbar.

Just before halftime, Rockmount's Ian Mylod came close as he stole the ball as Cockhill attempted to clear their lines, but his shot missed Doherty's back post. Early in the second half, Luke Rudden came close to giving Cockhill the lead after latching onto a pass in the Rockmount area, but a last-ditch challenge stopped him from scoring.

As Nathan Broderick's excellent drive was palmed away and Aherne's effort was stopped by the Cockhill goalkeeper's foot, Rockmount had two chances that required Doherty to make two superb saves in quick succession.

McBride's superb cross to the Rockmount area gave Cockhill another chance to score, but O'Connell expertly stopped McLaughlin's shot at the back post. Rockmount came close to scoring the decisive goal in stoppage time, but Luke Casey's strike from the by-line missed the back post by mere inches.

In extra time, Cockhill had two chances to win it. The first came from McLaughlin, whose effort forced a superb save from O'Connell. On the next corner, the Rockmount defence had to clear the ball off the line. Just before the half of extra time, Stephen Duffy nearly scored, but his shot from a corner strayed wide.

In the second period of extra time, Duffy had another opportunity, and his shot forced an excellent save from O'Connell on the line as Cockhill continued in applying pressure to the Rockmount defence. From a free kick, Luke Casey came dangerously close to giving Rockmount the victory, but his curling attempt just missed the far post.

The game was settled on penalties since neither team could find a winner, and Rockmount emerged victors because Cockhill's James Bradley missed his penalty in sudden death. Doherty denied Murphy as he dove to his right to brilliantly put the ball wide, giving Cockhill the lead.

Brendan O'Connell would later equal the score after Walsh was denied from the spot. Martin Connolly's attempt to score saw Doherty again guessing right and dove to the left to stop his effort. Although McBride had a chance to win it for Cockhill, his penalty sailed over the crossbar, tying the penalty shootout once more.

James Bradley missed a penalty kick for Cockhill and his effort struck the crossbar, which led to heartbreak for Cockhill as Rockmount won back-to-back Intermediate Cup finals.

Cockhill Celtic: Doherty (GK), McLaughlin, McColgan (Breslin 90), Doherty, McColgan, Bradley, McCarron (Duffy 101), McBride, Rudden (A. McLaughlin 87) (D. Doherty 95), Friel, McClure (C. McLaughlin 60).
Subs not used: O’Brien-Daly, Houghton.
Rockmount AFC: B. O’Connell (GK), O’Sullivan, Murphy, Crowley, Sexton (I. Mylod 39), O’Donovan, Murphy (Connolly 118), Aherne, Leonard (Walsh 78), Broderick, Casey.
Subs not used: A. Mylod, Healy, J. O’Connell. Booked: Broderick (Rockmount), Doherty (Cockhill), Murphy (Rockmount), Breslin (Cockhill)

Man of the Match: Danny Aherne (Rockmount)