Rock still have a chance

The Corkman - - SPORT - DIARMUID SHEE­HAN Mal­low GAA Com­plex

Aghab­ul­logue 1-12 Rockchapel 1-9

A TER­RIFIC bat­tle be­tween Aghab­ul­logue and Rockchapel in Mal­low last Satur­day night ended in what looked like a highly un­likely raw af­ter the Rock fought back from what looked like an im­pos­si­ble po­si­tion.

The sec­ond of a foot­ball dou­ble header at the su­perb venue looked like it would be very much a damp squid af­ter the thrills and spills of the opener be­tween Bal­ly­desmond and Mitchel­stown, but th­ese sides pro­duced all the drama one could hope for from a fix­ture at this or any grade.

Rockchapel’s full for­ward Sea­mus Hickey and half-time sub­sti­tute Bren­dan Cahill bagged the vi­tal sec­ond half goals for their side dur­ing a pe­riod of dom­i­na­tion that looked like it would ul­ti­mately be suc­cess­ful. How­ever, Aghab­ul­logue, to their credit, ral­lied again and scraped a draw with an in­jury time John Cork­ery point.

Rockchapel man­ager Donal Casey was as much in shock at the fi­nal whis­tle as any­one af­ter his side bat­tled back from nine points down to draw in this IFC Round 4 fix­ture.

“I don’t know what to say re­ally. We were talk­ing at half time and it looked like some of the boys had nearly thrown in the towel but we re­minded them that the breeze was strong enough and we had a couple of half chances so we felt there was a chance.

“It was im­por­tant that we held them with­out a score early in the sec­ond half so they wouldn’t get fur­ther ahead and we did that. We said its three goals, that is what it was and we had goal chances so we needed to keep go­ing. We felt if we got one goal back and a couple of points we were in with a chance and that is what hap­pened.”

Right from the off it was clear to see that the men in green and white were well up for the tie as they cut through Rockchapel seem­ingly at will how­ever far too many wides in the open­ing 30 meant that Rockchapel were down but not out at the turn. (1-08 to 0-2).

A bril­liant fin­ish from cor­ner for­ward David Thomp­son on 21 min­utes was the high­light of the open­ing pe­riod.

The sec­ond half saw Hickey, Liam Collins and Daniel Curtin all com­ing to the fore for the Rock with Cahill’s scram­bled goal look­ing like it would be cru­cial on 50 min­utes.

For Aghab­ul­logue the work put in by wing back Mark Long and Mathew Bradley in the mid­dle and Cork­ery up front can’t be over­stated as all three, par­tic­u­larly Bradley, worked their mark­ers hard. Niall Barry-Mur­phy also proved to be a real thorn in the Rockchapel rear­guard’s side as he re­peat­edly at­tacked from ev­ery quar­ter.

Next Satur­day af­ter­noon in Mourne­abbey both sides will again get the chance to progress and while both will feel they have a great chance, all con­cerned will need to put in a bet­ter 60 minute dis­play.

AGHAB­UL­LOGUE: J Buck­ley; P Ring, D Mer­rick, A Ho­gan; J Cork­ery, R Dennehy, M Long 0-1; D Moyni­han, M Bradley 0-6 (1 ‘45’); M Twomey, E O’Sul­li­van 0-2f, N Barry-Mur­phy; D Thomp­son 1-0, P Fin­negan 0-1, J Cork­ery 0-2. Subs: N Buck­ley for M Twomey (50), S O’Sul­li­van for E O’Sul­li­van (54), B Casey for P Fin­negan, D Twomey for M Long (both 58)

ROCKCHAPEL: C Mur­phy; N O’Callaghan, E O’Callaghan, D Car­roll; M O’Ke­effe; K Collins, D O’Callaghan; D O’Callaghan, C Kep­ple; J O’Callaghan, J For­rest, D Curtin 0-2; L Collins 0-4 (3f), S Hickey 1-2, W Mur­phy. Subs: B Cahill 1-0 for J O’Callaghan (half time), DJ O’Sul­li­van 0-1 for C Kep­ple, S O’Do­main for J For­rest (both 43), J O’Sul­li­van for M O’Ke­effe (59)

REF­EREE: John O’Leary (Mal­low)

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