Mitchel­stown progress at ex­pense of Rock in County Cham­pi­onship

The Corkman - - FRONT PAGE - DIAR­MUID SHEE­HAN Charleville

LAST week­end Mitchel­stown booked their place in the last four of the IFC after a hard fought win over a Rockchapel side that have im­pressed many with their tenac­ity and never-say­die at­ti­tude this sea­son.

“The Rock” were look­ing to make it back to back show­piece ap­pear­ances this year after mak­ing it all the way to the fi­nal last time out how­ever it may well be safe to say they may have felt beaten here be­fore they ever got on the pitch – rea­son be­ing is that it was hard to ig­nore just what Mitchel­stown were bring­ing to the ta­ble.

That said there is no doubt­ing the com­mit­ment shown by all on the pitch as this one re­ally was a dog fight to the end.

Both sides got to this stage the hard way re­quir­ing quar­ter-fi­nal re­plays to ad­vance, and in both cases, par­tic­u­larly Rockchapel, pro­gres­sion looked like a near im­pos­si­bil­ity be­fore late surges saved the day.

Head­ing into this one it would have been fair to say that the men in red and black were the favourites and credit to them they jus­ti­fied their favouritism by ad­vanc­ing to the next round.

Shane Be­ston is usu­ally the first name to come to the lips when talk­ing about Mitchel­stown these days, how­ever, on this day it was much more about the col­lec­tive for the vic­tors than it was about their main man.

Cathal O’Ma­hony showed he has an eye for goal early on in this one when he bagged a three pointer in­side the open­ing 15 min­utes. The in­flu­en­tial at­tacker could have had a sec­ond soon after how­ever on this oc­ca­sion it was the post that kept Rockchapel in the game.

The Duhal­low men hit back with three points of their own be­fore Jason O’Cal­laghan fired home a goal that would change ev­ery­thing head­ing into the break Mitchel­stown led 1-4 to 1-3.

Rockchapel had the bit be­tween their teeth as the sides kicked off again with O’Cal­laghan again find­ing the net, this time to lead.

Hav­ing seen plenty of Mitchel­stown this year so far the best way to de­scribe them is they are kind of like a race­horse that just seems to get bored half way through a race.

Mitchel­stown have all the tal­ent and hunger re­quired but for some rea­son they just seem to leave teams back at them when they should be out of sight.

Mitchel­stown missed loads of chances in this one and would have been made to pay if Rockchapel had some more for­wards con­fi­dent enough to take on the ball and score. Three scor­ers just isn’t enough at the lat­ter stages of a com­pe­ti­tion as com­pet­i­tive as the IFC.

Mitchel­stown hit back with seven of the next eight points to again take con­trol and, while the men in wine stayed with them all the way to the end, it is fair to say that on class lev­els alone the re­sult here was fair.

Rockchapel de­serve great credit for the way they stuck to their guns all sea­son and rarely pan­icked when the chips were down while for the win­ners, a se­ri­ous step up in per­for­mance is re­quired if this Mitchel­stown side are even con­sid­er­ing see­ing off a Cill na Mar­tra side that will not let Mitchel­stown away with any lack of fo­cus.

Big game ahead. MITCHEL­STOWN: L Hanna; M Ma­her, F Herlihy, L Finn; G Car­roll, P Mol­loy, S Fox; S Walsh, D Di­neen 0-2; P Magee, S Cahill 0-1, M Walsh 0-4 (2f, 2.45); C O’Ma­hony 1-2, S Be­ston 0-1, L Keane Subs: D Reidy Price 0-1 for Keane (ht), S O’Sul­li­van for Fox (ht), L O’Flynn for Magee (41), K Roche for Be­ston (54), J Cott for O’Ma­hony (56), O Burke for Herlihy (BC) (61) ROCKCHAPEL: C Mur­phy; D O’Cal­laghan, E O’Cal­laghan, B O’Sul­li­van; N O’Cal­laghan, DJ O’Cal­laghan, K Collins; J Doody, C Kep­ple; J O’Cal­laghan 2-0, J For­rest, C Ah­erne; L Collins 0-4 (3f), S Hickey 0-2, W Mur­phy Subs: DJ O’Sul­li­van for For­rest (45), M O’Ke­effe for Ah­erne (48), J O’Sul­li­van for Kep­ple (58), For­rest

for K Collins (60) (BC)

REF­EREE: P O’Driscoll (Bride Rovers)

Rockchapel’s Den Joe O’Cal­laghan gets by Mitchel­stown’s Sean Walsh dur­ing the sec­ond half of last week­end’s County In­ter­me­di­ate Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship Quar­ter-fi­nal in Charleville

Photo by Eric Barry

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