Losing a player early in the second-half and facing the breeze, the Duhallow representatives dug out a performance full of grit and no little quality. As so often is the case, the numerically reduced side rose their game substantially to new heights.
“From an absorbing game, our boys stood up to be counted,” said Rockchapel team coach Tom Doody. “Given the circumstances, we held up the ball up well to get players into space and the scores surfaced.”
Tadhg MacCarthaigh’s, it must be said, contributed enormously to an enjoyable encounter. A competitive edge developed from the outset with battling qualities and intensity displayed by both teams.
The Caheragh side owed much to the commendable efforts of Brian and Shane O’Driscoll along with Mark Barrett and Colm O’Sullivan. And their confidence received a massive boost after Barrett placed O’Sullivan for a lead goal.
Rockchapel unleashed a snappy counter offensive, however. Brendan Cahill’s direct ball found Ian Guiney to raise a green flag. Thereafter, the exchanges kept those present well entertained with Rockchapel leading 1-7 to 1-5 at the break.
The opening stages to the second half furnished strong evidence that an evenly balanced contest remained in the offering. But with the margin down to the minimum, the omens weren’t great for Rockchapel when Seamus Hickey picked up a second yellow.
But the setback whipped Rockchapel’s momentum up to new levels with towering performances were delivered by the Collins brothers, Batt Curtin, as well as Eamon and John O’Callaghan.
Points to Liam Collins and DJ O’Sullivan preceded a defence-splitting goal from O’Sullivan.
Late on, Tadhg MacCarthaigh tried desperately to rescue the situation but Rockchapel stood firm to secure a semi-final date against Glenbower Rovers or Fr O’Neills.
Scorers for Rockchapel: L Collins 0-6 (4fs), D J O’Sullivan 1-3, I Guiney 1-0, J O’Callaghan 0-1.
Scorers for Tadhg MacCarthaigh: C O’Sullivan 1-6 (0-6fs), C O’Driscoll, B O’Driscoll, K Barrett, T Deasy 0-1 each.
ROCKCHAPEL: T Collins; P Murphy, E O’Callaghan, B Curtin; B Cahill, K Collins, M Doody; D J O’Callaghan, J Doody; D J O’Sullivan, L Collins, J Forrest; I Guiney, D Curtin, S Hickey.
Subs: J O’Callaghan for M Doody (18), N O’Callaghan for O’Sullivan (54).
TADHG MacCARTHAIGH’S: P Kirby; B O’Driscoll, W O’Sullivan, J Ryan; S O’Driscoll, G Gill, K O’Regan; K O’Driscoll, M Barrett; C O’Driscoll, T Herlihy, C O’Sullivan; M O’Driscoll, T Deasy, P Crowley.
Subs: L Burke for Crowley (29), G Hurley for K O’Regan (ht), K Barrett for M O’Driscoll (41), D Harrington for Ryan (50), B Cleary for Burke (54).
Referee: D Murnane (Macroom).