The Muskerry side, who led by 0-5 to 1-1 at half-time, were under pressure as they failed to add to that tally for 23 minutes of the second-half, penned back in their own half as Rockchapel rediscovered the sharpness which had yielded such a great start.
After Kilmurry corner-back Eoin Barrett was harshly deemed to have committed a sliding tackle in the 47th minute, Liam Collins converted the free to send Rockchapel two clear at 1-4 to 0-5 and, with the wind behind them, they seemed set to push on.
Poor shooting was to be their downfall all through the game, however, and they continued to suffer from that, failing to put away their chances. Buoyed by the multiple let-offs, Kilmurry managed to string together a slick move involving sub Pat O’Sullivan and Buckley before White sent over a powerful point late on.
Then, in the 57th minute, centre-back David O’Leary’s adroit delivery into Greg Barrett saw the tall corner-forward fouled after he won the ball, and Buckley kicked his third point of the game from the resultant free.
This was a poor game, however, emphasised by the fact that Kilmurry’s 27-minute scoring drought, between the 26th and 53rd minutes, was not the game’s longest.
That ‘accolade’ belonged to their opponents, who began in swift fashion, Ian Guiney’s free followed by a goal from John Forrest after Collins had his shot saved by Pat O’Callaghan.
Leading by 1-1 to no score and less than four minutes on the clock, they would remain scoreless for the remaining 26 minutes of normal time plus three stoppage-time minutes at the end of the first half, and then nine more in the second.
In that light, they were lucky to trail by just a point at the interval as, while Kilmurry were the better side, with Kelleher doing well in the corner and midfielder Eoin Creedon working himself to a standstill, they could not push home that advantage.
A long-range free from David O’Halloran gave them the lead for the first time, and while Rockchapel did manage to regain some territory, too often they over-elaborated and when scoring attempts were taken they were either wide or ended up in goalkeeper O’Callaghan’s hands.
Had James Kelleher’s ground shot gone the other side of the post in the fourth minute of the second half, a four-point deficit might have been too much for Rockchapel to pull back, but as it was, a pair of Guiney points pushed them ahead midway through the half.
While Kilmurry had lost goalkeeper O’Callaghan to injury by this stage, his replacement Jason McDonald was not called into any serious action, though Collins did double Rockchapel’s lead.
Ultimately, though, they couldn’t hold out as Kilmurry rediscovered some rhythm. Both sides have another chance, and neither will feel that there is not room for improvement.
Scorers for Kilmurry: W Buckley 0-3 (0-2f), J White, D Creedon, D O’Halloran (0-1f), J Buckley 0-1 each.
Scorers for Rockchapel: I Guiney 0-3 (0-2f), J Forrest 1-0, L Collins 0-1f.
KILMURRY: P O’Callaghan; W Barrett, K Barrett, E Barrett; L Long, D O’Leary, I Murphy; J White, E Creedon; D Creedon, D O’Halloran, J Buckley; G Barrett, J Kelleher, W Buckley.
Subs: A O’Sullivan for Kelleher (34, injured), J McDonald for O’Callaghan (42, injured), F Crowley for D Creedon (45), P O’Sullivan for O’Halloran (50).
ROCKCHAPEL: T Collins; P Murphy, B Curtin, E O’Callaghan; B Cahill, K Collins, J O’Callaghan; DJ O’Callaghan, J Doody; DJ O’Sullivan, L Collins, D Curtin; I Guiney, J Forrest, S Hickey.
Subs: C Murphy for O’Sullivan (56), M Doody for D Curtin (57).
Referee: E Sheehy (Newcestown).