A headed goal from Cian Driscoll was the difference between Rockmount and Carrigaline United at Ballea Park on Sunday afternoon in the semi finals of the Munster Senior Cup.
The north side club will now face Cork City in the final after their 3-2 win over Midleton AFC on Saturday evening.
Despite the final score, the home side dominated this last four clash. Close control of the ball and neat passing play saw Carrigaline dominate the first half but fail to produce a meaningful chance.
Carrigaline were clearly inspired by their cup run to date, as they had beaten League of Ireland First Division side Cobh Ramblers in the quarter finals last February, and created a number of excellent chances at the start of the second half.
David Crotty cut inside and crossed it in for David Sexton who was free facing goal. The midfielder stuck as the Rockmount defence converged and goalkeeper Brendan O’Connell covered. Ryan O’Regan found space a few minutes later inside the area but his shot was tame and easily saved by the Rockmount keeper.
Rockmount caused serious problems for the Carrigaline defence when Niall Hanley played Jason Carson through on goal. The right back fired across goal and with a diving save from Ian Giltinan, the game remained scoreless.
With twenty minutes gone in the second half, the visitors took the lead through Driscoll who knocked in a corner from Jason Sexton.
The defender was the hero at the other end a few seconds later after he cleared a ball from Dylan O’Flaherty out of the top corner and away from the goal line.
Carrigaline tried to get back into the through Flaherty, but his attempted header looped inches over the target.
Their push for an equaliser was their downfall in the closing moments, as Rockmount broke and last man back David Crotty took out a charging Niall Hanley. The tackle led to a straight red card and out of the resulting free kick, Rockmount put it wide.
Rockmount will now play four in a row chasing Cork City in the final. The last time the two sides met in the competition, the Munster Senior League Premier Division side won on penalties after a 1-1 draw in normal time, in a game best remembered for the debut of future Irish international Sean Maguire.
Carrigaline United: Ian Giltinan, David Crotty, Ryan O’Regan, Darragh Corcoran, James McSweeney, Darragh Buckley, Killian Murphy, David Sexton (Alan O’Sullivan 60’), Dylan O’Flaherty, Kevin O’Rielly (Danny Akinrinbola 70’) Stephen D’Arcy.
Subs not used: Jason Ring, Conor Lydon, Andrew Kingston, Luke Campbell Brook, Glen Sexton.
Rockmount AFC: Brendan O’Connell, James Carson, Jason Sexton, Cian Driscoll, James O’Connell, Eoin Murphy (Evan Murray 88’), Danny Aherne, Kevin O’Connell, Niall Hanley, Joe Meaney (Dean Leahy 60’).
Subs nots used: David Brown, Sean Murphy, Sean Downey, Ryan O’Connor.
Referee: Michael Foley