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City Suffer Shock Cup Exit

Cork City FC vs. Rockmount, 30th of January 2016
Cork City 1-1 Rockmount AFC
(4-5 on penalties)

Who doesn’t love the cup? The giant killing, the last minute survival attempts, the bittersweet sounds of the final whistle; no matter what sport, it’s hard not to enjoy a good cup run. Here in Ireland, with the League of Ireland mere weeks away we are blessed with three cups to keep the shocks coming all season. Yesterday, under the bitter January winds, Cork City endured one of the shocks of the season at the hands of Munster Senior League side  Rockmount AFC.  

While City dominated the game; fielding a strong starting XI containing the likes of Mark O Sullivan, Colin Healy, Karl Sheppard and Alan Bennet, it was Rockmount whose tactics won the day. From early days City pressed and pressed, with Steven Beattie, Mark O Sullivan and Sean Maguire combining early on, but the Rockmount defence remained firm, blanketing the 18 yard box, making it difficult for City to create any real chances. Greg Bolger however was the next City player to attempt to break the deadlock, but his effort was saved by the Rockmount keeper. However, atop these early signs, City pressed on determined to break the deadlock, with Karl Sheppard and Sean Maguire combining to put a shot just wide of the post.

The patient Rockmount defence got their just awards, with a free kick being turned home passed McNulty to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. City responded well and it wasn’t long before a deflected shot from Steven Beattie was passed to Mark O Sullivan in the area, and the fan favourite took his opportunity.

With the score line 1-1 at the break, City started the second half with equal intensity, with Captain Johnny Dunleavy hitting the post in the early minutes of the second half. With the taste for goals, Mark O Sullivan was the next player to face the agony, when his effort was just wide, keeping the score line at 1-1. Greg Bolger, on his debut for the Rebel Army, showed good link up with striker Sean Maguire, but the debutant couldn’t keep the ball down. City pressed and pressed, bringing on Gary Buckley at the 60th minute out of hopes to bolster City’s attacking threat, but at the end of the 90, following strong periods of procession, it was extra time what was needed.

In extra time, it was Sean Maguire yet again who had the greatest chance of the half, but his effort was just past the post and wide. After 120 minutes on a cold afternoon, the referee blew for penalties and everyone held their breaths. City started well with Ian Turner scoring on his first game back in the City shirt, but the luck soon ran out with Bolger having his effort stopped. Healy and O Sullivan scored next for City, but it was a miss from Kevin O Conner which gifted Rockmount with a semi-final spot.

Up next is a preseason friendly away to Waterford United for Cork City on Friday the 5th of February.
Cork City: McNulty, Dunleavy, Bennett (Buckley 68), Browne, O’Connor, Healy, Bolger, Beattie (Turner 109), Maguire, O’Sullivan, Sheppard.