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Up for the Cup!

posted Feb 5, 2013, 2:55 PM by Seamus Moore

Up For the Cup!

All roads lead to the Athletic Grounds in Armagh on Sunday afternoon, when Fr Rocks contest the Ulster Intermediate Final against Down Champions Warrenpoint. The Rocks will be looking for their second Ulster Title having won the crown three years ago. A big Cookstown support will be in attendance on the day and fatherrocks.com look back on the the path to the final as well as preview the big game itself.

Fr Rocks win Opener against Augher

Fr Rocks seniors progressed to the next round of the championship after they had two points to spare over a stubborn Augher side in Dunmoyle on Sunday afternoon. It was Augher who opened brightly with Sean Hackett and Jamie Donnelly, responding to an Owen Mulligan point. Conor O'Hare had the sides level after fifteen minutes and then Fr Rocks took control of the game. Dominant at midfield and first to every breaking ball, they kicked six unanswered scores, two from play from Shea McGarrity, two from Jason Quinn, and points a piece from Marty Murray and John Gilmore. This left the Rocks in control at half time on a scoreline of 0-8 to 0-2, although they should have been much further ahead having kicked ten first half wides. It was Owen Mulligan who stretched the lead to seven after the break, before departing the contest with a hamstring injury. Augher did respond and began to edge their way back into the game, and three points from play were followed by a well worked goal from Aidan McElroy to put just a point between the sides. Fr Rocks needed leaders having lost a seven point advantage and it was young guns Shea McGarrity and James McGahan, who settled the nerves, with a well worked point from play and an excellent free. McGahan followed this up with a superb long range freekick to leave three between the sides with five minutes to go, but once again Augher responded with a well finished goal from the boot of county minor Sean Hackett to bring the contest level. The last few minutes belonged to Cookstown and it was James McGahan who proved the difference, kicking two superb points from frees to leave the final scoreline 0-14 to 2-6. The Fr Rocks team lined out as follows M Rea, D Hughes, S Monaghan, B Kelly, R Pickering, M Murray (0-1), P Kelly, C Mullan, C O'Hare (0-1), S McGarrity (0-3), B Hughes, M Hughes, J Quinn (0-2), J Gilmore (0-1), O Mulligan (0-2). Subs: J McGahan (0-4, 4frees), Barry Mulligan, Brian Mulligan.

Rocks march on against Lough

Fr Rocks progressed to the Semi Final of the Championship with a comprehensive 2-12 to 2-4 victory over Loughmacrory at Healy Park on Friday night. Cookstown got off to a good start with Marty Murray kicking a point from thirty meters in the third minute. Loughmacrory equalized in the fifth minute with a Ronan Ward free. Cookstown took control of the contest and dominated the rest of the first half, and with some superb football, went on to score 1-4 without reply. James McGahan and the hardworking Jason Quinn were the marksmen, with McGahan expertly converting a penalty (in the eighteenth minute) having scored three points, with two coming from play. Loughmacrory responded with a free kick before the break to leave the score 1-5 to 0-2 at half time. Cookstown opened the second half at breakneck pace and a brilliant effort from Conor Mullan was followed up with scores from Shea McGarrity and a John Gilmore double. It appeared that the game was over with Cookstown ten points ahead half way through the second half. Loughmacrory however were handed a lifeline when they won and converted a penalty to reduce the gap to seven. James McGahan had the perfect response with a great effort from play, but a free kick and well finished goal from the St.Teresa's left just four between the teams with ten minutes to play. Cookstown hit back straight away, and the powerful running of Shea McGarrity paid off when he burst through the Loughmacrory defence and found the net to end any chances of a comeback. Jason Quinn fired over a well taken point minutes later, and after a consolation free from Loughmacrory, Ryan Pickering finished the scoring with a great point from play to book Cookstown's passage into the Semi Final. This was a great all round team performance, James McGahan was excellent in the forward line, and was helped by the impressive Jason Quinn and Shea McGarrity. In defence Ryan Pickering and Brian Kelly were superb.
M Rea, B Kelly, S Monaghan, D Hughes, R Pickering (0-1), M Murray (0-1), P Kelly, C O'Hare, C Mullan (0-1), S McGarrity (1-1), B Hughes, M Hughes, J Gilmore (0-2), J McGahan (1-4,1free), J Quinn (0-2). Subs Ruairi Mullan, Barry Mulligan, Brian Mulligan

Cookstown defeat Rivals to reach Final

Fr Rocks made it to the Intermediate Championship Final with a hard earned win over local rivals Rock at Pomeroy on Saturday afternoon. Cookstown opened the scoring in the first minute with a James McGahan free, but it was Rock who were the better team in the opening minutes with Cookstown thanking goalkeeper Marty Rea for an excellent save after three minutes. Rock went on to score four unanswered points to take a 4-1 lead after thirteen minutes. It was James McGahan who managed to get one back for Cookstown before Rock responded again from play. Fr Rocks looked to be in trouble but a brilliant individual goal from Jason Quinn, started a period of dominance for them with further scores from James McGahan and Owen Mulligan leaving the halftime score 0-5 to 1-4 in their favour. The sides traded points in the second half, with Fr Rocks kicking 1-5, Jason Quinn, Shea McGarrity and an excellent goal finish from James McGahan, were followed up by a free and score from play from McGahan to leave the final score 2-8 to 0-8 to Cookstown. A result which books them a place in the Intermediate Final on 14th October with Eskra providing the opposition. Fr Rocks lined out as follows;
M Rea, B Kelly, S Monaghan, D Hughes, R Pickering, M Murray , P Kelly, C O'Hare, Barry Mulligan, S McGarrity (0-1), B Hughes (0-1), M Hughes, J McGahan (1-4,2frees), J Quinn (1-1). Subs Owen Mulligan (0-1, frees, Brian Mulligan, Paul McGurk.

County Champions after Replay


Fr Rocks added the Intermediate Championship to their League Crown with an impressive victory over Eskra at Healy Park on Friday night. Straight from the throw in Cookstown took full control of the game. Indeed they were 1-2 to no score up inside the first four minutes. James McGahan opened the scoring from a free followed seconds later by a John Gilmore goal. Indeed the former county minor was to prove to be a handful for the Eskra defence throughout the game. Midfielder Conor O'Hare added the next score from play before Eskra finally opened their account through a Peter Hughes 45. By the quarter hour mark Cookstown had extended their lead following points from Gilmore and Mulligan that took the score to 1-4 to 0-1. Peter Hughes did try manfully to pull Eskra back into the game with two more points but Cookstown were a team on a mission and they added three more points before the break from Mulligan (2) and the free running Conor O'Hare. Cormac Arkinson got the final score of the half for a shell shocked Eskra as the half time whistle sounded with the score line reading Cookstown 1-7 Eskra 0-4.The first twenty minutes of the second half were a bit of a throw back to last week with only one score this coming from Eskra's Shane Hackett. Barry Mulligan had received a straight red card mid way through to reduce Cookstown to 14 players. It wasn't until the 50th minute that Cookstown got back on the scoreboard through Conor O'Hare. That point was quickly followed up by a wonderful point from wide out on the right by substitute Brian Mulligan. Martin Hughes clipped over the next point for the league champions to stretch the lead out to eight. At this stage it was all Cookstown. Eskra did manage another two points from midfielder Eoin McCaffrey and Peter Hughes but two more scores from Conor Mullan and sub Marty McVey eased Cookstown to a convincing nine point victory. Final Score Cookstown 1-13 Eskra 0-7. This was a great all round team performance, with John Gilmore, Conor Mullan and Conor O'Hare deserving special mention. A massive congratulations to everyone involved in this success, players, management, club officials and supporters. The Paddy Cullen Cup is back home in Cookstown and the celebrations will be enjoyed before the focus changes to the Athletic Grounds in Armagh And Armagh champions Killeavy in the Ulster Intermediate series.

Rocks see off Kileavy Challenge


A superb all round team performance saw Fr Rocks seniors progress to the Ulster Intermediate Championship Semi Final on Sunday, with a hard fought 1-9 to 0-7 victory over Armagh champions Killeavy. The Rocks got off to a flying start and Conor Mullan opened the lead after just thirty seconds. Owen Mulligan added a second point from a free a minute later, before a brilliant Brian Kelly block denied a certain goal for the Orchard men. Shea McGarrity spilt the posts seconds later and it was the Rocks who were in control in the opening ten minutes. Cookstown were dominant in midfield with Conor Mullan and Barry Mulligan in impressive form, and they were first to every ball all over the pitch. They stretched the lead further, with a long range effort from John Gilmore, followed by a great individual score from Stephen Monaghan before Owen Mulligan stretched the lead to six points from a free kick. Killeavy were shell shocked, but Patrick Hannaway opened their account after eighteen minutes. Fr Rocks kept the pressure on, and a high ball into the box was fielded by John Gilmore, who finished superbly to the net to stretch the lead to 1-6 to 0-1 in the twenty fourth minute. A late flutter of points from Killeavy followed, but they were reduced to fourteen men, when corner back Stephen Magennis was red carded minutes before the break. Cookstown held all the aces at the break with a six point lead and an extra man advantage. Killeavy started the second half in determined mood and Cookstown had Marty Rea to thank for a brilliant save in the opening minutes. The strong running Shea McGarrity stretched the lead further, but Killeavy began to get a foothold in the game and dominate possession. Fr Rocks were able to weather the storm and break at pace, and a brilliant score from Barry Mulligan kept them in control. Scores from Stephen McDonnell reduced the gap to five, and another brilliant save from goalkeeper Marty Rea, made sure that there was no late comeback. James McGahan finished the Cookstown scoring, to seal a superb victory over a fancied Killeavy team. This was a great all round team performance, there were heroes on the day, with Marty Rea, Brian Kelly, John Gilmore, Shea McGarrity , Conor Mullan and Stephen Monaghan all superb. Next up for Cookstown is Monaghan champions Doohmalet on Sunday 18th November.

Rocks march on to Ulster Final

Fr Rocks came through a bruising Ulster Semi Final encounter against Doohamlet at Brewster Park on Sunday afternoon. They booked their place in the Ulster Final when they had just one point to spare against the Monaghan champions, in what proved to be an exciting game. The Rocks started the game brightly, with John Gilmore opening the scoring from a 45 after four minutes. Three minutes later and Gilmore had the ball in the back of the net, for his third game in as many starts. It was the twelfth minute before the Monaghan men opened their account, but they did go on to dominate the remainder of the half, and with scores from Shane McManus, Paul McArdle Colin Walshe and Darren Connelly, they lead at the break by a point, with Owen Mulligan getting the Fr Rocks score just before the whistle. The score at half time was Doohamlet 0-6 Cookstown 1-2, and Fr Rocks had goalkeeper Marty Rea to thank for a brilliant save, which kept them in the game. Doohamlet stretched the lead by two just after the break, but Cookstown began to increase their workrate and intensity, and scores from Owen Mulligan and Marty Murray brought the sides level. Further scores from Conor Mullan and Shea McGarrity stretched the lead to two, and the Doohamlet cause was not helped when full back Martin Hughes saw red in with ten minutes to go. The Monaghan champions reduced the gap to just won point, but some resilient defending from the Rocks saw them hold on for a brilliant victory.

Ulster Champions

Cookstown Fr Rocks became Ulster Champions for the second time in four years with a hard fought 3-13 to 1-11 victory over a stubborn Warrenpoint. It was a thrilling game that took extra time to separate the sides. Warrenpoint made the better start to the game, with marksman Ross McGarry kicking two early frees to signal their intent. The Rocks however gradually took control of the contest and led 0-5 to 0-3 when John Gilmore produced another brilliant goal to stretch the lead. Warrenpoint did respond well and frees from McGarry left the half time score 1-5 to 0-5 in favour of Cookstown. The second half was full of excitement, with points, goals and red cards a plenty. When James McGahan's trickling shot found the net it appeared that Cookstown were in control of the game, but somehow Warrenpoint came fighting back and they set up a pulsating finish when they found the net from a rebound off a superb Marty Rea save. With just five minutes left the Down champions were ahead and were playing with an extra man after Barry Hughes was dismissed for a second yellow, but Fr Rocks found the resolve to draw level, when Jason Quinn fired over a brilliant effort to send the game to extra time. Fr Rocks took control of the game in extra time and they were in the driving seat when a high ball from Mulligan was flicked to the net by John Gilmore, a superb Paddy Kelly point put them four ahead, before Warrenpoint were reduced to thirteen men, leaving the Rocks to stretch the lead further with scores from Brian Mulligan, Conor Mullan, Shea McGarrity and man of the match John Gilmore. It was another great all round team performance, with twenty two players being used throughout the game, showing how the squad effort and commitment throughout the season, ensured another Ulster title returns to Paddy Cullen Park. A massive well done to all the players and management of a tremendous victory.

Epic Semi Final Victory over Charlestown

All-Ireland Intermediate Club Football Championship Semi-Final
Cookstown 1-08
Charlestown 1-07 AET

A superb battling team performance saw Fr Rock's through to the All Ireland Intermediate final on Sunday afternoon when they had the minimum to spare over Mayo and Connaught champions Charlestown at Pearse Park in Longford. Playing against the wind in the first half two excellent Shea McGarrity points kept them in touch but then full forward Anthony Mulligan grabbed a Charlestown goal and when Richard Haran and Colm Maye converted frees the Westerners led 1-5 to 0-3 at the break.
The Rocks had performed poorly in the first half, but they upped their intensity after the break and began to dominate the contest. Team captain Owen Mulligan hit a brace with Conor Mullan thumping over a terrific effort from long range before a shot from out on the left wing from the brilliant Martin Murray went all the way to the net. With ten minutes to go the sides were level and while another Haran free had Charlestown back in front, a wonder point from Conor O'Hare four minutes from time forced the match into extra time.
In the first attack in extra time Fr Rock's substitute James McGahan scored what proved to be the winning point with a fine effort from the right wing. Both sides had chances in extra time and the game had a dramatic ending when Charlestown substitute Maye failed to convert a thirteen metre free from almost in front off the posts with the last kick of the game. There was wild celebrations in the stands as the final whistle sounded leaving the scoreline 1-8 to 1-7 to Fr Rocks. This was a brilliant team performance which saw every player dig out a result, which ensures the club returns to Head Quarters once again for another All Ireland Final, against Kerry champions Finuge. A massive well done to all players and management on what must rank as one of the clubs most memorable victories.

Cookstown - M Rea, P McGurk, S Monaghan, D Hughes, R Pickering, M Murray [1-1], M Hughes, C Mullan [0-1], C O'Hare [0-1], S McGarrity [0-2], B Hughes, B Mulligan, J Gilmore, O Mulligan [0-2], J Quinn. Subs - J McGahan [0-1] for M Hughes, P Kelly for B Mulligan, R Mullan for Monaghan, B Kelly for D Hughes, M O'Connor for P Kelly, B Mulligan for Quinn

Manager looking forward to Final

Fr Rocks manager Jim McKeever spoke exclusively to fatherrocks.com ahead of the big final this weekend."Everyone in the senior squad and the club is really looking forward to Saturday night, preparation has been brilliant (despite losing my video man this week.)There is a real buzz of excitement around the club and the players are determined to have a good night in Croke Park. The Kerry champions will be difficult opponents, but hopefully with hard work we will get our rewards. ".

Everyone at the club would like to wish the players and management all the best on Saturday night.

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