Rovers brush off goal flurry to down Barr’s

Valley Rovers 2-15 St. Finbarr’s 3-7

They trailed by two points at half-time, but pointed frees from Richie Butler on either side of a well-taken Eoin Manning goal within six minutes of the resumption put them into a lead they never relinquished.

Having lost players to the senior team on Saturday night, St Finbarrs lined out with a number of alterations from the published line-out, including a different half-forward line. A Shane Nott goal in the ninth minute gave them encouragement after Valley Rovers took the lead through Kevin Canty, but for a long time afterwards they found it hard to make progress.

In contrast, the better balanced Rovers side made steady ground, boosted by Kevin Canty’s sharpness in the right corner and by Eamonn Collins’ 13th-minute goal, when he gained possession from a puck-out.

It saw them stay in front until the Barrs responded with a goal from midfielder Denis O’Regan in the 20th minute, followed by another from Eoin Maher three minutes later. That put them back in front and they retained their advantage up to the interval, leading 3-3 to 1-7.

However, the situation changed fairly quickly early in the second half and Manning’s goal was almost followed by another one, when a shot from Collins was well stopped by keeper Fergal O’Mahony. As the game developed, St. Finbarrs’ limitations in attack — more so their lack of finishing than their inability to penetrate — undermined their challenge at a time when Valley Rovers were gaining in confidence. Crucially, they were maintaining their advantage on the scoreboard.

Butler’s accuracy from frees was a significant factor in that, and in general, their attacking play was much more impressive. Denis O’Regan offered the Barrs some hope with his free-taking, but their overall lack of scoring power meant that they were chasing the game right to the very finish.

Scorers: Valley Rovers:- R. Butler 0-6 frees; K. Canty 0-6; E. Manning 1-2; E. Collins 1-0; T. Burke 0-1.

St. Finbarr’s: D. O’Regan 1-6 (0-6 frees); E. Maher and S. Nott 1-0 each; A. Cronin 0-1 free.

VALLEY ROVERS: W. Burke; F. Coleman, K. O’Riordan, S. Manning; C. O’Donovan, D. Lynch, J. Burke; R. Lehane, B. Lehane; R. Butler, E. Manning, R. O’Donovan; K. Canty, T. Burke, E. Collins.

ST. FINBARR’S: F. O’Mahony; P. Murray, B. O’Sullivan, E. Keane; C. Maher, A. Cronin, P. O’Brien; C. O’Mahony, D. O’Regan; S. Fuller, T. Guiheen, R. O’Dwyer; E. Maher, S. Nott, P. Kennedy.

Sub: T. Olden for Nott (37th minute).

Referee: M Collins (Clonakilty).

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