Casey the goal hero as Inniscarra shade thriller

Inniscarra 1-14 Valley Rovers 1-12

It came at a stage when last year’s ordinary intermediate winners Valley Rovers were shaping up as likely winners, but Casey’s goal turned the game in his side’s favour and they finished the half well in control despite the closeness of the final score.

There was little to enthuse about in the opening minutes with both sides guilty of some very poor hurling. It looked as if the very small attendance would wait a while for a score.

Seven minutes went by without a score but in the space of the next five minutes seven scores were registered as the game finally opened up. An early indication of what was to come came when Rovers’ ‘keeper Willie Burke saved superbly from Michael Coleman.

A minute later the scores began to flow. Padraig O’Sullivan in the Inniscarra goal committed the cardinal error of losing possession coming off his line and an alert Shane O’Sullivan was on hand to accept the opportunity to goal.

By the 10th minute the sides were level at 1-1 to 0-4. The Valleys full forward Tadgh Burke was causing endless problems for his marker and won a penalty in the 15th minute but their ‘keeper Willie Burke had his shot well saved by midfielder Liam O Riain.

Inniscarra moved to try and curtail Burke’s influence by moving corner back and namesake Kevin Burke over on him but the tall Valleys full forward showed his worth with two excellent points to put his side a goal clear at 1-4 to 0-4.

The Rovers enjoyed more of the play coming up to half time principally due to the excellence of Fergal Coughlan at corner back and Ray O’Donovan at midfield from where he landed three great points to give his side a deserved 1-7 to 0-6 half time lead.

As in the opening half scores were again a scarce commodity in the third quarter at the end of which the sides share four points, but the last quarter turned out to be a cracking 15 minutes. Colm Casey at full forward for Inniscarra began to win a lot of possession form the air and after taking a great pass from Shane O’Mahony he billowed the Rovers net with a powerful strike to edge his side in front.

AS the tempo of the game continued to pick up Inniscarra’s greater stick work became apparent and as Colm Casey and substitute Nicky O’Regan – he made a major impact on his introduction with three points in a row – continued to punish the overworked Rovers defence, they edged 1-14 to 1-12 clear with five minutes to go.

Unfortunately the Rovers lost wing back Jack Walsh through injury which held the game up for five minutes, but when play resumed the Inniscarra defence in which John O’Mahony and John O’Callaghan were rock solid, coped with the best the Rovers had to offer.

It’s round four for Inniscarra while Valley Rovers await the losers of the Argideen Rovers/Courcey Rovers tie in round two.

Scorers for Inniscarra: C. Casey 1-2; D. O’Connell 0-4 (0-3 frees); N. O’Regan 0-3 (0-1 free); S. O’Mahony, M. Coleman 0-2 each; D. Lynch 0-1.

Valley Rovers: R. O’Donovan 0-7 (0-5 frees); S. O’Sullivan 1-0; T. Burke 0-3; E. Manning, J. Crowley 0-1 each.

INNISCARRA: P. O’Sullivan; K. Burke, J. O’Mahony, B. O’Keeffe; A. Sheehan, W. Ryan, J. O’Callaghan; D. Lynch, L. O Riain; M. Nagle, D. O’Connell, J. Olden; M. Coleman,. C. Casey, S. O’Mahony.

Sub: N. O’Regan for Lynch (45).

VALLEY ROVERS: W. Burke; S. Manning, N. O’Donovan, F. Coughlan; J. Hurley, D. Lynch, J. Walsh; R. O’Donovan, E. Manning; B. Lehane, K. Canty, J. Crowley; S. O’Sullivan, T. Burke, R. Butler.

Subs: R. Lehane for Butler (40); M. O’Brien for Crowley (50); B. Hawkes for Walsh (60).

Referee: D. O’Flynn (Fr. O’Neill’s).

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