First-half blitz keeps Valleys in control

Valley Rovers 3-8 Castlelyons 0-15

Valley Rovers 3-8 Castlelyons 0-15

Cork Premier IHC

A good evening’s work for Valley Rovers as they emerged victorious in this Cork Premier IHC second round decider at Caherlag last night.

They did most of the damage in the opening half with Tadhg Burke and Kevin Canty shooting a goal each. Then Canty’s second green flag raised on the three-quarter mark was crucial as it sent them into a five-point lead. But Castlelyons, who were far more competitive after the break, came back at them, narrowing the margin to two points.

However, Valley Rovers, with Chris O’Donovan rock solid at centre back, managed to keep Castlelyons at bay while also booking their place in round four. Castlelyons will have one more opportunity to progress when they move on to the third round.

Valley Rovers were on top in the opening 30 minutes. Interestingly their first two points came from full-back Jeremy Hurley and corner back Fergal Coughlan, and when Canty — who was impressive throughout — hit a point they led 0-3 to nil.

Timmy McCarthy opened the scoring for Castlelyons and they were let off the hook when Valley Rovers’ keeper Willie Burke drove a penalty wide.

Castlelyons then briefly took the lead but a persevering Tadhg Burke found the net for Valley Rovers on 22 minutes. Good work then by O’Donovan led to a Rovers line ball, and from the resultant cut Canty nailed goal number two — this meant the Innishannon side went to the dressing-room in front by double scores, 2-4 to 0-5.

Castlelyons made a number of positional and two personnel changes at half-time and consequently these had an impact. They outscored their opponents five points to two with superb efforts in particular from Colm Barry, Ciarán McGann (65m), Darren Tobin and McCarthy to leave the scoreboard, 2-6 to 0-10 with the final quarter to play.

But, the wind was taken out of their sails when Canty collected from a Hurley free and fired past Shane O’Sullivan.

Yet, Castlelyons staged another comeback with sub Anthony Spillane accounting for three splendid points. This left the score at 3-7 to 0-14 with five minutes plus injury time remaining. Castlelyons were very much in the hunt now heading into the final stages.

Canty notched a superb point from a tight angle to stretch the lead to three points. McCarthy then hit another free for Castlelyons. But, then they had a couple of shots drop wide and with it went any hope of snatching a draw.

Scorers for Valley Rovers: K Canty 2-2, T Burke 1-1, J Hurley (65m), F Coughlan, D Crowley, E Manning, J Crowley 0-1 each.

Scorers for Castlelyons: T McCarthy 0-4 (0-2 frees), A Fenton (frees) and A Spillane 0-3 each, P McMahon 0-2, D Tobin, C McGann (65m), C Barry 0-1 each.

VALLEY ROVERS: W Burke; C Lynch, J Hurley, F Coughlan; J Cottrell, C O’Donovan, S D O’Sullivan; D Crowley, E Manning; J Lynch, K Canty, R Fleming; J Crowley, T Burke, B Hawkes.

Subs: C O’Sullivan for B Hawkes (56 mins), J Burke for R Fleming (60).

CASTLELYONS: S O’Sullivan; T Carroll, B O’Connell, S Kenny; C Barry, C McGann, B Carroll; L Sexton, P Murphy; D Tobin, P McMahon, T McCarthy; E Maye, B Fitzgerald, A Fenton.

Subs: C O’Leary for B Carroll, A Spillane for E Maye (both ht), D Lawlor for B Fitzgerald (45).

Referee: J Larkin (Douglas).

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