While the Innishannon side dominated possession for long periods, they did not hit the front until eight minutes from time when Derek Canty and Eoin O’Reilly combined to set Barry O’Driscoll up for a goal which edged them 1-8 to 1-6 ahead. Deep in injury time Ballymartle’s Ciarán Allen raced through the Valley’s defence but opted for a point when a goal attempt could have snatched the win.
Ballymartle made a great start with Shane Cummins goaling from his side’s first attack and he followed up with two quick points for a five points lead after seven minutes.
Slowly Valley began to gain the upperhand and trailed 1-3 to 0-5 at half time, with Ballymartle goalkeeper Ciaran Healy bringing off some spectacular saves. Three times Valley levelled after the break with points from O’Reilly and Joe Bernard, but Ballymartle hit back with pointed frees from Cillian McCarthy and one by Paul Geary, before Valleys late rally saw them edge it with O’Driscoll’s goal.
Scorers for Valley Rovers: B O’Driscoll 1-2 (0-2f), E O’Reilly 0-5 (0-3f), J Bernard 0-2.
Scorers for Ballymartle: S Cummins 1-3 (0-2f), C McCarthy 0-2 (0-2f), R Cahalane, P Geary, C Allen 0-1 each.
VALLEY ROVERS: C O’Donovan; B Casey, B O’Leary; D Ryan, D Lordan, D Healy; J Lynch, D Canty; B O’Driscoll, E O’Reilly, T Casey; S O’Shea, J Bernard.
Subs: A O’Callaghan for Casey (44), C Murphy for Lynch BC (54).
BALLYMARTLE: C Healy; J O’Callaghan, J Butler; D Whitnell, L Corry, M Sheehan; J Ryan, C McCarthy; S Cummins, R Cahalane, C Allen; I Butler, P Geary.
Sub: D O’Sullivan for Whitnell (34 inj).
Referee: I Thomas (Carrigaline).