VALLEY ROVERS struck late to win the Evening Echo Cork Premier IFC title at Páirc Uí Chaoimh yesterday, beating Clyda Rovers 0-7 to 0-5 and earning themselves senior status for the first time.
Two county titles in one year – Rovers won the IHC title recently – is a rich reward for a tremendous club effort but this game won’t be remembered for its quality.
Right from the start both teams adopted a negative approach so there was little fluency and few scores. To illustrate the point, it was 0-3 to 0-2 in Clyda’s favour at the end of the first moiety and the 2,722 spectators had to wait until the 10th minute of the second for the next score.
Had the Valleys lost they would have had nightmares. The game’s only goal chances fell their way, one in each half. The first came just before half time when Fiachra Lynch ballooned a penalty wide after being fouled going through. And the Cork senior panellist was the culprit again in the second-half, this time kicking into the side netting with only the Clyda keeper to beat. However, he redeemed himself with the game’s best score when he pointed a line ball from the 45 metre line to put the seal on a victory the Innishannon side just about deserved.
There was a morale-boosting 1-9 to 0-9 Kelleher Shield final victory for Carbery Rangers over county champions Clonakilty highlighted by a virtuoso Seamus Hayes display in the opening half and two splendid saves, one from a penalty, by Maurice Moloney in the winner’s goal.
This local derby in Dunmanway saw Clon shorn many of their recognised starters but that shouldn’t detract from Rangers, who were up for it. Hayes scored 1-3 for Rangers who led 1-5 to 0-4 at the break,
There were three games in the Cork JFC. A good start, matched by a strong finish, enabled South West champions St. Mary’s overcome Mid Cork winners Blarney 0-12 to 0-9 in a closely fought quarter-final at Cloughduv. They now play Ballygarvan who defeated Kanturk 2-10 to 0-9 in Mallow. The clinching scores for Ballygarvan came in the second half when twice Ken Ashman teamed up with Gary White to fire two impressive goals.
Meanwhile, Glanworth, inspired by outstanding left corner forward Michael Sheehan, fashioned a thrilling 1-12 to 0-14 win over Glanworth. Sheehan, who bagged 1-8, was involved from the off and scored two superb points from play followed by a spectacular goal to boost Glanworth’s confidence.
Two games in the Cork JHC. A pointed free from a difficult angle by ace marksman Brian O’Sullivan, edged Fermoy to a narrow 0-11 to 1-7 victory over Ballinhassig in the semi-final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh yesterday. O’Sullivan, who totalled seven points, landed the killer blow three minutes into injury time just as a draw appeared to be on the cards.
In the quarter-final replay there was another cracker between Castlemartyr and Nemo Rangers in Cobh, the East Cork side winning 0-16 to 1-11 after extra-time.
No stopping Glen Rovers in the U21HC but they had to pull out all thee stops to beat Sarsfields in a cracking quarter-final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. As so often in the past Cork senior Pat Horgan proved the star turn scoring 2-9 in their 3-12 to 2-14 victory and now meet the winner of the Duhallow and Inniscarra clash. In the other quarter-final at the same venue Bandon proved too hot for Newtownshandrum, winning 4-7 to 2-5 with corner-forward Jason McCarthy bagging three goals.
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