Kanturk 2-10 Valley Rovers 1-13: Two late points from sub Richie Butler secured Valley Rovers a draw in their Cork Premier IHC quarter-final with Kanturk in Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday.
Liam O’Keeffe’s goal for Kanturk put them 2-7 to 0-7 in front with 14 minutes remaining, but from there to the end, Valleys outscored the Duhallow club by 1-6 to 0-3.
Chris O’Leary got 1-2 for the Innishannon side and subs Butler and Billy Crowley put over three and two points respectively.
Valleys manager Joe Crowley paid tribute to the options off the bench.
“We’re delighted to come out of it with a draw from where we were,” he said. “We plugged away and Chris O’Leary got a great goal, the two subs made a difference, they scored five points. iIt’s a 20-man game nowadays.
“We’ve abig panel and two more players to come back into it so hopefully we’ll be ready to go again the next day.”
For his part, Kanturk manager Danny O’Donoghue was also happy with the chance to avail of a second opportunity.
“We were lucky in the end,” he said. “I don’t know would you say that they relaxed, but we certainly lost our shape big-time in the forwards. They [Valleys] started winning a lot of breaks, they were getting on to them faster, the uncontested ball was a worry.
“We worked the two goals well but it was worrying to leave such a lead slip.”
The first half was closely fought but short on quality in slippery conditions, with the sides level on four occasions after Donncha Kenneally’s opener for Kanturk in the third minute.
Darragh Looney in the Valleys midfield was impressively industrious, while Ian Walsh and Alan O’Keeffe did well in attack for Kanturk early on, O’Keeffe putting his side 0-3 to 0-2 ahead in the eighth minute.
Darragh Murphy tied matters after he blocked down Lorcán McLoughlin well and then O’Leary’s 65 gave Valleys the lead for the first time, but with Aidan Walsh beginning to take over at centre-back, and McLoughlin dropping deep from his starting berth of wing-forward, Kanturk got on top.
It was McLoughlin who was the architect of Ian Walsh’s levelling score and, after Liam O’Keeffe’s free, the county star set up his colleague Aidan Walsh for a fine point on the right sideline for the first two-point lead of the game.
Eoin O’Reilly had a Valleys response on 25, though Liam O’Keeffe should have restored the Kanturk advantage with a free, awarded after O’Leary had caught goalkeeper Anthony Nash with a late challenge. While a scuffle ensued, referee Mark Maher opted against any serious action.
Early in the second half, Liam O’Keeffe and Looney exchanged points but Martin Riordan’s goal for Kanturk, bundled in after Willie Burke had saved from Liam O’Keeffe, looked like being critical in a tight game.
O’Leary pointed for Valleys in response, only for Ian Walsh to latch onto a break from a clearance and flick the ball perfectly to Liam O’Keeffe for a close-range finish. A semi-final with Ballinhassig beckoned, but Valleys weren’t for surrendering.
An O’Leary free and one from Butler steadied them and then a long-range Burke free fell for O’Leary to fire a shot past Nash and bring the gap back to a point. Two from Ian Walsh looked to have swung the momentum back the way of Kanturk, but Billy Crowley announced his arrival with a pair of scores in a minute.
Even still, Nash’s free from his own half made it 2-10 to 1-12, but Butler gave Valleys hope with his second.
In the final minute, Darragh Crowley found him with a well-placed pass and he did the needful. A lack of injury time meant no chance of a winner, with a second meeting required.
Scorers for Kanturk:
L O’Keeffe 1-2 (two frees), I Walsh 0-3, M Riordan 1-0, A Nash 0-2 (frees), A Walsh, D Kenneally, A O’Keeffe 0-1 each.
Scorers for Valley Rovers:
C O’Leary 1-3 (two frees, one 65), E O’Reilly (frees), R Butler 0-3 each, B Crowley 0-2, D Murphy, D Looney 0-1 each.
A Nash; P Walsh, J McLoughlin, E O’Connor; D Brown, A Walsh, D O’Connor; D Duane, M Riordan; D Kenneally, I Walsh, L McLoughlin; L O’Keeffe, J Fitzpatrick, A O’Keeffe.
M Healy for Riordan (46), R O’Brien for Duane (58), C Burke for Kenneally (60).
W Burke; C Desmond, N O’Donovan, T O’Brien; D Murphy, D Lynch, J Lynch; G Farrell, D Looney; D Crowley, J Walsh, F Lynch; C O’Leary, K Canty, E O’Reilly.
J Cottrell for F Lynch (half-time), R Butler for O’Reilly (40), B Crowley for Walsh (50).
M Maher (St Finbarr’s).
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