A late goal from substitute Timmy Murphy sent Inniscarra into the Cork County PIHC semi-finals, Valley Rovers denied at Cloughduv last night.
With the clock reaching the 60-minute mark, Valleys led 1-10 to 0-12 and it looked as if Inniscarra would be exiting the championship after two games against the same opposition, having beaten Valleys in round one as well.
A goal from Valleys’ Eoin Manning had tied the game at 1-9 to 0-12 as Inniscarra had racked up just two points in 20 minutes. And that was quickly followed by a point from John Burke to put the Innishannon side ahead for the first time.
From a sideline cut by Inniscarra’s Aidan O’Mahony, however, Murphy managed to get a faint touch on the sliothar to send it to the net, Valleys unable to respond in the remaining minutes of injury time.
Bar the closing stages, Inniscarra had led for all of the game, the free-taking of O’Mahony, who finished with 10 of their 12 points, key for them, while John Casey worked hard at midfield, winning a lot of breaks.
Despite not scoring, Colm Casey was a threat after being moved to the full-forward line and, in addition, John O’Callaghan was outstanding at corner-back as Valleys’ attack was repelled for long spells, with Eamonn Collins the only constant threat in their forward sextet.
This was underlined by the fact they scored just two points in the opening 22 minutes, one of those a 65 from corner-back Jeremy Hurley, Inniscarra having registered six in that time while there were half-chances of goals for Seán O’Callaghan and Conor Buckley.
There was some wasteful shooting from the Muskerry club too, though, and that looked costly when Damien Coughlan pointed twice in quick succession for Valleys. Seán Olden and an O’Mahony free left it 0-8 to 0-4 for Inniscarra at half-time to settle them again and O’Mahony added another early in the second-half after goalkeeper John O’Keeffe had made a good save from Tadhg Burke.
A Collins free and an inspirational Fearghal Coughlan point kept Valleys in it and while O’Mahony responded with his eighth free, the momentum was slowly changing, with Chris O’Donovan imperious at centre-back for Valleys.
Valleys could have cut the gap to one, but O’Keeffe denied Jason Crowley, and then when the ball came loose they were awarded a penalty but Manning’s shot was kept out. When O’Mahony put five between the teams again it looked to have signalled the end of Valleys’ revival, but three in a row, two by Collins, had two in it before O’Mahony made it 0-12 to 0-9 on 52 minutes.
The leveller came two minutes later, when Collins went for goal from a free which had been brought forward, and though his effort was saved, Manning pulled home from the rebound and then Collins won an O’Donovan clearance and laid off for John Burke to put them ahead. Their joy was short-lived as Murphy ensured Inniscarra took it, leaving them awaiting Ballyhea or Ballinhassig in the semi-finals.
Scorers for Inniscarra: A O’Mahony 0-10 (0-9f, 0-1 65), T Murphy 1-0, J Olden, C Buckley 0-1 each.
Scorers for Valley Rovers: E Collins 0-4 (0-3f), E Manning 1-0, D Coughlan, J Hurley (0-2 65) 0-2 each, J Burke, F Coughlan 0-1 each.
INNISCARRA: J O’Keeffe; J O’Callaghan, K Burke, B O’Keeffe; S Olden, P Kavanagh, T O’Regan; F Olden, C Casey; A O’Mahony, J Olden, A Sheehan; J Casey, C Buckley, S O’Callaghan.
Subs: T Murphy for Sheehan (half-time), D O’Callaghan for Kavanagh (50), R O’Connor for F Olden (56), L Ó Riain for J Casey (57),
VALLEY ROVERS: W Burke; C Lynch, T Cummins, J Hurley; J Cottrell, C O’Donovan, F Coughlan; E Manning, S D O’Sullivan; R Fleming, D Coughlan, J Lynch; J Crowley, T Burke, E Collins.
Subs: J Burke for Fleming (22), N O’Donovan for C Lynch, F Lynch for S D O’Sullivan (both 41), D Crowley for J Lynch (49), T Fitzgerald for T Burke (60).
Referee: J Bermingham (Bride Rovers).
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved