Valley Rovers 2-23
It was a must win for both teams in the Co-op Superstores Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship (PIHC) but it was Valley Rovers who won this local derby over Carrigaline , with the former progressing to knockout rounds of the competition, while the latter must now face Bandon in the relegation playoff match.
The permutations on the day meant that neither team could be sure how their fate would be handled, with the game being run concurrently between Éire Óg and Ballymartle having a crucial say in both Carrigaline and Valley Rovers' future in the competition this season.
What we did know at throw-in in Ballygarvan on Sunday afternoon was that both teams needed a win to be satisfied with their overall placings in the group stage of the PIHC. Goals win games and this proved to be very much the case on this occasion as goals from Kevin Canty and Charlie Lyons gave 'Valleys' the victory.
The contest got off to an electric start with 10 scores inside 10 minutes at a sun-soaked Ballygarvan, with the teams level at 0-5 apiece. David Drake for Carrigaline was the star of the show early on as he scored a hat-trick of points within the opening 9 minutes, but Valleys traded blow for blow, with Colm Butler also scoring three points in this time.
With 20 minutes on the clock Carrigaline found themsevles in a 0-9 to 0-6 lead. David Drake continued his rich vein of form scoring two more excellent points from play. Colm Butler quickly got his side back into the game with a couple of scores from placed balls, but it was Carrigaline who took a lead into half-time, 0-11 to 0-9.
While Carrigaline remained ahead in the early part of the second half, Valleys were chipping away at the gap and stuck in the game knowing that a victory could still see them progress to the knockout stages if other results went their way.
The key swing in the game came after 44 minutes when Kevin Canty, who had seen very little of the ball all game, rose highest to catch a ball above Carrigaline's Kieran Kavanagh, lashing the ball past Rob Foster in the Carrig goal to put Valley's ahead 0-16 to 1-14.
The response was key after the goal, would Carrigaline react well or would Valleys kick on being the question. It was the latter of the two that took place with Valley Rovers quickly going into a four-point lead, with Canty and Charlie Lyons contributing with points.
With 52 minutes on the clock, Rob O'Shea scored his fifth point from play of the day, with the former Cork player, back playing in his more natural half-forward position, keeping Carrigaline in the game. However, despite his efforts he could do no more to drag his side any further as Charlie Lyons scored the killer goal for Valleys with 55 minutes on the clock, beating Rob Foster who made a couple of fine saves but the ball was eventually bundled over the line.
Both teams traded points in the subsequent minutes but it was Colm Butler who added an extra gloss to the winning margin, grabbing the last three points, with Valleys winning by seven at the full time whistle, 2-23, 0-22.
The result means that Valleys now face Kilworth in the Quarter-Finals at the expense of Ballinhassig who will be very disappointed not to progress. Meanwhile Carrigaline will have to pick up their own spirits over the coming weeks as they now have the unenviable task of taking on Bandon in the relegation playoff.
Scorers for Valley Rovers: C Butler 0-11 (0-9 frees), K Canty 1-3, C Lyons 1-2, D Murphy, A Kenneally, W Hurley 0-2 each, E Guinane 0-1.
Scorers for Carriglaine: B Kelleher 0-8 (0-7 frees), D Drake (0-6), R O’Shea (0-5), D Griffin (0-2), K O’Reilly (0-1).
VALLEY ROVERS: J Lynch; J O’Driscoll, C Desmond, E Delaney; D Murphy, T O’Brien (captain), W Hurley; E Guinane, R O’Sullivan; C Butler, A Kenneally, S O’Leary; K Canty, M Savic, C Lyons.
Subs: J Cottrell for M Savic (41), J Kenneally for S O’Leary (52).
CARRIGALINE: R Foster; C Vaughan, S Williamson, K Kavanagh; D Griffin, R McCarthy, R O’Shea; J McCarthy, F O’Connell; K Kavanagh (captain), D Drake, D Greene; B Kelleher; K O’Reilly, N Coleman.
Subs: P Mellet for N Coleman (ht), R Kelleher for F O’Connell (35, inj), N O’Keefe for D Greene (49), J Maher for R Kelleher (52, inj).
Referee: Brian Sweeney (Erin’s Own).