Shamrocks 2-6, Valley Rovers 0-8
Shamrocks juniors booked their place in the quarter finals of the South East football championship with this fighting display over a resilient Valley Rovers on Saturday night in Ballinhassig.
Conditions were appalling for everybody and the wet surface, allied to a breeze blowing down towards the dressing room end, meant that possession and more importantly every single score was going to be of vital importance in the end.
Shamrocks played with the advantage of the elements in the first half and started brightly with Joe Shanahan kicking two great points either side of a well worked Brian Sweeney goal after good work by Dave Hayes. Shamrocks were motoring nicely after 10 minutes and led 1-2 to 0-1. However, Valley Rovers got to grips with the situation and took over for the rest of the half, largely through their ability to either win clean kickouts or mop up the breaks. They slowly chipped away at the Shamrocks lead with a few points before pointing just on HT to leave the teams all square at the break, Shamrocks 1-2, Valley Rovers 0-5.
The momentum along with the elements appeared to favour Valley Rovers as the second half began. Philip Brady, who did well after being introduced, put Shamrocks ahead just after HT but Valleys responded at the other end. This is the point in the match that Shamrocks really stood up to their opponents and from here to the end, they showed real fight, aggression and spirit which was great to see. The backs started to snuff out the Valleys attacks and the midfield pairing of Alan McCarthy and in particular Barry Mulqueen started to dominate. With enough ball being fed into the forwards, Darragh O’Sullivan blasted home a great goal 15 minutes in to put Shamrocks 3 points up, 2-3 to 0-6.
Rovers brought it back to a 2 point game and went in search of more scores but the game was won in the next 10 minutes as Shamrocks defended very well, kept Rovers out while at the other end, Barry Mulqueen and Darragh O’Sullivan popped over vital scores to open up a 4 point margin with time almost up. Valley Rovers brought in back to a 3 point game but Cannice Caffrey put the seal on the Shamrocks win with another point from play (all scores came from play) and that was it. A most deserving win for the greens and a real fillip going forward, this was easily their best display of the season.
Team: F. O’Neill, S. Andrews, R. Harrington, C. Kidney, M. Prout, C. O’Neill, J. Browne, A. McCarthy, B. Mulqueen, D. Hayes, J. Shanahan, J. Tuohy, D. O’Sullivan, B. Sweeney, R. Twomey. Subs used – C. Caffrey, P. Brady, S. Kidney.