Saturday 17 March 2018

Kilshannig's second half comeback falls short in county final

County Premier MFC 2A final: Valley Rovers 3-10 Kilshannig 1-15

Valley Rovers are this year's Carrigaline Court Hotel sponsored County Premier MFC 2A kingpins after they defeated a gallant Kilshannig side in the final at Carrigaline on Sunday.

At one stage ten minutes into the second half the Carrigdoun outfit looked on course for a comfortable victory when they moved ahead 2-8 to 0-7. Kilshannig refused to give in and a remarkable fightback saw them claw back their opponents lead to set up a grandstand finish but it was Valley Rovers that held out to claim victory by a slender point.

The opening half saw both teams enjoy their moments early on. Kilshannig got the scoring underway when Eanna O'Hanlon and Colm O'Shea combined well to set up Tony Brennan who pointed from a difficult angle. This was quickly followed by a long range effort by Kevin McMahon to move two clear by the third minute. At the other end the Valley Rovers challenge quickly gathered momentum. A point each by Cathal Manning and Darragh O'Shea restored parity.

In a competitive first half they were level at 0-3 and 0-4 each by the 17th minute with both teams also guilty of kicking some bad wides. Kilshannig were dealt a major blow moments later when they were forced to plan ahead with 14 players when they had a defender sent to the line.

Valley Rovers worked the extra man to great effect between their half back and full back line as they shaded matters for the rest of the half with Adam Kenneally, Shane Lynch, Darragh O'Shea, Conor Hurley, Sean Barry, Jack Crowley, Peter Calnan, Cathal Manning and Misco Savic most effective. In the 24th minute they struck for the games opening goal when a great solo run by Sean Barry released Misco Savic for a goal. In their next attack Sean Barry set up Cathal Manning for a fine point that moved them 1-5 to 0-4 in front.

Kilshannig who were finding it hard to make headway regrouped well in the run up to the break. Eanna O'Hanlon had a point from a free at the end of normal time and deep in stoppage time the same player pointed from distance following good work by Kieran Twomey, Jack Lyons and Jack Twomey to make it 1-5 to 0-6. It was Valley Rovers that completed the first half scoring when a Kilshannig attack was intercepted with the Rovers breaking at speed down the field with Cathal Manning on hand to point that left a goal between the teams at the interval 1-6 to 0-6.

On the changeover despite Kilshannig being first to score through substitute Darragh O'Sullivan it was Valley Rovers that controlled matters during the early stages. Darragh O'Shea and Cathal Manning kicked over a point each from a free before Jack Crowley was on hand to score their second goal in the 40th minute and they looked on course for a comfortable victory when they were full value for their 2-8 to 0-7 lead.

Kilshannig after making a number of positional changes that included the introduction of substitutions Darragh O'Sullivan and Jerome Murphy at the break began to enjoy their best spell of the game with Bill Curtin, Kieran Twomey, Kevin McMahon, Eoin Healy, Eanna O'Hanlon, Jack Twomey, Darragh O'Sullivan and Jerome Murphy driving their side forward for the remainder of the game.

Three points in quick succession by Eanna O'Hanlon (2) and Eoin Healy had the lead down to 2-8 to 0-10 by the end of the third quarter.

It was all Kilshannig at this juncture. Darragh O'Sullivan kicked over a free before good work by Jerome Murphy saw Eoin Healy with a fine point reduce the margin to two points by the 47th minute. In a gripping finish the lead was down to the narrowest of margins seven minutes later when Jack Twomey set up Darragh O'Sullivan for a great point. It was now game on with Kilshannig carrying the momentum.

Over the next couple of minutes Valley Rovers had two wides in quick succession while Kilshannig missed a chance to force level when an effort for a point dropped short into the Valley Rovers keeper Cathal O'Sullivan. Valley Rovers at this stage went 17 minutes without scoring before Peter Calnan lifted the Kilshannig siege when he pointed for the Rovers in the 57th minute. This was immediately followed with a free by Darragh O'Shea to move 2-10 to 0-13 clear. Kilshannig stayed in touch when Eanna O'Hanlon pointed a free.

At the end of normal time Valley Rovers looked to have finally seen off their opponents challenge when Mile Savic finished their third goal to the net following a goal mouth scramble. Kilshannig to their credit refused to yield.

Darragh O'Sullivan had another point from a free before they were awarded a penalty deep in injury-time when Eoin Healy was upended in the square. The spot kick by Eanna O'Hanlon was dispatched to the Rovers net 3-10 to 1-15.

The North Cork side went all out for the equalising score to salvage a replay but time was not on their side with Valley Rovers holding out for a close win in the end.

After the game Michael O'Mahony Rebel Og Central Chairman presented the James Hurley (Valley Rovers) Memorial Cup to the winning captain Cathal Manning.

VALLEY ROVERS: C O'Sullivan, M Crowley, D Muckian, S Lynch, D O'Shea 0-3f, S Lynch, A Kenneally, C Hurley, N Lawton, S Barry, J Crowley 1-0, P Calnan 0-2, C Manning 0-5 (2f), M Savic 2-0, M Connolly. Subs: A O'Leary for N Lawton, R O'Connell for M Connolly, C Crowley for P Calnan (black card).

KILSHANNIG: G Creedon, C Barrow, B O'Shea, D Taylor, C McMahon, B Curtin, C O'Shea, K Twomey, K McMahon 0-3, E Healy 0-2, E O'Hanlon 1-5 (0-5f, 1-0 pen), J O'Hanlon, T Brennan 0-1, J Twomey, P Lyon. Subs: J Murphy for T Brennan, D O'Sullivan 0-4 (1f) for J Lyons, S Murphy for D Taylor, D O'Riordan for J O'Hanlon.

Referee Ger Scully (Killeagh).