Valley Rovers 0-12 Bishopstown 1-8
THERE was so much at stake here for both clubs and this was evident in the monumental battle that developed at Ballinora.
In the end, Valley Rovers got what they were after – a place in the quarter-final of the Bon Secours Cork Premier SFC.
But, they had to earn it against a Bishopstown side that badly needed to win to keep themselves away from the relegation zone. A draw would have sufficed to get them a point on the board, and for long stages, they looked like they would get that at least. They dictated a lot of this match only to come up short in the end.
They seriously tested wind-assisted Valley Rovers in the opening 30 minutes. The teams were tied four times following an even first quarter – Chris O’Leary and Michael Power exchanging magnificent points to leave them 0-4 apiece.
Valleys pulled away coming up to half-time, Eoin O’Reilly, Kevin Canty and Billy Crowley putting them 0-7 to 0-4 ahead at the short whistle.
Bishopstown, without the injured Jamie O’Sullivan, came out all guns blazing for the second half. The lively Simon Collins pointing and then a decisive score from Paul O’Flynn when he netted in the 39th minute. Two more points from Collins – one from a free – and the Town took the lead for the first time at the second water break, 1-7 to 0-9.
Valleys only reply was two Fiachra Lynch frees.
Unfortunately for Bishopstown, they lost Diarmuid Lester at this juncture to a second yellow card. Yet, the introduction of Denis Crowley at full-forward gave them an edge. Power extended their advantage with the final 10 minutes left to play.
Valley Rovers brought on William Hurley and John Cottrell and it was a case of all shoulders to the wheel as they set about recovering their championship.
Unanswered points from Crowley, Eoin Delaney and Lynch got them over the line.
Scorers for Valley Rovers: F Lynch 0-4 f, B Crowley 0-2, A Walsh Murphy, C O’Leary, K Canty, J Walsh, E Delaney, E O’Reilly 0-1 each.
Bishopstown: P O’Flynn 1-1, S Collins 0-4 (0-1 f), M Power 0-2, K O’Halloran 0-1 f.
VALLEY ROVERS: C Desmond; A Lyons, T O’Brien, D Muckian; J Kiely, I Crowley, A Walsh Murphy; C O’Leary, K Canty; R O’Sullivan, E Delaney (Capt), J Walsh; E O’Reilly, F Lynch, B Crowley.
Subs: J Cottrell for E O’Reilly, W Hurley for R O’Sullivan (both 49).
BISHOPSTOWN: K O’Halloran; S O’Rourke, E Byrne, D Quaid; M Power, E Deasy (Capt), D Lester; M Driscoll, J Murphy; J Costello, P O’Flynn, D Costelloe; B Clifford, L O’Driscoll, S Collins.
Subs: D Crowley for J Costello (37), N Gough for D Costelloe (46), N O’Donovan for E Deasy (52 inj), O Devlin for L O’Driscoll (58).
Referee: Conor Lane (Banteer).