Valley Rovers 1-14 Douglas 3-5
VALLEY ROVERS are back on track after outclassing Douglas in this entertaining PSFC game at Ovens on Sunday evening.
The Innishannon side held a nine-point lead after 50 minutes and appeared to be cruising to victory but three Douglas goals in the closing period made for a dramatic conclusion.
On the stroke of full-time Conor Russell had a 20m free to level it but his effort was comfortable smothered by the Valleys defence.
The opening half was dominated by Valley Rovers, though Douglas' cause wasn't helped when they lost Cork seniors Seán Wilson and Nathan Walsh from their backline to injury before the first-half water break.
They opened the scoring through Billy Crowley after a slick team move.
A placed efforted from Fiachra Lynch increased their lead and a third point followed from the highly impressive Jack Walsh at centre-forward. Moments later, Walsh or Billy Crowley could easily have found the net, but Douglas goalkeeper Brian Boyle reacted well when a goal seemed certain for Valleys on 17 minutes.
A rare foray for Douglas resulted in an excellent point for Conor Russell which left two between the sides. Fiachra Lynch landed a ’45 while Jack Walsh landed the score of the game with a brilliant catch, solo run and score.
Douglas corner-forward Sam Collins always looked threatening and he landed a beauty from out on the sideline. Valley Rovers wing-back Johnny Kiely was another standout performer with his probing runs and he set up Eoin O’Reilly for a lovely point to make it 0-7 to 0-3 at the break.
Douglas reduced the gap with a placed effort from Conor Russell, but Fiachra Lynch replied with a well-taken point. Another brilliant move orchestrated by Jack Walsh ended up with Eoin O’Reilly putting Chris O’Leary inside the cover for a brilliant Valleys goal.
Further points from Fiachra Lynch and a long-range effort from corner-back Adam Walsh Murphy made it, 1-11 to 0-5.
Douglas were given a lifeline after Brian Hartnett finished superbly to the net after a quick free from Conor Russell. Eoin O’Sullivan reduced the gap to five points with a fisted effort to the net after a floating free from Russell.
Valleys appeared to settle the tie with a superb point from John Cotterell. But Douglas kept plugging away and in the 62nd-minute substitute Sean Powter found Shane McCarthy to score a third goal.
Valleys lost Chris O’Leary to a black card as Conor Russell's last-gasp effort was saved.
Scorers for Valley Rovers: F Lynch 0-6 (0-1 45, 0-2 f), C O’Leary 1-0, J Walsh 0-3, B Crowley, E O’Reilly 0-2 each, J Cotterell 0-1.
Douglas: B Hartnett, E O’Sullivan, F Ó Luanaigh 1-0, C Russell 0-3 (0-2 f), F Desmond, S Collins 0-1 each.
VALLEY ROVERS: C Desmond; A Walsh Murphy, D Lynch, T O’Brien; J Kiely, I Crowley, D Muckian; C O’Leary, K Canty; R O’Sullivan, J Walsh, E Delaney; B Crowley, F Lynch, E O’Reilly.
Subs: J Cotterell for D Muckian (48), A Lyons for E Delaney (48), W Hurley for K Canty (62)
DOUGLAS: B Boyle; K Hayes Curtin, N Walsh, L McGrath; E Cotter, S Wilson, B Powter; B Hartnett, K Flahive; B Collins, N Hartnett, L Dineen; F Desmond, C Russell, S Collins.
Subs: E O’Sullivan for S Wilson (inj 13), D Warde for N Walsh (inj 15), for B Collins (S McCarthy 43), D Harte for B Powter (50), S Powter for F Desmond (50).
Referee: J Bermingham (Bride Rovers).