Blarney 3-22 Valley Rovers 3-14
BLARNEY marched into the PIHC semi-final following this tantalising encounter against Valley Rovers at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday night.
This was a very efficient all round display from Blarney, showing the same blend of youth and absolute sheer determination that saw them beat Carrigaline in the opening round.
The Mid Cork outfit had a huge wait after their bye in the last round but were impressive here, though both teams contributed to what was a high octane encounter, with the relentless intensity resulting in a high frequency of scoring.
Blarney came out of the blocks quickly and pointed through initial early efforts from Cork star Mark Coleman and minor Shane Barrett, who over the course of the hour or so of action would turn out to have a very productive outing.
Valleys responded with Chris O’Leary getting off the mark. The opening quarter was played at a rip-roaring pace, with Blarney holding a 0-7 to 0-3 advantage, after 13 minutes, with Ray Murphy and Cork U20 Padraig Power also getting off the mark with scores.
The net was then struck for Valleys after John Cottrell fired home on the rebound. Blarney though were to hold the lead at the break at 1-14 to 1-8, with Barrett netting for Blarney.
Although Valleys responded early in the second half with a goal through Kevin Canty, Blarney responded in kind courtesy of Keith Costello’s finish to the net.
That would prove a crucial moment, as Blarney remained in front and also control for the remainder of the contest, despite the best efforts of their opposition to get back into proceedings.
Coleman’s free ended up in the net for a third Blarney goal, as they never dropped their intensity and continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
There was time for a third Valleys' goal before the end, but this night belonged to Blarney after an effort full of courage over the duration of play.
Scorers for Blarney: S Barrett 1-6, M Coleman (1-3 f) 1-5, K Costello 1-1, P Power 0-4, D Hanlon 0-3, R Murphy 0-2, P Crowley 0-1.
Valley Rovers: C O’Leary (0-5 f, 0-1 sl) 0-9, C Butler, J Cottrell 1-1 each, K Canty 1-0, A Sheehan, J Walsh, R O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
BLARNEY: P Hallissey: S Crowley, P O’Leary, A McEvoy: C Power, J Jordan, D McSweeney: B Ahern, M Coleman: P Crowley, R Murphy, D Hanlon: K Costello, P Power, S Barrett.
Subs: D Dunlea for Hanlon (38), P Philpott for C Power (42), M O’Leary for Ahern (52), J Barrett for Costello (60), E Mullane for Jordan (62).
VALLEY ROVERS: W Burke: A Sheehan, D Lynch, E Delaney: D O’Shea, N O’Donovan, W Hurley: C Desmond, J Walsh: K Canty, J Cottrell, R O’Sullivan: C Butler, C O’Leary, A Kenneally.
Subs: T O’Brien for Sheehan (h-t), S O’Regan for O’Shea (42).
Referee: B Murphy (Carrigtwohill).