Kilworth 0-20 Valley Rovers 0-12
A STUNNING second-half performance from Kilworth ensured they booked a place into the third round of the Premier Intermediate hurling championship following a comfortable win over Valley Rovers at Páirc Uí Rinn yesterday.
In truth the first half was lethargic but credit to the north Cork side they found another gear in the second and their final tally of 20 points were all scored from play.
Kilworth were sluggish from the blocks and they were punished with consecutive points from John Cottrell and Colm Butler in the opening two minutes.
For some strange reason Kilworth looked off the pace in the early exchanges but a superb point from Eoin Carey in the seventh minute was their first decent passage of play.
Another problem for Kilworth was their tendency to play a short passing game that saw them consistently turn the ball over when in good shooting positions.
The Innishannon side had a great opportunity to score the opening goal of the game in the 12th minute when John Cottrell got behind the Kilworth defence only for his wayward shot to go wide of the left post.
Both sides were now showing more resilience in their defending but following a second Eoin O’Reilly point un the 20th minute Valley Rovers had edged into two points lead 0-6 to 0-4.
On the next possession Chris O’Leary nailed a 70-yard free for Valley Rovers as Kilworth’s short game continued to struggle against the physical side of their opponents.
The closing minutes were exciting with a late Will Condon point ensuring Kilworth reduced the deficit to the minimum at the break 0-8 to 0-7.
On the restart a Chris O’Leary white flag three minutes into the half should have given Valley Rovers the impetus going forward but instead it revitalised Kilworth.
A Noel McNamara point set up the scoring avalanche with Liam Whelan following up with three long range points.
The one player that really excelled for Kilworth in the second half was Eoin Kearney whose darting runs broke the hearts of Valley Rovers.
Kearney also added four points and with five minutes remaining the Kilworth lead had increased to six points.
Valley Rovers will look back on this performance knowing they failed to show any resemblance of the form they have shown in previous campaigns.
The winners will take heart as the brand of hurling produced in the second half would test the majority of games in this championship.
Scorers for Kilworth: L Whelan 0-5, W Condon 0-5, E Carey 0-4, N McNamara 0-3, J Sheehan 0-2, N Byrne 0-1.
Valley Rovers: C O’Leary 0-4 f, E O’Reilly 0-3, J Cottrell, C Butler, R Butler, E Delaney, A Kenneally 0-1 each.
KILWORTH: K Walsh; M McNamara, K Lane, M O’Connor; N Byrne, D Twomey, A O’Hara; B Tobin, L Whelan; T Twomey, P Moakley, E Carey; N McNamara, J Sheehan, W Condon.
Sub: E McGrath for T Twomey (36).
VALLEY ROVERS: W Burke; S O’Leary, D Lynch, C Desmond; C O’Leary, W Hurley, E Delaney; C Butler, S O’Regan; D Looney, N O’Donovan, J Cottrell; P Hurley, E O’Reilly, R Butler.
Subs: A Sheehan for C Desmond (h-t), A Kenneally for D Looney (h-t), A Lyons for R Butler (44), K Canty for J Cottrell (51).
Referee: Simon Stokes (Tullylease).