History-making Ballymartle claim their first junior football crown

History-making Ballymartle claim their first junior football crown
Jack Ryan, Ballymartle, takes on Jack Murphy, Valley Rovers. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Ballymartle 1-14

Valley Rovers 0-7

RENOWNED as a hurling club, Ballymartle’s junior footballers made history when they won the Five Mile Inn Bar & Restaurant South East Junior Football title for the first time with a 10-point victory over holders Valley Rovers in Carrigaline.

Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Picture: Jim Coughlan.

A powerful first-half performance saw Ballymartle lead by six at the break and a stunning goal from Paul Geary in the 42nd minute ended the game as a contest.

Credit to Valley Rovers, who despite being without their U21 hurlers, battled to the final whistle, but Ballymartle have had the look of champions all season, and they were too good here.

Key to their win was the performance of midfielder Jack Ryan, who won the Fitzgerald & Partners Man of the Match award. He dominated the middle third of the pitch and his powerful running caused Valleys problems throughout the game, while their half-forward line of Rikard Cahalane, Geary, and Brian Corry were excellent.

Paddy Fitzgerald and Cillian Fitzgerald, present the Man of the Match Trophy to Jack Ryan. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Paddy Fitzgerald and Cillian Fitzgerald, present the Man of the Match Trophy to Jack Ryan. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Ballymartle took the lead after 12 seconds when Killian McCarthy pointed after a strong run from Ryan. The industrious Ritchie Butler levelled for Valleys in the second minute, and Geary and Jack Murphy swapped points to leave the sides level after five minutes.

Ballymartle took control and points from Corry, Cahalane, Geary, Ryan, John McCarthy, and Shane Cummins left them 0-8 to 0-2 ahead at half-time.

Scorers for Ballymartle: P Geary 1-2, K McCarthy 0-3 (0-1 f), J McCarthy 0-2, B Corry 0-2, J Ryan 0-2, R Cahalane 0-2, S Cummins 0-1.

Valley Rovers: J Murphy 0-5 (0-4 f), R Butler 0-1, J Bernard 0-1.

BALLYMARTLE: G Murphy; J Butler, M Tobin, D Dwyer; L Corry, E O’Leary, Darragh McCarthy; C Healy, J Ryan; R Cahalane, P Geary, B Corry; J McCarthy, K McCarthy, S Cummins.

Subs: Darren McCarthy for S Cummins (43), S O’Mahony for Darragh McCarthy (46), D Edmonds for P Geary (51), I Butler for L Corry (51), N Crowley for J Ryan (56, inj), S O’Connell for J McCarthy (59).

VALLEY ROVERS: D Lynch; D Muckian, D O’Brien, S Lynch; B Casey, S Lynch, N Lawton; D O’Sullivan, D Looney; M Savic, G Crowley, L Dempsey; J Murphy, R Butler, R S Sweetnam.

Subs: T Casey for R Sweetnam (42), B Lynch for G Crowley (51), J Bernard for D Looney (55), O Fehily for L Dempsey (55), C O’Donovan for M Savic (55).

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