Valley Rovers cruise to first JAFC title since 2017 with big win over Ballymartle

Valleys now represent the division in the county quarter-final against Boherbue this coming weekend.
Valley Rovers cruise to first JAFC title since 2017 with big win over Ballymartle

Valley Rovers celebrate in capturing the 2020 SE JAFC trophy following their victory over Ballymartle in the final played in Kinsale. Picture: Howard Crowdy

Valley Rovers 1-14 Ballymartle 1-4 

VALLEY ROVERS captured the delayed 2020 Huntsman Bar and Restaurant South East JAFC with a comfortable 10-point win over last year's beaten finalists Ballymartle at the Jack Barrett Park in Kinsale on Tuesday evening.

This was Valley Rovers' first title since 2017, and they now represent the division in the County Championship quarter-final match against Boherbue this weekend.

Valleys notched up the first score of the game in the sixth minute from Adam Kenneally and doubled their tally a minute later from Cian Crowley.

It was a lead that they held right until the final whistle and were rarely challenged by a disappointing Ballymartle side, who have now lost two South East Junior A Football finals in a row.

Ballymartle's Faoleoin Stewert clashes with Cian Crowley of Valley Rovers. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Ballymartle's Faoleoin Stewert clashes with Cian Crowley of Valley Rovers. Picture: Howard Crowdy

Ballymartle’s first point of the match came from a free from Jack Ryan in the 10th minute, and it took another ten minutes to register their second as Valley Rovers were slowly but surely pulling further and further away. 

A brace of points each came from Hughie O’Donovan and Gary Deane with additional scores from Kenneally and Aaron O’Leary before Cian Crowley punched the ball into the net from close range to leave nine points between the side which was added to ten with Pa Hurley’s point right on the 30th minute giving Valley a comfortable 1-09 to 0-02 lead.

A free from O’Donovan in the 31st minute gave Valleys an unassailable 0-2 to 1-10 lead before Ballymartle started to make an impression. 

Ciaran Keogh of the Huntsman Bar and Restaurant, sponsors, and Pat Desmond, Chairman SE GAA Board, present Valley Rovers captain Gary Farrell with the SE JAFC trophy following his teams victory over Ballymartle in the final played in Kinsale. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Ciaran Keogh of the Huntsman Bar and Restaurant, sponsors, and Pat Desmond, Chairman SE GAA Board, present Valley Rovers captain Gary Farrell with the SE JAFC trophy following his teams victory over Ballymartle in the final played in Kinsale. Picture: Howard Crowdy

A purple patch from Ballymartle added 1-2 to their score in a seven-minute spell, with points from Brian Corry and Killian McCarthy and a goal from Shane Cummins from a goalmouth scramble in the 44th minute gave some hope for the Riverstick based side, but that was as good for them as they failed to score for the remainder of the game.

Valley Rovers added very little to their tally in the second half, matching Ballymartle score for score and yet had a comfortable 10-point cushion to fall back on, and as the light began to fade and the fog came in over the pitch, Ballymartle’s prospects of a comeback were dimming each passing minute.

Scorers for Valley Rovers: Hughie O’Donovan 0-5 (0-2 f, 0-1 45); Cian Crowley 1-1; Adam Kenneally 0-3 (0-1 f); Gary Deane, Pa Hurley 0-2 each; Aaron O’Leary 0-1 f. 

Ballymartle: Shane Cummins 1-0; Killian McCarthy 0-2 (0-1 f); Brian Corry, Jack Ryan 0-1 f each. 

VALLEY ROVERS: Michael Power, Shane Lynch, Joe Lynch, Cian O’Keeffe, Cormac Kilduff, Noel O’Donovan, Shane O’Leary, (Aidan Walsh), Darragh Murphy (Misko Savic), Gary Farrell, Adam Kenneally, Hughie O’Donovan, Gary Deane, Pa Hurley, Aaron O’Leary (Niall Lawton), Cian Crowley (Darragh Lordan).

BALLYMARTLE: Gavin Murphy, Colm Coleman, Ian Butler, Eoin O’Leary, Liam Corry, Seamus Corry, Darragh McCarthy, (Sean O’Mahony), Faoleoin Stewert, (Mike Tobin), Paul Geary, Eoghan Redmond, Killian McCarthy, Brian Corry, Niall Crowley, Jack Ryan, Shane Cummins 

Referee: Alan O’Connor (Ballygarvan).

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