VALLEY Rovers made a winning start to their Co-Op Superstores PIHC campaign with a hard-earned win over Inniscarra at Ovens.
The physical strength of the Valley Rovers side proved the main difference between the sides.
Trailing by a point at the interval, the Innishannon side upped the tempo in the second half where the accuracy from placed balls by Chris O’Leary proved crucial.
Inniscarra know they will have to improve on their discipline after conceding over twenty frees in this encounter.
While the Muskerry side rallied in the closing stages to save the game some sterling defending by Tomás O’Brien, Darragh Murphy and Mark O’Leary ensured the Valley Rovers defence would not be breached.
Valley Rovers were quick out of the blocks with points from Eoin O’Reilly and Chris O’Leary in as many minutes gave them a great start.
A well-taken point from Owen McCarthy opened Inniscarra’s account but a point from Colm Butler and a goal by O’Reilly saw the Carrigdhoun side open up a five-point gap after eight minutes.
Sean O’Donovan and Michael O’Connell pointed for Inniscarra but two frees from Chris O’Leary and one by Butler saw Valley Rovers lead 1-6 to 0-4 at the first water break.
The second quarter totally was dominated by Inniscarra.
A point by Garry Farrell edged Valley Rovers six points clear from the restart and that was to be their only score in this quarter as the Muskerry sides defence tightened up with Liam Ryan who put in an excellent display over the hour and Jack O’Sullivan and Ciaran Lombard also catching the eye.
Three frees from Fergal O’Leary, three from play by Kieran Rice and one by O’Connell saw Inniscarra lead 0-11 to 1-7 at the short whistle.
Points from O’Donovan and Rice extended Inniscarra’s advantage to three, but Chriss O’Leary had the sides level with two pointed frees and one from play, six minutes into the second half.
McCarthy edged Inniscarra ahead with a point but Chris O’Leary with two pointed frees and one by Butler saw the Innishannon side take control.
Some sloppy defending by Valley Rovers was punished by Inniscarra approaching the second water break as points from Fergal O’Leary and O’Connell saw the sides level 1-13 to 0-16 entering the final quarter.
Indiscipline proved very costly for the Muskerry side as Chris O’Leary pointed four more placed balls.
With time running out Inniscarra went in search of a goal and despite some goalmouth scrambles, the Valley Rovers defence stood firm to claim the points.