Ballymartle 0-21 Valley Rovers 2-14
BALLYMARTLE came back from nine points down at halftime to snatch victory from Valley Rovers in the Declan O’Neill Fitted Furniture South East JAHC final which was played in front of a large crowd at Ballinhassig, to claim their first title since 2015.
This was really a game of two halves as the strong breeze which blew from left to right, favoured those who were playing with the advantage which reflected in the scoring during the game.
However, Ballymartle, playing against the wind in the first half, registered the first score of the game with a point from Killian McCarthy before Valleys equalised three minutes later when Kevin Canty’s powerful shot was brilliantly deflected over the bar to bring the sides level.
Both teams exchanged points before Valley Rovers took the lead for the first time in the 12th minute with a well-taken point from Johnny Kiely who ran 50 yards down the field to score.
Valley Rovers extended their lead to four moments later when Ciaran McCarthy picked up Misco Savic’s pass and duly blasted the ball home, and within two minutes had a second goal courtesy of Cormac Kilduff which gave Valleys a six-point lead at the first water break.
Valley Rovers extended their lead even further before the break outscoring Ballymartle by seven points to four as the Innishannon based side had a comfortable 2-11 to 0-8 advantage.
It was all Ballymartle in the second half who were aided by the breeze and rattled off six unanswered points following the resumption as they were scoring almost at will with seven different players managing to raise the white flag before the second water break and were back level by the 45th minute of the game.
It made for an exciting final 15 minutes with nerves getting the better of both sides with a number of wides, but Ballymartle held their own with three quick points from Dan O’Leary, Fionn Desmond and Killian McCarthy to hold out and claim their first title in six years.