Valley Rovers 1-12 Kilworth 0-13
VALLEY Rovers are into the PIHC semi-finals, joining top seeds Castlelyons and Courcey Rovers, after this gripping clash against Kilworth in Blarney on Sunday afternoon.
Valleys, who played for the majority of the game with 14 men, dug deep and their strong work-rate was the foundation for a brilliant victory. They were without star player Chris O'Leary after 10 minutes, but a goal from Misko Savic in the first half was critical, while keeper Willie Burke pulled off a superb save late on.
A semi-final meeting with Courceys is now on the agenda for Valley Rovers, as while the draw pitted them against Castlelyons, repeat pairings aren't permitted. They'll carry real momentum into that encounter, while in the other semi-final Castlelyons will take on the winner of next weekend's Carrigaline-Ballinhassig encounter.
This was a cracking game of hurling and the outcome was well and truly in the melting pot right up until the very end.
Valleys commenced brightly and grabbed three fine early points courtesy of Kevin Canty, Colm Butler and Adam Kenneally. However, after just 10 minutes, former Cork senior Chris O’Leary was given his marching orders following an off-the-ball incident.
Kilworth grew into the contest the longer the opening half went on. They got scores from Liam Whelan, Brian Tobin and Will Condon, with Canty responding in kind.
Valleys led 1-6 to 0-7 at the half time break, however, as Savic fired home from close range after being teed up by Eoin O’Reilly.
Valleys kept their composure at the start of the second half through crucial scores by Canty, Butler and a lovely Savic effort on the turn.
Kilworth struggled to make the extra man count up to then but rallied and a pair of excellent Eoin Carey points saw the gap down to two at the second water break.
Kilworth landed five out of the next seven points, with Noel McNamara bang on form.
Kilworth had a late goal opportunity, which was saved fantastically by Valleys keeper Willie Burke, and proved to be match-winning.
With the contest heading into the latter stages, Valleys dug deep and drove onto the finishing line.
A fine Butler point from a free, followed by another excellent effort by veteran Canty, gave the South East side an incredible win against the odds.