Valley Rovers make a strong case for the defence

While Castlehaven show the way in the shooting stakes ahead of their quarter-final at Pairc Ui Chaoimh on Sunday
Valley Rovers make a strong case for the defence

Valley Rovers' Johnny Kiely, Kevin Canty and David Lynch have helped shore up a strong defence during the Bon Secours county PSFC. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

THERE’S ample evidence to support the theory that some teams prefer a cautious approach to games, others are more attack-minded and some in the middle can apply both methods.

Five clubs contesting the three Bon Secours county premier senior football quarter-finals at Pairc Ui Chaoimh over the weekend fit nicely into those three categories.

In slot one, you can supply the names of Valley Rovers and Clonakilty, who would be joined by Douglas, when it comes to their turn in the semi-finals.

Castlehaven, who are attempting to go one step further than in the 2020 championship, when losing to Nemo Rangers in the final, and newcomers Eire Og fit nicely into slot two while St Finbarr’s are all on their own in slot three.

Douglas, who emerged from the group containing Valleys, Nemo and Carrigaline, have the best defensive statistics along with their Innishannon rivals with Clon six points worse off in third.

At the other end of the scale Eire Og and the Haven have conceded the most while the ‘Barr’s are sandwiched in between.

Of course, it all has to be placed in context because of the group format, like Group A, for example.

Carrigaline, who meet Ilen Rovers in the relegation play-off, were the weakest team by far in all the groups, leaving Douglas, Nemo and Valleys with less of a challenge compared to others.

It also helped Valleys and Douglas that Nemo were coming off the back of a county final triumph and only hit true form against Carrigaline.

The best example of a near gung-ho approach came from the Haven-Eire Og tie in Group B which yielded 39 scores from 17 different scorers.

That was the middle game of three and carried a lot of significance in terms of the group standings, but when it came to the crunch final ties, defence became more of an issue.

The reverse is also true in terms of scoring power because Douglas, Clon and Valleys occupy the bottom three positions in that category, which is headed by the Haven, who are marginally in front of Eire Og, followed just as closely by the ‘Barr’s.

Yet, there’s a relevant question to ask in terms of qualifying compared to the knock-out stage itself.

We’ll catch a glimpse from the ‘Barr’s-Eire Og tie on Friday night if there’s any hint of an alteration in mind-set from the pair.

The Togher club can play it both ways, comfortable to drag players behind the ball, when not in possession, knowing they’ve scoring forwards at the other end.

Eire Og may consider their best approach is to keep doing what they’ve been doing not only this season, but in recent campaigns, because it’s clearly worked. And if it ain’t broken why change?

The leading scorers are: 1. Brian Hurley (Castlehaven) 2-15, 6f.

2. Dara O Se (Clonakilty) 2-13, 9f.

3. Steven Sherlock (St Finbarr’s) 1-14, 6f, 2’45s and Cian Dorgan (Ballincollig) 0-17, 8f, 2’45s, 1 ‘mark’.

5. Daniel Goulding (Eire Og) 0-16, 10f, 1’45 and Luke Connolly (Nemo Rangers) 2-10, 5f.

7. Conor Russell (Douglas) 0-14, 7f, Billy Crowley (Valley Rovers) 1-11, 7f and Barry O’Driscoll (Nemo Rangers) 2-8, 2f.

10. Cillian Myers-Murray (St Finbarr’s) 2-6.

Team leading scorers:

1. Castlehaven 5-40 (55).

2. Eire Og 4-42 (54).

3. St Finbarr’s 3-44 (53).

4. Valley Rovers 7-30 (51).

5. Douglas 2-38 (44).

6. Clonakilty 5-25 (40).

Leading team defences:

1. Douglas 1-29 (32) and Valley Rovers 0-32.

3. Clonakilty 1-35 (38).

4. St Finbarr’s 3-33 (42).

5. Castlehaven 3-37 (46).

6. Eire Og 3-39 (48).

FIXTURES: FRIDAY: Bon Secours PSFC quarter-final: St Finbarr’s v Eire Og, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, 7.30.

SATURDAY: PIFC relegation play-off: St Vincent's v St Nick's, CIT, 1 pm.

IAFC quarter-final: Dromtarriffe v Aghabullogue, Mallow, 2pm; Kilshannig v Millstreet, Kilbrin, 4pm; Mitchelstown v Ballydesmond, Ballyclough, 4pm.

PIFC quarter-final: Naomh Aban v Newmarket, Millstreet, 2pm.

SAFC relegation play-off: Bantry Blues v Bishopstown, Newcestown, 2pm.

IAFC relegation play-off: Kildorrery v Kinsale, Donoughmore, 3pm.

SAFC quarter-finals: Knocknagree v Dohenys, Macroom, 4pm; Ballingeary v Clyda Rovers, Ovens, 4pm; 

SUNDAY: IAFC quarter-final: Iveleary v Glanworth, Mourneabbey, 2pm.

PIFC quarter-final: Aghada v Nemo Rangers, Cobh, 2pm.

PSFC quarter-finals: Castlehaven v Valley Rovers, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, 2pm; Clonakilty v Duhallow, 4pm.

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