Valleys Rovers, a club on the rise after successive ladies football county titles

Next step is the senior ranks after victory over Glanmire in the Intermediate final
Valleys Rovers, a club on the rise after successive ladies football county titles

Glanmire's Sarah O'Brien and Eibhlís Dillon chasing Valley Rovers' Kate Wall. Picture: Denis Boyle

THERE have been many great days for Valley Rovers Ladies Football Club since they were founded in 1995, especially last weekend's intermediate success.

The underage section followed in 1999 and a number of underage titles have come their way since then, including the U14 C in the year they started.

In 2008 they won the County Junior B title and the following year the U21 B cup made its way to Innishannon.

They have been a club on the rise over the last number of years, down to hard work by a lot of people. They have had many great officers and team managers and coaches, all leading to senior football, where they'll compete next season after they won the intermediate title.

It was another remarkable achievement for the club and they only came up from the junior ranks last season and stayed just one year at intermediate level before making the move up again to play with the top clubs.

Back in 2015, John Murphy took over as chairman of the ladies club and he said that he wanted them to be playing at the top level by 2025 at the latest.

Even though he is no longer an officer have no doubt that he was delighted to see them achieve this goal ahead of his target time.

Last Saturday they took on Glanmire in the intermediate final, a team that had lost out in the decider last season to Clonakilty.

This was always going to be a close encounter and one that could have gone either way right up to the last minute.

Valleys led by 1-5 to 0-3 at half-time but knew that Glanmire weren’t going to go away easily and that proved to be the case.

Going into the final few minutes there was only a point between them, but in injury time Michelle O’Regan scored to secure their win, and seconds later the celebrations began and are probably still ongoing.

It’s a major achievement for the club as they now join the top sides in Cork in the senior championship and on this display will be one of the sides to watch. Will they keep their winning run going and add the senior title next year?

Valley Rovers' Cliona O'Riordan in action. Picture: Denis Boyle
Valley Rovers' Cliona O'Riordan in action. Picture: Denis Boyle

Only time will tell on that but one thing is for sure, any side that will face them will know they have been in a game.

One of the selectors guiding them over the last few years is Denis Kiely, father of Daire and Eimear, and all three have played their part in that success in recent years.

No doubt the experience Daire and Eimear have gained playing with Cork is something they have brought back to the club over the last number of years.

After the final, an emotional Denis said this meant the world to him and the club and all those involved since they started out on this journey.

“They are a fabulous bunch of girls and they have given everything now for a number of years. But I also must give huge credit to Glanmire and their coaches.

“I have gotten to know some of them and that’s the beauty of football the people you get to know and the respect you have for each other. We fought it out and we had that bit of luck to come through.

“The goal was a big score and then I also thought our defence was very tight and didn’t give them too many opportunities.

“It’s an unbelievable achievement to win the junior last year and now the intermediate this season.

We had a chairman in 2015 in John Murphy who at the AGM that year said he wanted us to be senior in 2025.

“He works for Heineken and we thought he might have been enjoying some of their products and it was a daft concept. But we believed in him and now that ambition has been achieved.

“Great credit must go to the officers of the club over the years for their hard work to ensure everything was in place to get us here.

“As for the players they are brilliant, we had a plan and they carried it out. They are disciplined and are a very united bunch and I am delighted for them and the work they have put in.

“We will enjoy this one, but we are also conscious there is a Munster championship to take part in now.

“We were denied that chance last year due to the pandemic so we will enjoy this but then get back to training and prepare for that campaign and who knows with a little luck we might bring some more silverware to the club."

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