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Adam Casey’s late goal seals U21 triumph for Valley Rovers

February 25th, 2024 10:30 AM

By Southern Star Team

South East Board Chairman Myles Barry presenting the U21A trophy to Valley Rovers' Jonathan Kenneally.

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Valley Rovers 3-11

Carrigaline 1-11


A VALLEY Rovers second-half hat-trick of goals saw off a brave Carrigaline effort in the South East U21A Football Championship final at Bishopstown GAA's 4G pitch on Saturday evening.

Indeed, it looked like an upset was on the cards in the opening minutes of the second half when Carrigaline's Bríain Murphy struck for a goal in the 34th minute.

It was worrying times for the Valley Rovers contingent, who had racked up seven first-half wides and were denied two certain goals by Callum Dungan in the Carrigaline goal.

The Carrig lads had signalled their intent early on, as they dominated proceedings, with a free from Sam Horan and an exquisite point from the boot of Finn O'Connell. The Innishannon outfit should have opened their account with a goal from Ciarán McCarthy, but the Carrigaline net-minder produced an outstanding save.

Eventually, Rovers marked up their first point, as Oisin McCarthy kicked a fine score, but Carrigaline kept their noses in front with a point from Danny Kelly.

Finally, Valleys were beginning to find their range as the inside line of Sean McEntee and Adam Casey had the teams on level terms.

Carrigaline hit the front in a free-flowing contest on 22 minutes as Kieran McCarthy swung over a point. However, the advantage was short-lived as man-of-the-match Ciarán McCarthy had the teams on parity two minutes later.  McCarthy then sent over a superb score to take the lead, as Dungan produced another outstanding save on the stroke of half time.

The opening drama of the second 30 minutes had Carrigaline outscoring their opponents by three scores to one, giving them an advantage of 1-6 to 0-6. However, the impressive Eoin Guinnane steadied his team's jitters with a point, and the advantage swung Valley's way on 40 minutes after Jacob O'Driscoll finally found the Carrigaline net.

The ever-dependable Vaughan restored parity, but Valleys stretched their lead with points from Casey, Guinanne and McCarthy.

Carrigaline hung onto their coattails as Vaughan landed a free, only to see McCarthy strike at the heart of the Carrigaline challenge with a well-taken goal. 

While lesser teams might have faded, Carrigaline secured the next three scores as Vaughan landed two and Ciarán Crotty added one to leave the score at 2-10 to 1-11.

For the South County side, the all-important goal to rescue this tie came at the wrong end of the pitch, as Valley's ace poacher Casey put the tie beyond doubt. Fittingly, the last act of this lively encounter came from the boot of Ciaran McCarthy.  



Valley Rovers: Adam Casey 1-2; Ciarán McCarthy 0-4; Oisin McCarthy 1-1; Jacob O'Driscoll 1-0; Eoin Guinane 0-2; Sean McEntee, David Carthew 0-1 each.

Carrigaline: Tom Vaughan 0-5 (3f); Bríain Murphy 1-0; Sam Horan, Danny Kelly, Kieran McCarthy, Finn O'Connell, Ciaran Crotty, Nathan O'Keeffe 0-1 each.


Valley Rovers: J Woods; J O'Driscoll, C O'Sullivan, B Lordan; C Johnson, J Kenneally, M Woods; O McCarthy, J O'Leary; J Murphy, C McCarthy, E Guinnane; A Casey, D Carthew, S McEntee. 

Subs: T McGrath for J Murphy (31), S Browne for S McEntee (52). 

Carrigaline: C Dungan; B Murphy, P Laverty, R Kenneally; S Connolly, F O'Connell, E Murphy; N O'Keeffe, T Foley; C Ryan, K McCarthy, D Kelly; S Horan, H Andrews, T Vaughan. 

Sub: C Crotty for Cormac Ryan.

Referee: Brian Coniry.


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