Valley Rovers 1-6
JOHN NEWMAN REPORTS
CARRIGALINE claimed their third successive South East U21A football championship title with a decisive victory over a youthful Valley Rovers in Crosshaven.
With a team built over three campaigns, Carrigaline carried a huge physical advantage, and that allied to their speed, skill and scoring talents could see them make a huge impact in the county series. They meet Glanmire in the first round.
Valleys are in the throes of team-building at this level. They battled bravely to the end, having lost the services of their star forward Pa Hurley, who was red carded after six minutes. They now go on to meet Éire Óg in the county.
The first half, despite the imbalance of numbers, was entertaining. Play swung from end to end and with defences on top, but the scoreboard was bare until the 14th minute when Carrig’s top marksman Mark Brosnan pointed.
From the kick-out Valleys’ Robert Sweetnam was unlucky to see his shot rebound off the top of the upright and wide. Soon after Valleys’ Eanna Desmond landed three points. By the 19th minute the score stood at 0-5 to 0-1, after Valleys’ Adam Settini and Mark O’Leary set-up the hard-working Peter Callanan.
Valleys’ valiant efforts – thanks to defenders Darragh O’Shea, Brian Hoey, Shane Lynch and Adam Kenneally – kept their hopes alive. With Callanan and O’Leary again involved, Settini slotted over a spirited score for the Innishannon side in the 22nd minute, 0-5 to 0-2.
Desmond was again on target for the winners, but when Luke Boyle’s high lob into goalkeeper Cathal O’Sullivan fell to Tim Cronin, the Carrig wing forward finished to the net from close-in. Valleys’ mountain to climb grew steeper as Desmond’s last-minute point of the half made it 1-7 to 0-2.
Within five minutes of the restart, the Carrigaline combination began to gain momentum. Led by the power play of Eoghan Riordan, Jack Kelly, Tom Deasy from the back, together with midfielders Nathan Coleman and Kevin O’Reilly, and their attack led by star forward Mark Brosnan, who contributed 2-4 in a 20-minute period, the destination of trophy was soon known.
As both sides gave their substitutes a run, with the Carrig bench the more formidable, Valleys’ commendable courage was rewarded when Darragh O’Shea persisted to finish to the net.
William Hurley and O’Shea added a brace of points, following earlier contributions from Robert Sweetnam and Niall Lawton, but at the end the 14-man Valleys could not contain the sharper and more cohesive Carrig combination.
Following the game Pat Desmond, chairman of the South-East Board, presented the Tom Madden Memorial Cup to captain Nathan Coleman and the man-of-the-match award sponsored by Declan O’Neill, Furniture & Carpentry to Mark Brosnan.
Carrigaline: M Brosnan 2-6 (1f), T Cronin 1-1, E Desmond 0-3, J Maher 0-2, B Kelleher, N Coleman, J McCarthy, J O’Regan 0-1 each.
Valley Rovers: D O’Shea 1-1, P Callanan, R Sweetnam (f), A Settini, N Lawton, W Hurley 0-1 each.
Carrigaline: J Giltinan; P Moran, E Riordan, J Kelly; L Boyle, T Deasy, S Desmond; K O’Reilly, N Coleman; T Cronin, E Desmond, M Brosnan; B Kelleher, D Greene, J Maher. Subs: J McCarthy for T Cronin, D Maye for S Desmond, J O’Regan for D Greene, S Brosnan for B Kelleher, R Ryle for K O’Reilly, R Kelleher for M Brosnan.
Valley Rovers: C O’Sullivan; D O’Shea, F Lyons, B Hoey; A Kenneally, W Hurley, S Lynch; M Savic, N Lawton; P Callanan, A Settini, J Callanan; R Sweetnam, M O’Leary, P Hurley. Subs: A O’Leary for J Callanan, A Healy for R Sweetnam, S Lynch for B Hoey, P O’Sullivan for A Settini, J Cronin for M O’Leary, R Hoey for N Lawton.
Referee: Liam Riordan (Belgooly).