One week after winning hurling crown, Valleys end their long wait for football title
Valley Rovers 1-12
JOE KENNEFICK REPORTS
VALLEY Rovers’ 21-year wait for the South East JAFC title is over.
Clinical Valleys picked up their 15th title in this grade and also completed the double – their hurlers won the divisional crown the previous weekend – after this hard-fought six-point victory over a tenacious Belgooly, played in wet conditions in Ballinaspittle.
After an even opening to the game, Valley Rovers took control of the game in the tenth minute, and four unanswered points put them into a lead that they wouldn’t lose, and while Belgooly played their part in a tight and tense contest, they were lacking a scoring threat that their endeavour deserved.
A goal from man-of-the-match Adam Settini in the eighth minute of additional time in the second half was the clinching score, with the young forward finishing off a move involving Conor Brown and Hughie O’Donovan to finally see off the Belgooly men’s resistance.
Settini opened the scoring for the winners in the second minute, but Belgooly started well and had a lot of possession, but they struggled to find the target, as Valleys defended very well.
Barry Dwyer levelled the match for Belgooly in the tenth minute, but the next four scores all came from Valley Rovers – Settini, Aidan Walsh, Pa Hurley and Danny O’Sullivan all pointing to put them 0-5 to 0-1 ahead after 16 minutes.
The sides shared four points, Barry Dwyer and Ronan Power on target for Belgooly, while O’Sullivan and Hurley replied for Valleys, as the action intensified.
Belgooly’s Jamie Dwyer and Jack O’Regan narrowed the gap to two points, but Valleys had the last score of the half from Hughie O’Donovan to leave them 0-8 to 0-5 in front at half-time.
Belgooly made the better start to the second half with Barry Dwyer pointing, but the continuous rain made it very difficult for both teams to adapt to.
Ben Murphy for Valleys and Pat Dwyer, with an excellent point for Belgooly kept the score board ticking over, before Valleys again put daylight between the sides with points from O’Donovan, Settini and Hurley to leave them 0-12 to 0-7 ahead after 58 minutes.
The game was then held up as Belgooly’s Eoin Healy had to be stretchered off after he suffered a serious looking injury.
Belgooly kept driving forward, with Barry Dwyer again pointing, and as time ran out, they needed a goal, but it was Valley Rovers who got it through Settini to land their first title in 21 years and their 15th title in total.
Captain Mick O’Brien accepted the trophy in front of their jubilant supporters.
Valley Rovers: A Settini 1-3, P Hurley 0-3, D O’Sullivan 0-2, H O’Donovan 0-2 (1f), B Murphy, A Walsh 0-1 each.
Belgooly: B Dwyer 0-4 (2f), R Dwyer (f), Jamie Dwyer, R Power, P Dwyer, J O’Regan 0-1 each.
Valley Rovers: D Lynch; A Lyons, J Lynch, D Lynch; A Walsh, M O’Brien, D Crowley; W Hurley, D O’Sullivan; F Lyons, D Looney, A Settini; P Hurley, H O’Donovan, G Deane.
Subs: B Murphy for P Hurley (28-30 BS), B Murphy for F Lyons (ht), C Brown for G Deane (41), S Mulhearne for H O’Donovan (68).
Belgooly: M Murphy; N O’Sullivan, T O’Donovan, D Dwyer, Jamie Dwyer, Jack Dwyer, K Kiely; P Dwyer, B Dwyer; K O’Callaghan, R Dwyer, A Daly; R Power, J O’Regan, E Healy. Subs: C Tobin for E Healy (52, inj), D Walsh for A Daly (62).
Referee: Brian Coniry (Crosshaven).