Rovers succeed on the double
VALLEY ROVERS claimed the Five Mile Inn Bar & Restaurant South East Junior Football Title courtesy of this six-point victory over Belgooly, and in the process claimed a divisional Junior Hurling and Football Double, after their hurlers claimed the divisional title last weekend.
Played at a wet and miserable Ballinaspittle on Saturday night, Valley Rovers were that bit sharper in front of goal, and after an even opening 10 minutes, they built a four-point lead by the 16th minute, and while Belgooly pushed them all they, they could never rein them in.
A goal from man of the match award winner 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.
That Valley Rovers were not deserving winners was not in doubt, as in Settini, Pa Hurley, Danny O’Sullivan and O’Donovan, they had top class finishers, but Belgooly will rue a couple of missed easy frees in the first half, that would have had them right in the match entering the closing stages.
Settini opened the scoring for the winners in the second minute, before Barry Dwyer, who was excellent for Belgooly levelled the match in the 10th minute.
Valley Rovers then hit a purple patch, points from Settini, Aidan Walsh, the lively Hurley and O’Sullivan put them 0-5 to 0-1 ahead after 16 minutes.
Belgooly had a lot of possession, but their build up play was not as sleek as Valley’s and they struggled to break down a resilient Valley Rovers backline.
Barry Dwyer and Ronan Power for Belgooly, and O’Sullivan and Hurley for Valley’s swapped four points to keep the margin at four, before points from Jamie Dwyer and Jack O’Regan narrowed the gap for Belgooly, but Valley’s had the last score of the half from Hughie O’Donovan to leave them 0-8 to 0-5 in front at half-time.
Barry Dwyer pointed immediately on the resumption for Belgooly, but the continuous rain made it very difficult for either team to gain a bit of momentum.
Ben Murphy for Valley’s and Pat Dwyer, with an excellent point for Belgooly kept the score board ticking over, before Valley’s 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.
Barry Dwyer again pointed for Belgooly as they showed tremendous spirit and kept the pressure on the winners, but Valley’s defended very well, and the goal that Belgooly needed never looked like coming.
Valley Rovers wrapped up the match with Settini’s goal in the 68th minute to claim their first title in 21 years and their 15th title in total before Captain Mick O’Brien accepted the trophy in front of their jubilant supporters.
Belgooly’s Rory Dwyer is confronted by Darragh Crowley and Patrick Hurley of Valley Rovers during the SE JAFC final in Ballinspittle.
Cormac Fitzgerald of Fitzgerald and Partners presents Man of the Match to Valley Rovers’ Adam Settini. Also pictured are Myles Barry, SE GAA Board, with Cillian and Sarah Fitzgerald.
Conor Brown of Valley Rovers evades the challenge from Andrew Daly of Belgooly during the South East Junior AFC final in Ballinspittle. Valley went on to win the game.