The first leg of the double for Kanturk, who won the Co-Op Superstores Cork SAHC final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh today. It was a battle royale with last season’s defeated finalists Fr O’Neills until Duhallow’s men moved away in the second half. The award is launched in the top Premier class in 2022.
They had a lot of quality on display. A defense led by superb captain Darren Browne and impressive performances from their usual leaders including Lorcán McLoughlin, Aidan Walsh with five points, Liam O’Keeffe with four and treble hero Colin Walsh.
With the teams tied at 2-11 apiece, it was Colin Walsh’s 44th-minute goal that allowed them to assert control. They continued, edging Fr O’Neills six points to two.
It was a dream start for Kanturk – forced to field without a suspended Paul Walsh – Brian O’Sullivan was preparing Colin Walsh for their opening point after just two minutes. O’Sullivan got one himself and it was followed by another white flag from Ian Walsh.
It was all Kanturk and their first goal came in the seventh minute thanks to Colin Walsh, scored by his brother Ian.
Fr O’Neills had to wait until the 10th minute for Kevin O’Sullivan to score his first point. The deficit was further reduced by the same player with a pair of placed balls.
Kanturk came in for the next two points. A free O’Sullivan left Imokilly’s team 1-5 to 0-4 at the first break. That double-goal margin was maintained until Father O’Neills took control of the scoreboard, scoring two goals in one minute.
The late drama in an extremely entertaining first half came when Ger Millerick was introduced for O’Neills in the 23rd minute and made a vital intervention, the sliotar found himself at the other end of the pitch with the net by Rob Cullinane. A second goal followed in less than a minute as Cillian Broderick passed Grantis Bucinskas – Bucinskas having made a point blank save moments earlier.
Robbie Dalton’s men lead 2-6 to 1-7.
It was time for another twist. Colin Walsh scored his second goal for Kanturk, with Liam O’Keeffe as supplier.
O’Sullivan scored his sixth point of the half to leave the score at halftime 2-7 apiece.
The trend continued into the third quarter, with Kanturk tying Fr O’Neills for the score, 2-11 each approaching the second water break. However, the last pass of the game produced a third green flag for Kanturk, with Colin Walsh scoring a hat-trick to give his side an advantage early in the fourth quarter.
Despite their large number, the lead fell to five to 10 minutes from the end.
Liam O’Keeffe had the ball in the net in the 62nd minute but referee Nathan Wall blew for a free kick – the last word left to Brian O’Sullivan from the ball set for a winning margin of seven points for a managed team by Tom Walsh and coached by Frank Flannery.
Kanturk has the PIFC final against Newmarket in two weeks.
Kanturk’s third goal in the 44th minute. Before that they were tied at 2-11 apiece, but then the gap became three. Father O’Neill tried to react, but Kanturk’s rearguard closed the hatches. In fact, they only conceded two runs after Daniel Harrington’s white flag in the 38th minute.
Family ties. Tom Walsh and his son Aidan with the other son Tommy on the bench. Four Walsh brothers Ryan, Colin, Alan and Ian. Another brother Paul has been suspended since the Newcestown game. All five are the nephews of Tom Walsh. In Father O’Neill’s team there were five Millerick brothers – Mike, Joe, Tomás, John and Ger.
Happy New Year so far for Kanturk. The Jim Forbes Cup already resides in Kanturk. The football final is yet to come.
Father O’Neill is outdone for the second year in a row. They were beaten by Charleville in 2020.
Tom Walsh said Kanturk changed his game plan to send a quick ball to his front line. It paid off. Goals change games.
It’s hard to beat Colin Walsh’s three-goal contribution. There were many other great performances, including goalkeeper Grantis Bucinskas who took over from Anthony Nash. captain Darren Browne, Lorcán McLoughlin and Aidan Walsh, but their efforts were overshadowed by Colin’s individual tally.
In full agreement with Darren Brown who said: “It was a good game to play, there weren’t too many frees granted by Nathan (Wall). There was a good ebb and flow in the game. It was nice and open, not too many ruck balls. Exciting for the supporters.
First senior hurling for Kanturk in 2022. They also have a PIFC final in two weeks.
C Walsh (3-1), Aidan Walsh (0-5), L O’Keeffe (0-4, 0-1 free), B O’Sullivan (0-3, 0-1 65, 0-1 free) , L McLoughlin, I Walsh, D O’Connell and C Clernon (0-1 each).
K O’Sullivan (0-7, 0-5 free, 0-1 65), C Broderick (1-1), R Cullinane (1-0), B Dunne (0-2), T Millerick, MO ‘Keeffe and D Harrington (0-1 each).
G Bucinskas; J McLoughlin, R Walsh, L Cashman; J Browne, D Browne (Capt), L O’Neill; L McLoughlin, A Sheehy; B O’Sullivan, Aidan Walsh, C Walsh; L O’Keeffe, Alan Walsh, me Walsh.
D O’Connell for I Walsh (45), C Clernon for Alan Walsh (58), M Healy for D O’Connell (62).
C Sloane; M Millerick, S O’Connor, E Motherway; Joe Millerick, Mr. O’Keeffe, T Millerick (Captain); D Harrington, John Millerick; R Cullinane, P McMahon, K O’Sullivan; C Broderick, J Hankard, B Dunne.
Joe Millerick for John Millerick (23), R Kenneally for P McMahon (40).
Wall N (Ballincollig).