Charleville manager TJ Crowley described McLoughlin as “the difference” after the county star got away from his marker, Barry McCarthy, who had shackled him all day, for a sensational score.
But while McLoughlin grabbed the headlines, the platform for Kanturk’s victory had been built in the opening quarter, with four outstanding saves by Anthony Nash.
“He’s done it all this year and he did it today,” said McLoughlin of his county team-mate. “We’d have been beaten had Charleville got one goal. They had an outstanding full-forward line, we knew that coming in, but Anthony made some unbelievable point black saves and only for that we were gone.”
McLoughlin and Nash were RTÉ Man of the Match and GAA Player of the Week after their respective efforts in Croke Park six days previous and on Saturday evening they drew a large crowd to Milford for a cracking encounter.
Charleville dominated in the final-third at either end, however the middle of the field belonged to Kanturk and John Healy’s pair of flicked points helped them to a 0-12 to 0-9 interval lead.
Indeed Kanturk, helped by needless Charleville fouling, never trailed until five minutes from time, by which juncture Mervyn Gammell was in full flight for the border town.
He led the way as Charleville reeled off five points in-a-row to give them a lead of two, with less than three minutes on the watch.
Alas, a lack of composure cost Charleville as they closed with four wides. Meanwhile, Martin O’Riordan stopped the rot for Kanturk before Ian Walsh had a solitary goal chance deflected over to tie the game on the hour. Then Aidan Walsh picked out the run of McLoughlin who converted the added-time winner.
“We’re just delighted to be moving on and this is just reward for the fellows who’ve been working hard with the club all year,” said the matchwinner. “It could’ve gone either way and Charleville are an outstanding team, so that game will stand to us going forward.”
Charleville can consider themselves unlucky to be eliminated so early as Crowley was left to wrestle with what could have been. “We just didn’t close it out. I suppose we thought we had it won. We thought we were the better side and we probably were; we just didn’t show it on the scoreboard and that’s where it counts.”
Scorers for Kanturk: L McLoughlin (0-5, 4fs), I Walsh (0-4, 2fs), J Healy, A Walsh (1 s/l), M O’Riordan (0-2 each), D O’Connor, L O’Neill, A Nash (f), W Murphy (0-1 each).
Scorers for Charleville: M Kavanagh (4fs), M Gammell (0-5 each), J O’Brien, J Casey, A Cagney (0-2 each), A O’Connor, D Murphy (0-1 each).
KANTURK: A Nash; S Walsh, D Duane, E O’Connor; L O’Neill, J McLoughlin, D O’Connor; L McLoughlin, W Murphy; A O’Keeffe, J Healy, J Browne; I Walsh, A Walsh, M O’Riordan.
Subs: L O’Keeffe for O’Keeffe (50), C Burke for I Walsh (60+2).
CHARLEVILLE: N O’Keeffe; M O’Flynn, C O’Flynn, A Dennehy; J Buckley, B Dennehy, D O’Flynn; J Casey, B McCarthy; G Kelleher, M Kavanagh, A O’Connor; M Gammell, A Cagney, J O’Brien.
Subs: D Murphy for Kelleher (25), D Casey for B Dennehy (45).
Referee: B Murphy (Carrigtwohill).