Nerveless Nash hero for Kanturk in epic clash

Kanturk 2-16 Fermoy 2-15

However, let’s try magnificent, sensational, dramatic and inspiring, for starters.

This was a game of the highest quality.

The sides were level on eight occasions, exchanged the lead seven times and provided one of the most dramatic finishes imaginable.

The country is getting used to seeing Anthony Nash slot over points from distance, hammer home goals from frees and stop near-certain goals, but against Fermoy, the candidate for player of the year surpassed even his usual high standards.

Nash’s free on 50 minutes (from 85 metres) drew a mixture of gasps and groans around the large crowd but it was only the prelude to his injury-time 75-metre free (into the wind) which gave victory to the Duhallow men.

“Of course there were nerves,” said Nash. “I just hate to see a game decided by someone missing a free or something like that. There is huge pressure on a player when the game is on the line, players roaring at you — everyone watching — but that’s what it is all about — you just have to block it out.”

Nash may have been eager to spread the praise around but he was also well aware of the personal benefits a result like this has for himself and his senior colleague, Lorcán McLoughlin.

“It was great for me and Lorcán to get back to our friends — that has helped us immensely. I thought all our boys were fantastic. At times it looked like this game was getting away from us but the lads dragged us back into it and we eventually got the result. It helps move the All-Ireland final a little further into the background.”

While Nash’s points will claim all the headlines there were plenty of other top-class scores to drool over. Fermoy’s brace of first-half goals from David Geary and Jack Hutchings looked to be setting them up for victory but Aidan Walsh’s brilliant goal on 24 minutes kept the game’s see-saw nature flowing and helped his side go in at the break just trailing by a point (1-9 to 2-7).

McLoughlin’s second-half goal on 40 minutes may have finished the three-pointers but there were plenty more sensational scores around, with Fermoy’s Liam Coleman and Brian O’Sullivan bagging spectacular points from distance.

Kanturk now march on to face Éire Óg in the final later this month.

Scorers for Kanturk: L McLoughlin 1-6, (six frees), A Walsh 1-3, A Nash (two frees), A O’Keeffe 0-2 each, M Healy, J Healy, C Burke 0-1 each.

Fermoy: D Geary 1-3 (one free); L Coleman 0-5 (four frees); J Hutchings 1-1; B O’Sullivan 0-3, M Brennan, T Clancy, P Shanahan 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 Walsh, J Healy, J Brown, A O’Keeffe, M Healy, M O’Riordan. Subs: D Brown for W Murphy (half time), C Burke for M O’Riordan (48), D Kenneally for A O’Keeffe (55).

FERMOY: C Quinn; A Bagary, J Daly, J O’Sullivan; R O’Callaghan, D O’Carroll, M Brennan; B O’Sullivan, K Morrisson; J Hutchings, T Clancy, L Coleman; D Geary, P Shanahan, M Flynn. Subs: A O’Connor for M Flynn (38).

Referee: D O’Leary (Watergrasshill).

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