Kanturk secured their place in round 3 of the Cork Premier IHC with an excellent victory over Charleville in Kilbrin yesterday evening.
Ultimately, it was Lorcán McLoughlin’s long range goal in the 21st minute that was the difference between the sides. Donnacha Kenneally added his fourth point straight after to give Kanturk the lead and try as they might, Charleville were unable to get back to parity.
Kanturk were quick to settle with Kenneally and Liam O’Keeffe slotting over two points each as they raced into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead after six minutes, Darragh Fitzgibbon with Charleville’s opener.
Indeed Fitzgibbon was central to Charleville finding a foothold in the game as they outscored their opponents by 0-9 to 0-3 over the next fifteen minutes. He had two of those scores and he was ably assisted by the unerring free-taking of Mark Kavanagh and Cian Collins while Andrew Cagney and Jack Doyle found their range from play.
Kenneally, O’Keeffe and Lorcán O’Neil kept things ticking over for Kanturk as they trailed by 0-10 to 0-7 after twenty minutes.
The Duhallow men then began to profit from the switch of Lorcán McLoughlin to midfield while Darren Browne went to centre-back to counter Darragh Fitzgibbon’s growing influence. Charleville were then rocked by McLoughlin’s goal from a speculative long-range effort that squirmed home in the greasy conditions.
O’Keeffe and Kavanagh traded frees before Jack Browne landed two inspirational scores for the Duhallow men. Kavanagh and James Kennedy responded in kind for Charleville and they game was finely poised at the interval, Kanturk leading by 1-12 to 0-13.
Kavanagh and McLoughlin traded frees after half time before a frantic, six minute period of hurling ended with Jack Barry bringing Charleville to within one point.
It was tit for tat after that. McLoughlin had two points for Kanturk, Jack Browne landed his third while Liam O’Keeffe continued to be faultless from placed balls. For Charleville Mark Kavanagh was also majestic from frees while Darragh Fitzgibbon pointed for the fourth time to leave two between them again, 1-17 to 0-18, as the tie moved towards its endgame.
The Charleville crowd sensed they needed a goal and when Andrew Cagney finally got the chance in the 52nd minute he was denied by a stunning save from Anthony Nash and from the clearance Ian Walsh stretched the lead to three points.
O’Keefe then made it four with his seventh free and while Darragh Fitzgibbon had three more points to keep Charleville in range, Darren Browne (who had a great battle with Fitzgibbon) and Walsh were able keep the Kanturk scoreboard ticking over. Fittingly, Nash had the final word as he landed a monstrous free to leave four between them at the final whistle, 1-22 to 0-21.
Considering both teams hadn’t played since April 30, it was an excellent game and Kanturk’s Donagh Duane was happy with his side’s hunger in the aftermath: “In fairness to the players they knuckled down all during the summer. They kept their focus and I think there was a good hunger amongst them today against a very good outfit. We haven’t seen the last of Charleville, you can be sure of that.”
Indeed we haven’t, and considering the strange machinations of this championship, Kanturk could be seeing them again in the next round should they overcome the formidable challenge of Courcey Rovers.
Kanturk: L O’Keeffe 0-7 (frees), L McLoughlin 1-3 (0-2 frees), D Kenneally 0-4, J Browne 0-3, I Walsh 0-2, D Browne, L O’Neil and A Nash (free) 0-1 each.
M Kavanagh 0-9 (7 frees, I ’65), D Fitzgibbon 0-7 (2 frees), C Collins (free), J Doyle, J Barry, J Kennedy and A Cagney 0-1 each.
A Nash; P Walsh, J McLoughlin, E O’Connor; A Sheehy, L McLoughlin, L O’Neil; D Browne, R Walsh; J Browne, I Walsh, D Kenneally; A O’Keefe, M Healy, L O’Keeffe.
M O’Riordan for A O’Keeffe (49 mins).
C Collins; D Butler, J Meade, M O’Flynn; F Cagney, A Dennehy, J Buckley; J Doyle, J Callaghan; J Barry, D Fitzgibbon, J Kennedy; M Kavanagh, B Dennehy, A Cagney.
T Hawe for Kennedy (44 mins), D Casey for Kavanagh (53 mins), S Gleeson for A Cagney (59 mins).
D Kirwan (Éire Óg).