independent

Sunday 31 August 2014

Brilliant McLoughlin sets his sights on premier glory

Noel Horgan

Published 07/11/2013 | 05:26

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Kanturk players, from left, Anthony Nash, Aidan Walsh, John McLoughlin and Lorcán McLoughlin celebrate with the cup after victory over Eire Og. Cork County Intermediate Club Hurling Championship Final, Éire Óg v Kanturk, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, Cork. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

HE gave an exhibition of midfield play on the day, but Lorcan McLoughlin insisted it was essentially a tremendous team display that carried Kanturk to glory.

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"I suppose things just clicked for me today, particularly in the first half, but a lot of the work was done by other players, and our forwards were really on song.

"I thought most of the lads hurled really well in the first half, and the ball was put into space for me time and time again, so all I had to do was run on to it and put it over the bar.

"I'm obviously delighted that I didn't miss too many chances, but at the end of the day, the goals were the really big scores for us," he stated.

The Cork senior star suggested that Kanturk benefited from their tough passage to the final at the expense of Charleville, Meelin and Fermoy.

"We beat Charleville by a point, it was also very close against Meelin, while we came through by a point again in the semi final against Fermoy. I think those tight games set us up for today, and we possibly wouldn't have been in the right frame of mind had our route to the final been easier.

"We might have been a little complacent, but instead we were fully focused on the task ahead, and that was the main reason why we started so well."

McLoughlin agreed it was probably Kanturk's best performance of the season, although he felt they didn't play as well as they would have liked in the second half.

"We were excellent in the first half, there is no question about that, but we took our foot off the gas a bit in the second half, and Éire Óg could have got back into it if they hadn't been so far behind at half-time.

"We didn't expect to have it so easy in the first half, although our preparations had gone very well over the past couple of weeks, and we felt we were in good shape coming up here today. We were quietly confident, but we knew Éire Óg had quality in their forward line, and that if they got a bit of momentum going early on we could be in trouble.

"So, our good start was crucial, and, while our form dipped a bit in the second half, all that matters now is that we got over the line."

Making the point that Kanturk have been operating in intermediate ranks for the past eight years, and that they struggled a lot of the time, McLoughlin suggests it might take them a while to adapt to the premier grade.

"We are under no illusions, we will be coming up against a better quality of opposition, but it was encouraging to see the young fellas stepping up to the plate today.

"It might take us two or three years to make our presence felt in premier, but we are optimistic about our prospects of making further progress, and we are certainly looking forward to the challenge."

Corkman

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