THE road opens up for Kanturk and Millstreet in search of a place in the Duhallow Under-21 'A' Football Championship final on a meeting in the penultimate hurdle in Banteer on Saturday.
With Blackwater Gaels firmly berthed in the decider, a close second semi final on the cards.
Defending holders Millstreet endured two encounters against Croke Rovers. First time out, Millstreet recovered from a sluggish spell in the opening half and two goals either side of the interval proved crucial to the outcome.
Rovers regrouped and availed of the back door to advance into a quarter final. Here, Millstreet were extremely fortunate to record a single point win.
Ultimately, Millstreet's greater experience and guile secured a narrow win, shrugging off a determined Croke Rovers challenge that failed to convert scoring opportunities. The endeavour of John Buckley, Donal Lenihan, Brian G Murphy, Michael Vaughan, Michael Murphy and Darren Sheehan were key to Millstreet's game.
Kanturk faced testing assignments too and progressed with flying colours. A storming spell in extra time allowed Kanturk overcome a battling Kiskeam in a marvellous opening round tie And a late scoring blitz pushed Kanturk past a battling Robert Emmets in another gripping quarter final contest.
Pulling away impressively during the closing 10 minutes, Kanturk shot 1-4 to put the issue in safe keeping where the input of Denis O'connor, Lorcan O'neill, John Browne. Ian Walsh and Mark Healy were central to the winners game.
Both sides hold exciting pedigree and if the pair play up to potential , it will make for an outstanding tussle between two matched teams. Todate Kanturk appear the more consistent of the duo on mounting strong finishes in their two games and Millstreet will need to at their best in a bid to return to another decider.
Fare in the Ducon Cup offers the clash of Cullen and Newmarket on Thursday evening while on Saturday, Knocknagree cross swords Lyre in Banteer and Castlemagner entertain Rockchapel on Sunday.
All the aforementioned sides have points dropped and with the series approaching half way to the preliminary phase, expect teams to put in a concerted effort in search of places in the knockout phase.