Second half Liam O’Keeffe goal not enough to help Kanturk live with fearsome city outfit
CO-OP SUPERSTORES COUNTY SAHC
Another bump on the road for Kanturk on incurring a defeat to an impressive Douglas in the Co-Op Superstores Cork Premier SHC (Group A) at Mourneabbey on Saturday.
Let there be no doubt surrounding the outcome, the city men followed up on their victory against reigning champions Midleton the previous week to out hurl Kanturk for the majority of the 60 minutes.
Kanturk could have no complaints about their fate, though operating with the breeze at their back in the opening half, they were forced to play second fiddle and trailed by nine points at the interval after Cork senior star Shane Kingston netted a trademark goal.
With the game doubling up as a League Division 1 semi-final, obviously, a marked difference in form came to the championship by this pairing, Douglas manager Mark O’Callaghan related how his side respected Kanturk ahead of this tussle.
“We had watched Kanturk, they had a lot to offer, a big and physical side, today wasn’t their day, last week, they faced a very good Newtown team where the weather didn’t help their cause. It’s great to progress to a league final but our focus is on the championship,” he said.
Douglas lined up without the injured Eoin Cadogan yet replacement Mark Howell blended in superbly to a solid defensive formation alongside Mark Harrington and Cillian O’Donovan.
A lively opening saw pointed frees at either end exchanged by Kingston and Brian O'Sullivan. Though Douglas regained the lead from a Cillian O'Donovan point, they were thankful to 'keeper Donal Maher on a fine save from Liam O'Keeffe.
Kanturk remained in the hunt, Colin Walsh found the range as Douglas forged ahead 0-6 to 0-3 at the close of the opening quarter. However as the game aged, the Douglas dominance became more pronounced with Mark Harrington, O’Donovan and Howell magnificent in the half back line.
A point from Eoin Dolan preceded a goal in the 20th minute, good work by Stephen Moylan and Niall Hartnett allowed Kingston to drill home.
Kanturk's cause wasn’t helped by a litany of wides as Douglas showed sharper instincts, the Kingston brothers along with Harrington splitting the uprights for Douglas to hold a 1-11 to 0-5 advantage at the interval.
Kanturk had lost the experienced Lorcán McLoughlin to injury and team captain Darren Browne carrying a heavily strapped leg failed to finish as Ryan Walsh, O'Sullivan and Paul Walsh attempted to rally their colleagues.
Again Douglas restarted with a surge, Shane Kingston fired over four points in quick succession. And though O'Sullivan answered with a Kanturk point, they faced a mountain to climb from the 38th minute, Douglas substitute Mark O'Connor delivered a blaster to the roof of the Kanturk net.
In fairness to Kanturk, they hauled themselves briefly on 42 minutes, O'Keeffe found the net before points from Browne and O'Sullivan cut the deficit 2-15 to 1-8 at the three quarter stage.
Kanturk had kept a tight rein on Alan Cadogan, the county player left the action with a hand injury yet his side delivered five consecutive points courtesy of the Kingstons and O'Donovan.
The contest fizzled out, Douglas easing to a convincing victory in an impressive team performance. And for good measure, the game doubled up as a League semi-final, Douglas can look ahead to an all city clash against Blackrock in the decider but one suspects in both camps, all eyes are on the championship.
A poor result for Kanturk who face champions Midleton in the concluding group game, not an easy task in a bid to stave off relegation fears as Midleton require a win in their bid to retain an interest in the title race.
DOUGLAS: D Maher; D Murphy, S Donegan, B O’Neill; M Howell 0-1, M Harrington 0-1, C O’Donovan 0-2; C Kingston 0-4, S Moylan; D Harte 0-1, E Dolan 0-1, S Kingston 1-12 (8f); A O’Connell, N Hartnett 0-2, A Cadogan Subs: M O’Connor 1-0 for A O’Connell (ht), D Burke for D Harte (43), C Baldwin for A Cadogan (49 inj)
KANTURK: D Duane; J McLoughlin, R Walsh, C Mullane; P Walsh, D Browne, J Browne; T Walsh, L O’Neill; Aidan Walsh, L McLoughlin, B O’Sullivan 0-9 (0-5f, 0-2 ’65); L O’Keeffe 1-0, Alan Walsh, C Walsh 0-1 Subs: I Walsh for L McLoughlin (ht), C Clernon for D Browne (39 inj)
REFEREE: Alan O’Connor (Ballygarvan)