Wednesday 13 December 2017

Kanturk march on

County IFC Semi Final: Kanturk 0-18 Kildorrery 2-6

Kanturk's Aidan Walsh holds on to possession as he is tackled during last weekend's win over Kildorrery in the County Intermediate Football Championship Semi-Final. Photo: Eric Barry
Kanturk's Aidan Walsh holds on to possession as he is tackled during last weekend's win over Kildorrery in the County Intermediate Football Championship Semi-Final. Photo: Eric Barry

Diarmuid Sheehan

It's all over for Kildorrery but Kanturk march on to the IFC Final in a few weeks' time where they will face Mitchelstown for a place in the Premier grade for next season.

Spurred on by the relentless scoring power of Ian Walsh and a host of other hugely talented footballers, Kanturk looked all the way worthy of this win as they rallied back from two early shocks to take what was a fully deserved victory.

"It really is all positive in Kanturk right now," football manager Jerome Walsh said on the full time whistle in Charleville.

"I thought we played really well today and we got up a big score (eighteen points). The conditions were perfect for football, especially considering the time of year so on that front we got a chance to show what we are about. Of course it is all about winning on a day like today. Semi-finals are there to win, nobody remembers who lost in a semi-final."

Of course the 2017 season is a wonderful one for the club but the advances made this year can hardly be seen in isolation.

"We really have been working hard at our underage structures over the last 15 years or so and it appears to be now bearing fruits. It is great to be in two finals and of course it is a challenge to be battling on two fronts but this is what it is all about. This is where we want to be at this stage of the season and we will do what we can to bring home the silverware to our club."

With the PIHC final just seven days away it would have been easy for Kanturk to rest a host of dual talent but in fairness to all concerned they named and fielded a strong squad with the likes of Cork stars Lorcan McLoughlin and Aidan Walsh playing all 60 minutes. Ian Walsh was the star of the show for the victors with nine points, six from play during his impressive shift.

For Kildorrery this one as always going to be a challenge and losing wing back Finbarr Stapleton to a straight red just shy of the three quarter mark was never going to help but to be fair to all concerned this one was always likely to go the way of the boys from the banks of the Allow.

Kildorrery's corner forward O'Neill was the main danger man for his side however he was well marshalled for long periods by a classy looking full-back line.

Kanturk looked really impressive from the first whistle with a brace of frees from Ian Walsh settling any early nerves. Brother Paul Walsh along with midfielder John Browne added to the early Kildorrery pain as this one looked like it could be over before it really began.

Kildorrery shocked the Duhallow men with a brilliant goal from wing forward James O'Sullivan on what was the men in blue and white's first meaningful attack.

Kanturk put the setback to bed within 60 seconds with another Ian Walsh score however for the second time in four minutes Kildorrery ran straight through a porous Kanturk rear guard to again raise a green flag.

Shane O'Neill's superb finish put his side into what was a very surprising one point lead.

Kanturk stuck to their game plan and dominated the next 10 minutes striking over five points in a row, however, three of the last four points went to the Avondhu men which kept them in touch at the break. (0-11 to 2-3).

Kildorrery needed a strong start to the second period if they were going to catch their opponents and while they looked a little more comfortable in the middle third they failed to register early scores - in fact it was the men in green that again registered the scores, three points in 10 minutes to reopen a sizable gap.

Stapleton's dismissal soon after all but ended this one as a contest as Kanturk cruised to what was a fully deserved victory.

Next up are the hugely impressive Mitchelstown which will be a repeat of round one where the men from Duhallow took the win by 2-15 to 1-13. This I suspect will be a much closer affair with Mitchelstown with little or nothing between the sides at the end of 60 minutes.

KANTURK: J Fullerton; L O'Neill, E O'Connor, J Carver; J McLoughlin 0-1, D Browne 0-1, A Sheehy; R Walsh, J Browne 0-1; M Healy 0-1, P Walsh 0-1, L McLoughlin 0-1; I Walsh 0-9 (4f) A Walsh 0-2, K Holland 0-1 Subs: C Clernon for K Holland (47), D O'Connor for R Walsh (51)

KILDORRERY: L Kelly; S Kelly, E O'Connor, F Daly; F Stapleton, C O'Baoill, W Coffey; S Fitzgerald 0-1, A O'Brien; J O'Sullivan 1-0, P O'Brien, J McCarthy; S O'Neill 1-3 (1f), T Monaghan 0-1f, S Coughlan Subs: D McNamara for F Daly (25), R McEniry 0-1 for J McCarthy (ht), D Kent for W Coffey (ht), W Fouhy for S Coughlan (ht), S O'Sullivan for A O'Brien (51)

Referee: T Hayes (Éire Óg)


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