St Mark’s 1-7
REIGNING champions Kanturk finished strongly to nail down a semi-final place in the Duhallow U21AHC following a rigorous test provided by St Marks at a rainlashed Meelin last evening.
When the spirited Meelin and Freeemont combination posed questions to force parity for a fifth occasion at the three quarter stage, Kanturk demonstrated, they held the answers to shoot a quick fire 1-3 tally in a five minute spell.
Driving rain conspired against style and flair yet both sides compensated with plenty of grit and determination. From a dour first half, scores were difficult to come with both attacks incurring difficulty in the conditions.
Mark’s relied largely on Aidan O’Flynn to shoot points from frees with Kanturk owing much to the accuracy of Donncha Kenneally for scores as the sides retired deadlocked at 0-3 apiece for a welcome interval break.
As the rain passed over, the standard of play rose significantly upon the resumption. St. Mark’s nudged ahead thanks to a fine Daniel Curtin point. However Kanturk catapulted themselves back into contention from the driving contributions of John Browne, Lorcan O’Neill, John Lehane and Mark Healy.
Points to Kenneally and Ian Walsh(2) pushed the holders into the driving seat. St. Marks sparked a comeback through the sprightly efforts of Brendan O’Sullivan, Daniel Jones, T J Brosnan and Jason O’Callaghan.
Points to Jones and O’Flynn ensured a stalemate, both contenders standing at 0-6 each with 50 minutes elapsed. With the game up for grabs, Kanturk pounced for a breakthrough score, Healy’s effort from out the field deceived the St. Mark’s cover to record an opportunist goal.
That green flag pushed Kanturk into overdrive on prompt points to Walsh and O’Neill to put daylight between the sides. To their credit, St. Mark’s never threw in the towel and they were rewarded for their battling efforts with Padraig Curtin flicking to the net from an O’Flynn free deep into injury time.
Kanturk reacted accordingly in the closing seconds to repel any notion of an equalising score to ensure a meeting against Croke Rovers in the penultimate hurdle.
Scorers for Kanturk: I Walsh 0-5 (0-1f), M Healy 1-1, D Kenneally 0-3, L O’Neill 0-1.
St. Mark’s: A O’Flynn 0-5f, P Curtin 1-0, D Curtin and D Jones 0-1 each.
KANTURK: D Kearney; S Walsh, J Browne, D Geaney; A O’Keeffe, L O’Neill, J Lehane; J Carver, D O’Connor; R O’Sullivan, M Healy, I Walsh; M Walsh, S McAulliffe, D Kenneally.
Sub. S Kerrigan for M Walsh.
ST. MARK’S: D O’Riordan; S Duggan, S O’Mullane, S Brosnan; C Aherne, B O’Sullivan, D Jones; T J Brosnan, J O’Callaghan; D O’Callaghan, D Curtin, M Geaney; J J Stack, A O’Flynn, P Curtin.
Referee: S Stokes((Tullylease).