A pulsating Co-Op Superstores Cork SAHC semi-final at Mallow today eventually went the way of Charleville after an enthralling battle with 14-man Kanturk.
The Duhallow men were reduced to 14 men just before half-time when Lorcán McLoughlin received a straight red card for a pull on Darragh Fitzgibbon, the Charleville attacker finished with 11 points, nine of these from placed balls.
The impact of the winner’s sub bench was also notable, James O’Brien, Tim Hawe and Mark Kavanagh amassed seven points between them. Two goals from Andrew Cagney late in the hour finally killed off Kanturk’s brave challenge.
Charleville, who went straight to the last four from the group stage, didn’t show any ill effects from their long lay-off, surviving this mammoth battle.
Aidan Walsh’s 26th minute goal edged Kanturk ahead at half-time, 1-9 to 0-11.
Charleville, one of the favourites for the title, took control after the interval and stretched the lead to four points and were starting to pull away when the game took another turn.
Kanturk were awarded a penalty after Alan Walsh was brought down and when Anthony Nash buried his shot, it was game on once more, 0-19 to 2-11.
Claude Gough’s Charleville hit the next two scores – both Fitzgibbon frees – but Kanturk pointed twice from sub Ian Walsh and Paul Walsh.
The Charleville bench were making their presence felt, especially O’Brien and when he chipped in with his fourth point, the pendulum had swung back their way. Kanturk, with Ronan Curran at the helm, were not going away and fought back to reduce the arrears to the minimum.
Another sub, Tim Hawe had the sliotar in the Kanturk net but Cathal McAllister awarded a free out much to the relief of Kanturk. Nonetheless, Jack Doyle and Hawe points left them four clear.
There was still for more drama as the clock counted down. Kanturk sub Ian Walsh turned the game on its head once again, his goal making it a one-point match. Their joy was short-lived as Cagney eased the pressure for Charleville, his green flag yielded 1-25 to 3-15.
In injury time now, Charleville closed out with a second goal from Cagney to seal their passage to the final and a meeting with either Fr O’Neill’s or Newcestown in the final.
Scorers for Charleville: D Fitzgibbon (0-11, 0-9 frees), A Cagney (2-0), J Doyle and J O’Brien (0-4 each), T Hawe (0-2), M Kavanagh, G Kelleher, F Cagney, D O’Flynn and J O’Callaghan (0-1 each).
Scorers for Kanturk: I Walsh, Aidan Walsh and A Nash (1-0 pen, 0-1 free) (1-1 each), B O’Sullivan (0-4 frees), L McLoughlin (0-3, 0-2 frees, 0-1 65), R Walsh (0-2), Alan Walsh, L O’Neill, J Fitzpatrick, P Walsh and C Clernon (0-1 each).
CHARLEVILLE: C Collins; D Butler, J Meade, M O’Flynn; A Dennehy, J Buckley, F Cagney; D O’Flynn, J O’Callaghan; D Fitzgibbon, G Kelleher, J Doyle; D Casey, C Buckley, A Cagney.
Subs: J O’Brien for C Buckley (25), J O’Brien for D Butler (half-time), M Kavanagh for D O’Flynn (50), T Hawe for J Doyle (55).
KANTURK: A Nash; J McLoughlin, L Cashman, A Sheehy; J Browne, D Browne, P Walsh; L McLoughlin, B O’Sullivan; J Fitzpatrick, R Walsh, L O’Neill; L O’Keeffe, Aidan Walsh, Alan Walsh.
Subs: I Walsh for R Walsh (35 inj), C Clernon for Aidan Walsh (53 inj).
Referee: Cathal McAllister (Aghada).