PIFC: Colin Walsh helps Kanturk beat Naomh Abán to grab semi-final berth 

Both clubs were already through to the knockout stages but Kanturk secured a place in the last four as a top seed along with Cill na Martra
PIFC: Colin Walsh helps Kanturk beat Naomh Abán to grab semi-final berth 

Aidan Walsh, Kanturk, races forward against St Nicks in the first round of PIFC group games. Picture: Larry Cummins.

Kanturk 2-9 Naomh Abán 2-5 

KANTURK look the side to beat in the PIFC again after seeing off Naomh Abán in Mallow, grabbing a semi-final spot as one of the top seeds.

The Duhallow side had to battle all the way against the boys in blue but were worthy winners of a game that was contested by the top two in group A. 

Naomh Abán were first on the scoreboard thanks to a point from David Ó Ceallaigh but it was Kanturk looked more dangerous in the opening exchanges.

A brace of wides and a great stop from Naomh Abán keeper Finlay Walker kept the men in green at bay till the 10th minute – a superb score from Ian Walsh settling the Kanturk nerves.

In windy conditions, the game opened up and another brilliant save from Walker kept it tight, that was until Ian Walsh hit the target again on the quarter-hour mark.

A minute later Naomh Abán were in front thanks to a rocket to the net from Darragh Ó Laoire on the stroke of the first water break.

The men in blue began the second quarter with another David Ó Ceallaigh’s point but a pair of goals – first a penalty from Ian Walsh then a well-worked effort by Colin Wash, had Kanturk three up: 2-4 to 1-4.

A point for each side settled the sides early in the second half before a mistake by Kanturk keeper Jordan Fullerton let Ó Laoire in for the easiest of majors.

Kanturk had to wait till just before the second water break to score again but still led by the minimum (2-6 to 2-5) for the final managerial intervention.

Four easy misses with the wind to their backs were poor from a Kanturk point of view but an Aidan Walsh 45 and a wonderful point from Colin Walsh had Kanturk three in front and on their way to the last four.

Scorers for Kanturk: I Walsh 1-5 (1-0 pen, 0-1 f); C Walsh 1-3; Aidan Walsh 0-1 45.

Naomh Abán: Darragh Ó Laoire 2-0; David Ó Ceallaigh 0-2; Dermot Ó Ceallaigh (0-1 f) 0-2 each; C Ó Criodáin 0-1.

KANTURK: J Fullerton; J McLoughlin; D Browne, L Cashman; L O’Neill, J Browne, L McLoughlin; P Walsh, Aidan Walsh; L O’Keeffe, R Walsh, Alan Walsh; I Walsh, C Walsh, M Healy. 

Subs: B O’Sullivan for L McLoughlin, G Bucinkas for R Walsh (both 53).

NAOMH ABÁN: F Walker; T Ó Cathán, T O’hAilliosa, A Ó Catháin; E Ó Criodáin, R de hide, C de Róiste; C Ó Criodáin, D Ó Lóonsigh; D Ó Ceallaigh, P Ó Liathain, M Ó Liathain; D Ó Ceallaigh, D O Laoire, J Mac Bhrde.

Subs: S O’Mathuna for C de Roiste (28, inj), N O’Ceallaigh for C de Roiste (48, inj), F Ó Loinsigh for P Ó Liathain (50).

Referee: C Walsh (Nemo Rangers)

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