Kanturk 3-17 Fr O'Neill's 2-13
HAT-trick hero Colin Walsh ensured Kanturk will dine at the top table of Cork hurling in 2022 after their deserved victory over a battling Fr O'Neill's in the Co-Op Superstores county senior A final at Pairc Ui Chaoimh on Sunday.
A couple in the first-half and more significantly his 44th-minute effort laid the scoring foundations for a seven-point success, which would have been more emphatic, when factoring in their tally of 20 wides, 15 in the second-half.
All their big players stood up as Aidan Walsh contributed 0-5 from play, Lorcán McLoughlin showing all his experience and class in the middle, where captain Darren Browne was another huge influence, while Liam O'Keeffe produced when it mattered.
A crucial period happened either side of the second water break as Kanturk compiled 1-2 without response after the sides were level at 2-11 apiece.
Colin completed his hat-trick with a trademark finish from a well-placed ball further out just before the sos beag and when the players returned, McLoughlin set-up substitute Daniel O'Connell for a point with O'Keeffe adding another.
Fr O'Neill's found scores harder to come by in the closing quarter as Kanturk defended stoutly before finishing the game in the style of champions with the last three scores.
At the outset Fr O'Neill's took longer to settle than their opponents, who couldn't have wished for a more encouraging start after sweeping 1-3 in front after only six minutes.
The goal came from a pass by Alan Walsh to brother Colin, who rounded a defender before blasting home from close range.
Kevin O'Sullivan settled nerves with his free-taking and Fr O'Neill's first play in the 10th minute with a fine effort on the left.
Kanturk led by 1-5 to 0-4 at the first water-break before the resumption prompted a huge improvement in Fr O'Neill's as the game jumped a couple of notches.
Aidan Walsh's pair of points still managed to keep Kanturk five in front though they needed a brilliant reflex save from keeper Grantis Bucinskas to thwart Jason Hankard.
The introduction of Cork's Ger Millerick after 23 minutes had the desired effect because one of his first involvements was a major interception at one end which led to a Rob Cullinane goal at the other.
And a couple of minutes later Fr O'Neill's pounced again for a second goal, Cillian Broderick unleashing a rocket into the top left corner of Bucinskas's net for a 2-6 to 1-7 lead after 26 minutes.
Within a minute, though, Kanturk also grabbed their second goal, Liam O'Keeffe picking out Colin Walsh to again fire home, the Duhallow club 2-7 to 2-6 in front though an O'Sullivan free levelled matters at half-time.
Despite edging two in front on the resumption, Kanturk fired seven wides in the opening nine minutes of the second-half as their opponents showed how by scoring four without response.
Captain Tomas Millerick followed Billy Dunne from play before Kanturk eventually re-discovered their range via Liam O'Keeffe and Aidan Walsh to restore parity again.
It looked all set for a barnstorming remainder, but once Kanturk got their noses in front once again there was no way they were letting their opponents back into the game again.