Kanturk legend Lorcán McLoughlin rolled back the clock with a sublime display

Veteran midfielder edged out Aidan Walsh and hat-trick hero Colin Walsh for MVP in the SAHC final
Kanturk legend Lorcán McLoughlin rolled back the clock with a sublime display

Kanturk's Lorcán McLoughlin with his Man of the Match award defeating Fr O'Neill's in the Co-op Superstores SAHC final at Pairc Ui Chaoimh.  Picture: Eddie O'Hare

AND the double is very much on as they Kanturk won the Co-op Superstores SAHC at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

And it was a case of rolling back the years for two stalwarts of the Kanturk side as Lorcán McLoughlin and Aidan Walsh led by example.

They had plenty of others who stepped up to the mark as well with Colin Walsh nabbing three goals, in a display that most days would win you the Man of the Match award.

But on this occasion, even that display was surpassed by McLoughlin and Aidan who showed just how important they are to this side.

Both will also be crucial players in their Bon Secours PIFC final against Newmarket in a few weeks.

It was a toss of the coin between the two for the Man of the Match award with McLoughlin getting the nod from the judges.

Even though he was delighted with the win in typical Lorcan form he was fast to acknowledge their opponents and in particular the loss that Declan Dalton was to them.

“Any day you win a county is a good day's work but it was a tough battle out there,” said Lorcán, “we knew what to expect coming in and with football, last week and a bit of nerves coming in you don't know what can happen on the day.

“Declan Dalton was a big loss to them, let's not make any bones about that. But I thought we performed well in patches, they got a run on us in the first half and we looked as if we were in a spot of bother.

Kanturk's three-goal hero Colin Walsh. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Kanturk's three-goal hero Colin Walsh. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

“They got two top-class goals and rattled us a bit, but the lads regrouped again and it has been the same all year. Even at my age, you know you're going into the well again, but thank god we grounded it out.

“There is a lot of experience in the team as well helped and add in a couple of young fellas there to that. 

Colin was exceptional again in getting the goals. Just to have that outlet ball is great and to be able to go direct takes so much pressure off us.

“Previously we were trying to work the ball through the lines, but now we have an out and out long option so that's great and take the pressure off old fellas like me,” he joked.

But they needed the old fellas as they were the ones who kept things calm when Fr O'Neill's looked like getting a run on them.

Lorcán's midfield partner, Alan Sheehy got through a massive amount of work and was the one winning a lot of the breaking ball around the middle of the park.

Behind those two their half-back line was on top all through, with captain Darren Browne rock solid at centre-back.

Early on Kanturk got a great start and it looked it was going to be one-way traffic but to their credit, Fr O'Neill's rallied and the introduction of Ger Millerick 24 minutes in saw an instant reaction from his side.

At that point, Kanturk were 1-7 to 0-5 in front and looked like they were going to add another goal with Alan Walsh in the clear. But Ger Millerick, with his first touch, managed to flick the ball away to a massive cheer from their supporters.

Kanturk's Alan Walsh urging on his side in the final moments. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Kanturk's Alan Walsh urging on his side in the final moments. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

If that cheer was loud then as they broke up the pitch, ending up with Rob Cullinane finding the back of the net it got even louder.

By half-time, it was no great surprise to see the sides level. The tide turned in Kanturk's favour just before the second-half water break when Colin Walsh struck for their third goal.

From here it was going to be tough for O'Neill's to recover as Kanturk drove on to secure the first part of a potential double.

No doubt they will celebrate this, but come a few nights time they will be back training and preparing for the football final as this set of players will be determined to do the double and finish their county season on a high.

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