PIFC: Powerful early surge key to Kanturk warding off Rockchapel rally

Favourites went into a 17-point lead but were rocked by a staggering four goals from Mickey McAuliffe
PIFC: Powerful early surge key to Kanturk warding off Rockchapel rally

Tommy Walsh, Kanturk, holds off his Rockchapel opponents in the Bon Secours Premier IFC at Newmarket. Picture: John Tarrant

Kanturk 3-17 Rockchapel 4-9 

KANTURK continued on their winning ways at the expense of Rockchapel in the Bon Secours Premier IFC Group C thanks to a devastating opening 30 minutes at a sun-splashed Newmarket.

In a game of fluctuating fortunes, a highly-impressive Kanturk had the style and polish to build up a commanding 17-point lead early in the second half. 

However all credit to Rockchapel for cutting a massive deficit to only four points entering the latter stages, the big-hearted comeback led by centre-forward Mickey McAuliffe who delivered a shooting exhibition by netting four goals during the closing 20 minutes.

Mickey McAuliffe led a Rockchapel revival to shoot four second-half goals against Kanturk in the Bon Secours Premier IFC at Newmarket. Picture: John Tarrant
Mickey McAuliffe led a Rockchapel revival to shoot four second-half goals against Kanturk in the Bon Secours Premier IFC at Newmarket. Picture: John Tarrant

As Kanturk hung on for dear life, they managed to find the answers when their backs were to the wall yet they held out in a nervy finish for a win they fully deserved.

Both sides had entered the contest in a positive mode, Kanturk were excellent in the manner in seeing off Naomh Abán, the seven man Walsh contingent were outstanding on a remarkable 4-13 tally registered. However on this occasion, the loss of Lorcan O’Neill and Darren Browne to injuries denied Kanturk access to key figures in defence.

For their part, Rockchapel produced a similar comeback against Macroom, their character surfaced on a timely rally that earned a single-point triumph. 

From the outset to the local derby meeting, Rockchapel hit the ground running only to shoot four wides as a far more economical Kanturk delivered lead points to Alan and Ian Walsh. A sharper Kanturk drew a positive response from the effective play of John McLoughlin, Chris Mullane, Brian O’Sullivan and Tommy Walsh in defence with Lorcán McLoughlin and Colin Walsh sparkling in attack.

Rockchapel required a score but waited until the 13th minute from a Jimmy McAuliffe point to trim the arrears, 0-4 to 0-1. 

However, Kanturk demonstrated a sense of purpose highlighted in the 20th minute. Colin Walsh fetched brilliantly and a smart offload to his cousin Aidan saw the latter blast to the Rock net.

Indeed Kanturk proceeded to turn the screw, a second goal added on 23 minutes, the ball misjudged the Rockchapel defence and Alan Walsh duly finished. Though the sides traded pointed frees, Kanturk again exploited the opposing defence, a free from Ian Walsh saw Grantas Bucinskas collect and clinically finish from close range.

Turning over holding a 2-8 to 0-3 grip, there was no let-up in Kanturk’s play, three points added by Ian and Ryan Walsh. Trailing by a massive 17, Rockchapel re-invented themselves as dogged battlers that began in earnest from two quick goals from McAuliffe.

That allowed Rockchapel to find new reserves of energy in the searing heat, driven on by substitute Conor Kepple and Seamus Hickey in the centre. 

Points from James Forrest and Jack Curtin added further encouragement and game on from the 52nd minute, McAuliffe dispatched a cracker of goal; his hat-trick helped cut the arrears, 3-12 to 3-6.

However Kanturk appeared to weather the storm, a series of productive raids yielded points to McLoughlin, Colin Walsh and substitute Cian Clernon. 

Back came Rockchapel, a devastating McAulliffe again showed the Midas touch to fire home his fourth goal and follow-up points from Curtin had the margin down to four. 

However, Kanturk held enough in reserve and Ian Walsh eased their nerves with a late point to copperfasten a worthy win.

With two wins under their belt, Kanturk are in pole position to reach the knockout phase as they look ahead to a meeting against Macroom in their concluding game in the group.

Rockchapel will be keen on a productive return against winless Naomh Abán to boost their cause.

Scorers for Kanturk: I Walsh 0-6 (0-5 f), C Walsh 0-4, Aidan Walsh, Alan Walsh 1-1 each, G Bucinskas 1-0, L McLoughlin 0-2, T Walsh, R Walsh, C Clernon 0-1 each.

Rockchapel: M McAuliffe 4-0, J Curtin 0-5 (0-4 f), S Hickey, J O’Callaghan, J McAuliffe, J Forrest 0-1 each.

KANTURK: J Fullerton; J McLoughlin, J Browne, C Mullane; B O’Sullivan, T Walsh, M Healy; P Walsh, Aidan Walsh; G Bucinskas, L McLoughlin, R Walsh; Alan Walsh, C Walsh, I Walsh. 

Sub: C Clernon for G Bucinskas (50).

ROCKCHAPEL: L Collins; B Carroll, E O’Callaghan, S Curtin; P Curtin, M O’Keeffe, K Collins; S Hickey, D O’Callaghan; W Murphy, M McAuliffe, J O’Callaghan; J Forrest, J Curtin, J McAuliffe.

Subs: C Kepple for W Murphy (h-t), C Curtin for J O’Callaghan (51), N Linehan for B Carroll (59).

Referee: David Daly (Brian Dillons).

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