Kanturk 2-19 Midleton 3-15
A STUNNING conclusion to this Co-Op Superstores Premier SHC game at Fermoy saw newly-promoted Kanturk knock out last year's champions.
Leading by six points at half-time, the underdogs fell behind coming down the stretch but settled and a Brian O'Sullivan free gave them the win.
The result was enough to drag Kanturk out of the relegation play-off, which will now feature Na Piarsaigh and Charleville, while the Magpies missed out on the knockout stages after Newtownshandrum defeated Douglas, who go through regardless.
Exchanges were close all through. Alan Walsh opened the scoring for Kanturk with Cormac Beausang levelling.
Midleton hit two rapid points while Brian O'Sullivan and Conor Lehane were very accurate from frees. The sides were level 0-4 and 0-5 each after 10 minutes.
Sean O'Leary-Hayes and Colin Walsh had them deadlocked at 0-6 each before O'Sullivan edged Kanturk in front from a free. By the 20th minute, Midleton had six wides to Kanturk's two as Ryan Walsh landed two long-range points.
Beausang was denied by a splendid save by Grantis Bucinskas and at the other end dual Cork underage star Colin Walsh goaled on 25 minutes: 1-9 to 0-6.
Lehane replied with two frees before an O'Sullivan free and a Ryan Walsh point, from an O'Sullivan assist, left it 1-11 to 0-8 at half time.
Liam O'Keeffe pointed on the restart before Midleton revived their fortunes through a goal from Pa White, after good play by Paul Haughney and Tommy O'Connell.
O'Sullivan converted a 65 and then a long delivery by Grantis Bucinskas found Colin Walsh, fetched the sliotar brilliantly and pointed to steady the ship.
Midleton replied with what looked like a vital Ross O'Regan goal following a four-man attack and Lehane added another couple of scores.
Former Cork senior Lorcán McLoughlan pushed Kanturk ahead again before neat work from McLoughlan and Liam O'Keeffe led to an Ian Walsh score.
White replied and Lehane levelled from a free in the 50th minute before Cork U20 Sam Quirke raised a third green flag for the Imokilly side.
When Haughney clipped a point to make it 3-14 to 1-16 it looked like the tide had turned.
Kanturk refused to yield. Alan Walsh and O'Sullivan both split the posts before Lehane nailed another free.
Still, they needed a spark. A great switch by Ian Walsh to Liam O'Keeffe then saw Alan Walsh blast in another goal and tie the game: 3-15 to 2-18.
Both sides desperately hunted a winner and then Midleton lost keeper Brion Saunderson to a red card in injury time.
With the game almost over, O'Sullivan struck the winning point from a free.
Kanturk avoided the relegation final by this victory. Both Douglas and Newtownshandrum advanced to the knockout stages.
B O'Sullivan 0-8 (0-6 f, 0-2 65) Alan Walsh 1-3, C Walsh 1-2, R Walsh 0-3, L O'Keeffe, L McLoughlin, I Walsh 0-1 each.
C Lehane 0-10 (0-8 f), R O Regan, P White 1-1 each, S Quirke 1-0, P Haughney 0-2, S O'Leary-Hayes, C Beausang 0-1 each.
G Bucinskas; J McLoughlin, J Browne, P Walsh; L O'Neill, R Walsh, D Browne; L McLoughlin, B O'Sullivan; I Walsh, Aidan Walsh, L O'Keeffe; Alan Walsh, C Walsh, J Fitzpatrick.
C Clernon for J Fitzpatrick, C Mullane for J Browne.
B Saunderson; E Moloney, L Dineen, S Smyth; A Mulcahy, T O'Connell, S O'Leary-Hayes; P Haughney, S Quirke; C Lehane, R O'Regan, S O'Sullivan, L O'Farrell, C Beausang, P White.
C Smyth for A Moloney, M Finn for P White (inj) A Power for P Haughney.
Dave Daly (Brian Dillon's).