MUNSTER CLUB IFC SEMI-FINAL
Rathmore found a ruthless edge to claim a resounding victory over Kanturk in what fizzled out in a one-sided Munster Club IFC semi final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday.
From a neutral perspective, the eagerly awaited showdown between East Kerry and Duhallow neighbours failed to live up to expectations, as once Rathmore stamped their authority on the proceedings from the off, there wasn’t the slightest of doubt about the outcome.
Even allowing for a disappointing and below average performance by Kanturk, they operated second best to a Rathmore side, disciplined in defence, dominant in the centre and clinical in attack.
Despite a greasy ball, Rathmore made an early statement of intent, Chrissy Spears converted a pair of frees for lead points. Rathmore’s superior movement was confirmed in the 5th min, great work by Brendan O’Keeffe fed James Darmody to place John Moynihan to skillfully evade defenders and find the roof of the Kanturk net.
Kanturk’s initial attack might well have yielded a goal only for Rathmore ‘keeper Kenneth O’Keeffe to deny Ian Walsh. The Cork champions did open their account from a point by Grantus Bucinskas yet Rathmore looked a side with a lot more to offer.
A highly polished outfit, Andrew Moynihan and Paul Murphy mopped up effectively in defence, Mark and Cathal Ryan made regular headway at midfield with Darmody, Spiers and Shan Ryan thriving in the quality of ball received in attack.
Though Colin Walsh managed to add a Kanturk point, simply, they failed to get a grip in the middle third and they were prone to fouling in defence as Spiers and Ryan converted Rathmore frees in a run of five consecutive points for a clear 1-10 to 0-2 advantage at the interval.
No doubt the welcome half time respite offered Kanturk a chance to plan a course of action against a tough incline. Mindful of their precarious position, Kanturk dominated briefly on the restart only to shoot three wides in quick succession and a Paul Walsh effort was blocked by the Rathmore rearguard.
For a spell, Rathmore weathered a spell of pressure, extending their grip to 16 points after Spiers added three pointed frees with Darragh Rahilly adding another white flag.
Kanturk were clearly on the back foot yet their meagre return on the scoreboard was boosted after Colin Walsh placed Businskas for a goal. That allowed the Cork champions to come more into the picture, Rathmore losing wing-back Fionn Holohan to a black card offence.
To give Kanturk their dues, they enjoyed a productive spell, grabbing a goal from Ian Walsh after efforts by Businskas and Paul Walsh were thwarted.
Bucinskas pointed and team captain Aidan Walsh did likewise from distance. Clearly, Rathmore had dropped a gear though Shane and Mark Ryan added points before Walsh and Bucinskas grabbed consolation scores for Kanturk.
Such was Rathmore’s dominance, Kanturk had no reason for argument at the full time whistle, Rathmore marching on to a Munster Final against Na Piarsaigh (Limerick) or Ballina (Tipperary), who play on Sunday.
RATHMORE: Kenneth O’Keeffe; James O’Sullivan, Andrew Moynihan, Dan Murphy; Darragh Rahilly 0-1, Paul Murphy, Fionn Holohan; Mark Ryan 0-1, Cathal Ryan; Brendan O’Keeffe, Chrissy Spiers 0-7f , Brian Friel; John Moynihan 1-1, James Darmody 0-1, Shane Ryan 0-6 (2m, 1 ‘45’, 1f). Subs: Mark Reen for C Spiers 43, Alan Dineen for F Holohan 55, Colm Kelly for J Darmody 58, Cillian O’Connor for S Ryan 59, Jimmy Mahony for C Ryan 62.
KANTURK: Ronan Cashman; John McLoughlin, John Browne, Lorcan O’Neill; Tommy Walsh, Darren Browne, Brian O’Sullivan; Paul Walsh, Aidan Walsh 0-2; Colm Walsh 0-1, Lorcán McLoughlin, James Fitzpatrick; Grantus Bucinskas 1-3 (0-1f, 0-1m), Alan Walsh, Ian Walsh 1-0. Subs: Mark Healy for J Fitzpatrick 42, Cameron Hendry for L McLoughlin 47, Cian Clernon for C Walsh 53, Chris Mullane for G Bucinskas 59, Brian Healy for B O’Sullivan 61.
Referee: D O’Mahoney (Tipperary).