Kanturk dual stars in the hunt for three county titles with Duhallow duty

Kanturk dual stars in the hunt for three county titles with Duhallow duty

Valley Rovers' Fiachra Lynch Duhallow's John Mcloughlin tussle for the ball during the Bon Secours Cork Premier SFC at Páirc Uí Rinn. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

IT would have come as no surprise to Kanturk football manager Tim Healy that his captain John McLoughlin was the lone player from the club in the Duhallow team which started against Valley Rovers on Sunday evening.

Just over 24 hours earlier McLoughlin helped his side reach the last four of the Bon Secours county premier intermediate championship following the 0-17 to 0-8 win over Aghada.

The skipper carried a slight limp as he made way in added-on time, but Healy wasn’t the least bit concerned.

“You couldn’t injure him,” he joked.

“When I ring up the phsyio to check the injuries I know John won’t be affected. He’s an incredible man, captain of the team and managed to score two points from corner-back as well.

“And he’ll be out with the hurlers this week, too, waiting for a crack off Charleville.”

Cork midfielder Paul Walsh, scorer of 0-3 against Aghada, joined Duhallow’s impressive fight-back off the bench.

It’s a season that’s shaping like the 2017 edition when Kanturk were crowned premier intermediate hurling and intermediate football champions.

Now it’s premier intermediate football and senior A hurling against leading contenders Cill na Martra and Charleville.

“We’ve only three of the football who don’t hurl and it was the same in 2017,” Healy added.

“Yet, they don’t give out about it because it’s not an excuse for not winning games more about getting it right on the day.

“They’re good footballers. My job is to make sure they get tuned in for football. It’s the same for Ronan (Curran) in the hurling.

“All these fellows want to do is play ball. Even on the Tuesday nights they don’t want to be doing drills.

“All they want is to express themselves out on the pitch and what better way to do that when the sun is shining down.”

Kanturk were all the way winners, scoring the opening four points and never looked threatened.

“We got a great start which helped us settle straight away. Cian Clernon kicked three of those.

“We only played one league game, Kiskeam and Fermoy in challenge matches, and Cian played well.

“He didn’t start the last day because his form had dipped, but Cian was in this time and showed what he can do.”

They led by 0-8 to 0-4 at the interval, closing out the first-half with points from a Paul Walsh free and McLoughlin’s second score.

Kanturk added three more on the resumption though they needed Liam Cashman’s intervention in the opening play to deny Aghada a much-needed goal.

Kanturk are not afraid to give youth a chance either after adding young Alan Walsh and Brian O’Sullivan to the action during the second-half.

“They played in the minor hurling final on Thursday and we felt it won’t be fair to start them, 36 hours later.

“Ryan Walsh was another who came on. He has been dogged with injuries and we’re trying to ease him back into it.

“Overall, you’d have to be happy with the performance and the result.

“It seems like an age ago that I met John Tarrant back in Macroom after the first game.

“The schedule didn’t help us with hurling one week and then the football the next, but it’s all down to the guys.

“They come in for training on the Tuesday night after a hurling match and immediately knuckle down to preparing for football.

“And as you saw out there they give a performance and this week it will be all about hurling and Charleville before it’s back to football again.”

It’s all systems go for Kanturk whose experience of three years ago, when dabbling both in close proximity, is sure to be a help.

And when you factor in Duhallow’s progress to the last four in senior football it’s sure to be a hectic schedule for McLoughlin in particularly.

Yet, neither he nor Kanurk would want it any other way.

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