A NEW name will go into the hat in the draw for next season’s Cork County SHC when Kanturk will become the first ever club from Duhallow to compete at that level.
Four years on from winning the lower tier of the IHC, they took their place among the elite of Cork club hurling last Saturday night after defeating Mallow in the higher grade final.
It is quite a remarkable achievement in a competition that is viewed as being one of the hardest to win and at the outset, they certainly would not have been one of the more fancied sides.
But with the considerable assistance of Cork stars, Anthony Nash, Lorcán McLoughlin and former star, Aidan Walsh they have justifiably risen to the top of the tree with McLoughlin and Walsh securing 11 points between them.
Nash was his ultra-consistent self between the posts on a night when a small club in the North West of Cork came to the forefront.
They will be a welcome addition to the Cork SHC.
In that Cork SHC, Blackrock are back in the final for the first time in 14 years after ousting city rivals Na Piarsaigh in the semi-final at Pairc Ui Chaoimh.
In the end of a compelling contest, they had the bare minimum to spare with Cork panellist Michael O’Halloran contributing eight points in their 0-21 to 2-14 victory.
The Church Road team exhibited a considerable work-ethic in their victory, one that their team boss Fergal Ryan was delighted with.
“If this was a year or two ago this team might not have had the character to grind out this win.
“The lads, to their credit, came through and we could not be more pleased with them.’’ The Rockies must wait another week, however, to discover their final opponents after Imokilly and Sars failed to find a resolution to their semi-final.
At various stages, Imokilly held decent leads but could not push on and in the end they were quite fortunate to secure the draw from a last-gasp Paudie O’Sullivan point.
Their best player was Aghada’s Cian Fleming who posted 1-5 from play after playing a key role 24 hours earlier in his club’s progression to the Cork County IHC final against Mayfield.
In that final, they will take on Éire Óg who defeated near neighbours Ballincollig with Kevin Hallissey notching nine points for the Ovens team.