SATURDAY night is one that anyone involved with Kanturk GAA Club will never forget.
Their win over Mallow in the PIHC final at Páirc Uí Rinn saw them become the first club hurling side to enter the senior ranks and get the opportunity, in the words of Anthony Nash, to welcome the likes of Glen Rovers, Erins Own and lots more to Kanturk in the league.
As a game, it was one that nerves played its part with both sides hitting far more wides than they normally would, 18 for Kanturk and 17 for Mallow, but that doesn’t matter now as in finals the only stat that really counts is the final score. In this case, it read Kanturk 0-17 to Mallow’s 1-12, and the winners even had the luxury of missing a penalty late on.
At that point the sides were level, but injury-time points from Lorcan McLaughlin and Ryan Walsh secured the title for them.
Afterwards, one of the stars of their win, Aidan Walsh, was almost lost for words as he tried to describe what this meant to the side and all involved with the club.
“It’s almost impossible to say what this means to all of us and the club. When I started out playing, along with others like Lorcán, we were no more than an average intermediate team.
“At that time, to be honest, we never thought we would get up to senior and it’s just unreal to have achieved this. There has been such an effort put in by everybody this year.
“Last year we were really disappointed when we lost our first two championship games and were knocked out so early and we knew we were better than that.
“You saw that there, especially when Mallow got the goal and it looked like it was gone from us, but we didn’t panic, we didn’t die and just went back at it again.
“We know we hit a lot of wides in the second-half, our stats man told me 10, and maybe another team would have fallen away, but this is just a great group of lads and they kept going and going and thankfully we came out on the right side of the result.
“I am just delighted we have been able to do something that has never been done before and now to be playing senior hurling is just unbelievable,” concluded Aidan.
His thoughts were echoed by their keeper, Anthony Nash, who made three great saves during the game.
“It was a very tight final and both teams were nervous, but it was just unbelievable to come out on top. But the lads have shown serious character all season and again tonight.
“To know we will be playing senior hurling next season as a club is just unreal and getting the chance to welcome the likes of the Glen, Erins Own and all the top side to Kanturk for league games is just unbelievable,” concluded Anthony.