KANTURK and Mallow will meet in a unique Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship final after this weekend's semi-final wins over Ballinhassig and Cloyne respectively.
Kanturk might not have a rich tradition at the forefront of hurling, but led by Cork stars Anthony Nash and Lorcán McLoughlin they're now an hour away from the senior grade. McLoughlin fired 1-3 in the victory over Ballinhassig, who had Cork back-up keeper Patrick Collins between the posts, with Cork U21 Darren Browne at centre-back and Aidan Walsh at wing-forward.
Richard Lombard struck a goal for Hassig, while Fintan O'Leary shot 0-3 from play, but it finished 2-14 to 1-14 to Kanturk.
In the other clash at rain-soaked Páirc Uí Rinn, another Cork player, Cormac Murphy was in outstanding form for Mallow against Cloyne. He landed 0-3 but Aaron Sheehan, who scored 1-5 from play, was their leading light in attack.
After losing semi-finals narrowly in 2015 and 2016, the Avondhu outfit were 1-16 to 1-12 victors on this occasion, with Paudie O'Sullivan top-scoring for the beaten Imokilly side. Mallow last played in the final back in 2001, before a premier tier of intermediate was established, and won the title most recently way back in 1972.
They've been impressive throughout the championship to date, showing a keen nose for goal and have a serious physicality and height in all sectors of the pitch. Their footballers are also still in the mix for county glory and play Bandon at the end of September in the PIFC semi-final.
Meanwhile, Cloyne goalkeeper Donal Óg Cusack was hospitalised after the game after receiving a head injury but he was in fine fettle yesterday morning.