A CHANGE at the helm in Kanturk hurling sees experienced Frank Flannery succeed Ronan Curran as coach.
After just a single season stint, Curran has returned to his native St Finbarr's in a bid to revive their flagging fortunes after a below-par 2020.
Flannery is no stranger to delivering results, masterminding Wexford side Oulart-the-Ballagh's Leinster success. The Carrigtwohill native also directed Milford camogie to county, Munster and All-Ireland club titles and in 2013 he coached Ardfert to Kerry glory.
Subsequent success followed with Ardmore (Waterford), Russell Rovers and Ballysaggart (Waterford) while in football, he was part of a Duhallow management to contest the 2018 and '19 county football finals.
Likewise, Flannery has significant intercounty experience, having coached the Cork minor hurlers in 2012 and '13, as part of Derek McGrath’s backroom in Waterford for a season and with the Cork seniors in 2016.
Highly-regarded, Flannery’s passion and enthusiasm saw the Kanturk-based hurling advocate involved with Westmeath last year.
Duane steered Kanturk to All-Ireland intermediate glory three years ago.
The club were on a roll in 2017 and into 2018, collecting county, Munster and All-Ireland accolades, beating Kilkenny outfit Ballyraggett in a classic showdown at Croke Park. In terms of meticulous planning and team preparation under Duane, Kanturk had raised their profile to a new level.
From the past season, Kanturk were riding high in the group stages of the SAHC and an unbeaten run earned victories over Cloyne, Newcestown and Killeagh. They then got past Bandon to set up an appealing semi-final showdown against Charleville.
There was no shortage of drama and controversy as Lorcán McLoughlin picked up a red card before half time yet Charleville were put to the pin of their collar by a 14-man Kanturk. When it mattered, Charleville grabbed two late goals to decide the outcome and take a key stepping stone towards ultimate glory.
This season, Kanturk will be without a prominent figure, Anthony Nash announcing his retirement from inter-county and then transferring club allegiances to South Liberties in Limerick to link up with close family contacts.
However, Kanturk are boosted by a flow of players progressing from underage ranks. Tommy Walsh, a younger brother of Aidan, and Colin Walsh were Cork minors in 2019 and the club contested the Premier Minor 2 final, losing narrowly to a Donal Óg coached St Colman's.
Their minor footballers have a delayed P2 final to play against Castlehaven when restrictions are lifted, while their senior footballers are waiting to contest the 2020 PIFC decider against Knocknagree.