IT was a proud afternoon for jubilant Kanturk manager Tom Walsh.
Apart from steering his proud club to the top tier of senior hurling next season, son Aidan played a leading role in their 3-17 to 2-13 victory over Fr O'Neill's at Páirc Uí Chaoimh yesterday.
And Tom's nephews, the other Walshs, Ryan, hat-trick hero Colin, Alan and Ian also contributed handsomely to their latest county triumph.
Duhallow is usually associated with football, but Kanturk continue to write their own history as they become the first club from the northwest barony to join the likes of city giants, the Glen, the Rockies and the Barrs in premier senior hurling next year.
“There are a lot of people up in the stand who are not involved today but who have a lot of work done for this bunch of young fellows,” he said. “Back in the late ‘90s and into the early 2000’s they did a lot of grafting. Today is the fruition of all that. This is as much for them as for the players.”
Not surprisingly, Colin's three goals came up for special mention.
“Goals wins matches. They got two but we got three great goals and we got them at the right time.
“The third goal, when the game was in the melting pot, gave us the confidence to finish out strongly.
“We felt there were opportunities inside. It was difficult to get that through to the players to get the ball in fast because normally we don’t play that kind of a game. But today that was the game and it worked brilliantly.
“It was very stressful on the sideline. The stakes were high and the match was in the balance. I am delighted for everyone involved.”
Walsh acknowledged the performances of their marquee players like his own son Aidan and Lorcán McLoughlin.
“They stood up and if you go down through any success we have had over the last 10 or 12 of years - we won several counties, we won a Munster championship and we went to Croke Park and won an All-Ireland-all our big players never left us down on any day and that is why we are proud of them.
“They gave the best of their careers to Cork and they have come back to their club, serving us well and brought on a bunch of young fellows with them.
“And there is another generation coming in today. They are some of their brothers and some of their relations.
“It is great to be involved in that and see these young fellows develop. We are in a big place next year.
"We are up senior hurling. It is going to be difficult for us but we will give it a shot,” Walsh concluded.
It's one leg of a possible county double because the footballers are also in the premier intermediate decider against neighbours Newmarket, a game that will be played the weekend after next.