Kanturk gear up for another football final and a huge battle with Bantry

'We will take nothing from the last two finals. We have six new young players on the panel'
Kanturk gear up for another football final and a huge battle with Bantry

Cill na Martra's Antóin O'Cuana tackling Kanturk's Paul Walsh in Saturday's PIFC semi-final. Picture: Denis Boyle

KANTURK are through to another PIFC final however this time they had to work extra hard to get past a dogged and skillful Cill na Martra side that played the game with a 'die with their boots on' attitude.

The Duhallow side looked to be on the way when they lost a goal early in the second half and again when they went behind in the 59th minute however the boys in green dug deep to first secure extra time and then to grab a famous win.

Manager Padraig Kearns was thrilled with the win but not surprised by the tightness of the game.

“It was just a hard battle. Cill na Martra and Kanturk are always hard battles and this one was never going to be any different. We went down to the wire today and it nearly looked like it was going to penalties – a good traditional battle." 

The talk in many quarters heading into this game was that both sides could easily be playing a level up but Kearns was quick to point out the missing element in that theory.

"If you want to win the grade above you have to win the county. We have lost two county finals but thankfully we are back in a third one so we have another chance to get it right.

“We will take nothing from the last two finals. We have six new young players on the panel and there are plenty of other changes so for us that is all gone and we just need to get ourselves right for the next day in two weeks’ time." 

While most of the attention goes to the Walsh family the manager was not slow in pointing out Kanturk are more than one family – saving special praise for his number one.

The Walsh clan, all of them, are key to this team. They are all good enough to be on it and all have their part to play but there are plenty more players here as well that have huge roles.

"There was a young keeper there, Ronan Cashman, he is only 18 or 19 years of age, and he stood up there and landed that free to keep us in it.

"That free was huge for Ronan after the mistake he made earlier but everyone makes mistakes. If a corner-forward makes a mistake no one says anything but when it is a keeper it is different.

“That is the kind of character you need to win county titles. I’m delighted for him and all the lads there today.

“Now it is all about the final and getting ready for that. We know the work that we have to put in and that is what we will do for the next two weeks. It will be a huge battle – we know that.”

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