“Utter relief” was the view of Aidan Walsh after Kanturk’s extra time victory over Clare’s Kilmaley in the AIB Munster Club Intermediate Hurling Final at the Gaelic Grounds.
The Cork intermediate champions let a six-point lead midway through the second half slip and needed a stunning point from corner back Paul Walsh to bring the game to extra time.
However, Kanturk regained their composure in extra time to come out victorious on a one-point margin.
“You just kept asking yourself was this game ever going to end,” said Walsh after Kanturk were presented with the trophy.
“It was an unbelievable way to win it. Kilmaley are a fine team. It looked like we had gone away from them at stages but they kept coming at us.
“We could have very easily lost it in normal time. It’s just utter relief. It’s just an unbelievable year. It’s hard to actually believe what we have achieved so far this year and we’re not done. I’m just delighted.
“The belief is down to us being a very close knit group. There are 13 of us on the football panel as well. I have the cousins and the brother on the team, you have the two Browne’s, the two McLoughlin’s and the two O’Keeffe’s as well.
“These opportunities don’t come around too often and to be in the Gaelic Grounds; Kanturk would never be playing in the Gaelic Grounds before. Everyone coming up from Kanturk today and you’re just trying to soak it all in.”
Kanturk captain John McLoughlin uttered his teammate’s sentiments and was full of praise for a Kilmaley side that came back from the dead.
“You’re in a Munster Final and you’re not going to pull away from any team and they showed incredible character to comeback,” commented McLoughlin.
“We knew they would be a hard team to beat. When they went ahead in normal time our forwards really stepped up. It’s a pleasure to look out from full back and see that.”
Kanturk’s next step is to start planning for a tilt at the All-Ireland title with the first step coming on December 2 with a trip to London where they face Kilburn Gaels in the quarter final.
McLaughlin admitted that the party following the victory will be enjoyed but attention will soon be turned to that game.
“These lads are a focused and determined group. Even after the football county, we were always looking to the next step. We will enjoy tonight, but will be back at training on Tuesday night.