Wednesday 17 October 2018

Duane: tough tests in Cork and away to Ballyduff stood to us

Kanturk captain Lorcan O'Neill pictured with mum Geraldine and Katie Feehan after winning the Munster Club IHC title. Picture John Tarrant
Kanturk captain Lorcan O'Neill pictured with mum Geraldine and Katie Feehan after winning the Munster Club IHC title. Picture John Tarrant

Kanturk manager Donough Duane was hugely proud of his side's performance on capturing a first time Munster Club title, only done after surviving a torrid battle and a spirited Kilmaley comeback.

"It was a tough physical battle, some great long range scoring in addition to being incredibly physical at stages. We 've come up against some tough sides in Cork and away to Ballyduff, those games stood to us, so we were prepared for a physical battle," he said.

Having got a timely goal, Duane wasn't overly concerned at seeing a six point lead erased that ensured extra time.

"Goals are huge at this stage of the year and it gave us an advantage. In fairness, Kilmaley's hurling was sharper at times, they have class players, always a side going to come back at us," he said.

"However we got the equalising point, we actually snatched it from Kilmaley, that ensured we had good momentum going into extra time, really, we took it from their grasp and it allowed us drive on".

Kanturk dictated the greater portion of extra time but all and sundry were left wondering what might happen in a replay if Kilmaley had pointed a long range free deep into injury time.

"The lights were on, we enjoyed a cushion at half time in extra time yet players were getting tired. Kilmaley had a chance, its a difficult situation for anybody with the late free, he struck it well but unfortunately for Kilmaley, it drifted away and I was relieved," said Duane.

"This game was about the small margins typified by the last free, it was the difference between a draw and a win. Overall, our fitness stood to us having endured a long campaign, I cannot say enough about the players, no one can question their dedication," he said.

Some might say, Kanturk might had hung on by the skin of their teeth but that never say spirit is evident all season including the county final wins over Mallow and Mitchelstown in hurling and football respectively.

"We just grind out the wins, we never panicked, the boys kept just going and its just incredible what these bunch of lads have done for the club. For all involved, its remarkable, great for the young members of the club to have this opportunity," said Duane.

With club fortunes on a high, all involved seek out further success as another campaign looms with the All Ireland series starting next week.

"The beauty of it all is to say, we're not done yet, the players are enjoying every single moment of this campaign. They train on cold and wet winter nights yet every time, there is a buzz on the ground, its another challenge, more new territory, fingers crossed, we can keep the momentum going forward," said Duane.


Browne: it was terrific to pull it out of the bag

Kanturk found themselves in a tooth and nail battle to retain their narrow advantage at the end of a gripping Munster IHC contest only to hold their nerve and land a single point victory to clinch a dramatic provincial crown.

Not for the first time, pivotal Kanturk defender Darren Browne offered further evidence of his burgeoning talent on delivering a powerpacked performance that helped build a security wall in the half back line that curtailed the Kilmaley goal threat.

The modest co. u21 captain was thrilled to savour a dramatic win and help complete a rewarding few weeks for the Duhallow club.

"Kilmaley were the hot favourites, it was terrific to come up and pull it out of the bag. Having enjoyed a good start, it turned to be nip and tuck, we had to come from behind and thankfully Paul Walsh delivered a fantastic point to force extra time," he said.

Having jumped into a commanding six point advantage, Kanturk handed over the initiative to a Kilmaley response defiant and efficient that concerned Browne.

"We sat back a bit too much and it allowed Kilmaley come at us to force a lead, However, this Kanturk side are a great fighting bunch, Paul(Walsh) epitomised that on shooting the late equalising point".

Indeed Kanturk refused to be deflected from their glory pursuit with the centre back emerging from a key pivotal role.

"The boys around me make the job easier, I was performing as a sweeper for a portion of the contest. Despite the injury to Lorcán, we drove on, our bench is experienced and a number of substitutes such as Martin O'Riordan and James Fitzpatrick are well accustomed for the big occasion," he said.

With celebrations put on hold ahead of another looming contest, Browne is eyeing up the next challenge.

"There is no let up, back training and all about pushing on and attempting to follow up with a win in London. We take at it comes and hopefully, the winning run continues."