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Kanturk captain Aidan Walsh on his knees after defeating Mitchelstown. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Kanturk captain Aidan Walsh on his knees after defeating Mitchelstown. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
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Walsh says Kanturk didn't enjoy previous counties enough as they savour their double but still hope to kick on in Munster

DOUBLE champions, Kanturk, swapped footballs for hurleys during the week as they returned to training ahead of their next big assignment.

That's on Sunday, when they head over the county bounds to face Kerry senior champions, Ballyduff, in the semi-final of the Munster Club Intermediate Championship at Austin Stack Park, Tralee, 2pm. 

Having already accounted for St Mary's, Clonmel, by 2-17 to 0-11 in the first-round, hopes are high that Kanturk can reach the final against either Kilmaley from Clare or An Rinn from Waterford.

The Duhallow club travel in confident mood after adding the county intermediate football championship title to the premier intermediate hurling following their narrow win over Mitchelstown in last Sunday's final at Páirc Uí Rinn. And unlike in the recent past, the new champions were able to let their hair down somewhat and join in the town's celebrations of another famous triumph.

Football captain, Aidan Walsh, who will be one of 13 dual players in their starting line-up, explained why they intended enjoying this one in particular.

“These don't come around too often. It's only our sixth county in the history of the club and you have to make the most of them. I think we made a mistake, when we won the lower intermediate hurling and the junior football county, because we never celebrated on the night due to games that were coming up.

“It's something we regretted afterwards. We'll celebrate this one and then go back training for Sunday's game,” Walsh said after his side's 0-14 to 0-13 success.

Cork have a good record in the competition, leading the roll-of-honour with five wins, two ahead of Clare and three in front of Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford. Youghal were the most recent Cork champions in 2013 with Ballymartle the last club to lift the All-Ireland in 2010, two years on from Blarney's achievement.

And Walsh is conscious of the need to grasp the nettle. “We've an opportunity to go in that competition, as well though we must realise we might never get the chance again.

“There's the possibility of a Munster title and maybe the opportunity to play in Croke Park with your club. We must make the most of it,” the Cork football star stressed.

Kanturk's Aidan Walsh has eyes on the ball as he holds off Glanworth's Jack Coughlan. Picture Eddie O'Hare
Kanturk's Aidan Walsh has eyes on the ball as he holds off Glanworth's Jack Coughlan. Picture Eddie O'Hare

Walsh's commitment to the cause reflects the dedication shown by this talented group because he's been hampered by injuries all through the latter stages of both campaigns.

He flirts between full-forward and his preferred midfield berth during games depending on the circumstances and Walsh's influence is clearly important in both codes.

“I tore ligaments in my foot against Mayo in the qualifiers and I haven't got it right since. Then, last week I pulled my hamstring in the training, so it's been a hard year, but it's worth it all when you have success like this.

“To be honest I actually thought it would be worse but the pitch in Páirc Uí Rinn is remarkable given number of games played on it. But, it's all about the team and the rest of the lads make it easy for me because everyone works for each other.

“You know the guy next to you is going to work for you and it makes it all the more enjoyable.”