The Duhallow club produced a brave performance but it was generally a rearguard effort against a physically superior and ruthlessly efficient Tullamore team who expect to be playing senior rugby next season.
Kanturk coach Mick Murphy saw it for what it was: “We can’t have any complaints. I suppose conditions didn’t suit us given the physicality of the two teams, but we must recognise the quality they brought to the game; I fully expect Tullamore to win the round robin and go senior.”
Kanturk weathered some early Tullamore pressure but Adrian Hanley twice prospered from forward dominance as the half wore on, and the captain Aaron Deverell converted the tries to establish a 14-0 half-time lead.
Having established territorial dominance in the early stages of the second half, Kanturk created a couple of decent scoring chances; however when one attack broke down Tullamore took full advantage to sweep up the field and centre David Calvin sent winger Tom Gilligan in for a try.
Kanturk again went in search of some consolation and both Dan McCabe and Calvin Noonan came close to nicking something from the match. Tullamore’s defence was equally good, though, and another breakaway led to a fourth try, this time from Cathal Feighrey nine minutes from time.
Murphy paid tribute to the spirit shown throughout a difficult 80 minutes. “It has been a great month for us; getting through the last round away to Cooke was a great experience. This was the first blip with a young side. It’s a learning curve for a lot of the guys and there’s nothing wrong with that once we learn from it.”
KANTURK: P Cotter, P Earlie, L McCabe, P Tripper, K Buckley, D Meade, M Twohig, M Daly, C O’Sullivan, B O’Neill, B Buckley, C Noonan, K O’Leary, D McCabe (captain), G Pigott.
Replacements: B Kelliiher, E English, C Breen, M Healy, A Jones, J Duggan.
TULLAMORE: B Geraghty, C Molloy, D Calvin, I Scully, T Gilligan, A Deverell (captain), R Hughes, T Bennett, C Glennon, G Molloy, I Deverell, A Hughes, C Feighrey, A Henley, R Connor.
Replacements: J Brophy, K Browne, R Deverell, D Lowery, C Cornally, A Hughes.
Referee: S Douglas (IRFU).