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Dublin: 11°C Monday 19 April 2021
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Commercials quietly confident of causing a Munster upset

Clonmel are just an hour away from becoming the first ever Tipperary side to win a Munster football title.

Michael Quinlivan in action with his county.
Michael Quinlivan in action with his county.
Image: Ken Sutton/INPHO

TIPPERARY START MICHAEL Quinlivan insists Clonmel Commercials won’t be intimidated by the opposition or the occasion when they challenge for a historic AIB Munster club football championship win.

The Charlie McGeever managed outfit are just an hour away from becoming the first ever Tipperary side to reign supreme in Munster club football.

To add to the difficulty, they must overcome Nemo Rangers who with 15 provincial titles and seven All-Irelands are officially the most successful club in Ireland.

But powerful Quinlivan, full-forward with Tipp this year, is no stranger to smashing stereotypes having booted 1-1 in the county’s breakthrough 2011 All-Ireland minor final win over a star studded Dublin team containing current Footballer of the Year Jack McCaffrey.

“No, I don’t think there actually is any battle there psychologically,” said Quinlivan.

“I think a lot of our problems are actually when we are playing against teams that people expect us to beat. We never have a problem playing against a bigger team or what people consider to be a bigger team.

“So I don’t think the mental issue will come into it a whole pile. A lot of us would have played in teams against Cork sides over the years that we’d have beaten so it’s no issue at all in that sense.”

Nemo are strong favourites though upon closer inspection they have returned to the final via a circuitous, and not always convincing, route.

A replay was required in the Cork final and both Stradbally and Killarney Legion, whom they beat in the Munster championship, were victims of chronic club scheduling within their own counties.

As for Clonmel, they battled past Newcastlewest in a high quality encounter before hammering Miltown Malbay of Clare 1-13 to 0-3.

Quinlivan feels that regardless of Sunday’s result, football in Tipperary has come on enough for the county to now be considered a strong dual county.

“I think we have garnered enough respect through what’s happened with the football over the last few years that people are starting to consider us a serious dual county,” Quinlivan said.

“Obviously we still have a few stumbling blocks over the next couple of years to get over to get to the level want to. But we feel it’s nothing we can’t get past as long as we keep pushing like we have been.

“I think the main thing for football in Tipperary is getting the backing of the people. We are culturally a hurling county, always will be and always have been. But if we can garner maybe half the support overall, that would be great for us.”

Quinlivan reckons they are nicely set up to push Nemo hard having come through a testing quarter-final game in particular, against Newcastlewest of Limerick.

“They brought an intensity to the game that we hadn’t seen yet in the championship,” said Quinlivan, who hit two points in that game and 1-3 against Miltown Malbay.

“It was really, really intense and, to be honest, they were definitely the toughest opponents we’ve played in the whole championship. Their defending was superb for 55 minutes, we had been knocking on the door and eventually kicked it down. We always felt we had enough, we never gave up.

“That’s been a trait of us throughout the year and we always feel we do have the legs coming off the bench, we are a very young team and if we can get a run we will kick on from that.”

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Paul Keane

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