Friday 28 October 2016

Tipp champs Clonmel are determined to buck trend

Michael Quinlivan
Michael Quinlivan

History points just one way, but Tipperary's Michael Quinlivan insists that Clonmel Commercials will have no psychological hang-ups going into their AIB Munster club SFC final against Nemo Rangers.

The record book couldn't paint a starker picture ahead of Sunday's Mallow showdown. Nemo, conquerors of Cork a record 19 times, have garnered a scarcely believable 15 Munster titles from their first 18 provincial forays.

Meanwhile, Tipperary clubs have forever drawn a blank. Not for the want of trying: they've lost nine Munster finals, Commercials accounting for four.

More recently, the record of Tipp champions over the past decade had been disastrous ... until their Clonmel kingpins bucked that losing trend with back-to-back victories over Newcastle West and St Joseph's Miltown Malbay.

It means a first Tipp finalist since Fethard in 2001, a first appearance for Commercials since '94.


Only one problem: how will they handle Nemo's reputation? "I don't think there actually is a battle psychologically," Quinlivan insists.

"A lot of our problems are when we are playing teams that people are expecting us to beat. We never have a problem playing against what people consider a bigger team.

"I don't think the mental issue will come into it a whole pile because a lot of us have been playing on teams against Cork teams that we have beaten."

So far, so positive. But what would a medal mean?

"I think it would be a huge statement, especially for club football in Tipp," says the 2011 All-Ireland minor winner. "People have been saying it has been a bit weak over the last couple of years and that has been leading to a weak county team ... if we could turn over Nemo, hopefully it would pave the way for other Tipperary teams."

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