Clonmel Commercials midfielder Jack Kennedy
There is no danger that Clonmel Commercials will be taken in by the line that Killenaule are only a hurling club, their players know only full well of the football quality that runs through the Killenaule team that stands between them and lifting another title.
Denied a place in last year's final by Loughmore/Castleiney, Commercials are back and will not be distracted by the hurling angle. Captain Donal Lynch said it was the aim of Commercials to get into the final and they were happy to be there .
“The defeat last year to Loughmore in the semi final did hurt us. Loughmore are always a formidable challenge and going into the semi final we had the motivation of last year's experience driving us on. There was nothing between us and Loughmore and we would not expect the final to be any different,” said Lynch .
He said Commercials were prepared for a huge battle against Killenaule and they were all well aware of the quality footballers, most of them with county experience, that Killenaule had.
Nobody, he said, would be taking the Killenaule challenge lightly because they had suffered defeat in the south championship in recent years at the hands of Killenaule, a club that had always made a big contribution to county teams.
“The games they had against Moyle Rovers will have given them great confidence. We know what quality they have and what they are capable of but on the day it will be about how we perform and that is what we will be concentrating on.” said Donal.
He said the commitment of everybody involved was of the highest order and he paid tribute to those involved on a dual level with St Mary’s who won the county intermediate hurling title last Sunday.
“There are seven or eight lads involved with the hurling and football. It is such a huge ask on those lads between training and playing important matches every week, it is a very demanding schedule for them.” said Donal.
Commercials' Danny Madigan said he has lost more football games against Killenaule than he has won over the years and everybody involved in Commercials bid to win would not be fooled by the hurling club message.
“Killenaule are an excellent football team - they like to throw out a few lines about how they are only a hurling club, but they are an excellent football team. They are a serious outfit and they won’t be taken lightly.
“We are not even thinking about Munster to be honest - maybe last year we probably thought, maybe, two steps ahead when we should not have and it was our downfall, but this year we are trying to win a county and worry about Munster later please God.”
The Commercials wing back said it was great to be back in a county final after last year's disappointing defeat to Loughmore/Castlieney in the semi final
“When we started out at the beginning of the year that was our aim - we had some really tough games against Arravale (Rovers) and Loughmore. “It was a real physical match - I think all the lads stood up and we were delighted to come through it.”
Selector Martin Quinlivan said Commercials had won three county titles since the millennium and all of them have been in Semple Stadium and he believes that venue is the correct choice for the final.
“Killenaule had actually more lads involved with the Tipperary senior football team this year than Commercials had. We still carry the scars of losing to them in a South semi-final in 2012 and a South final in 2014 that knocked us out of the championship at the time because we had not come through the group stages. There are a lot of the same players involved. They are a serious team and they have a strong spine.
“And, then young Páidí Feehan was the star of this year’s county U21 team and he will be a future county senior so they are not going to leave any questions unasked of us.
“We know that it’s going to be tough, but that’s what you want in a final. We were disappointed last year - we came into 2016 as defending Munster and county champions and, obviously, Loughmore put paid to that in the semis so we didn’t get to experience the final last year so our first priority was to reach the final and then kick on from there.”