Wednesday 12 December 2018

CorkHi14°| Lo

Cork Independent

Sport

Nemo aim to get back to Croke Park

Wednesday, 21st February, 2018 4:41pm

The road traveled for an All-Ireland title is never easy and Nemo Rangers can vouch for that.

Despite beating the reigning All-Ireland champions Dr Crokes in November to be crowned Munster champions, the men from Trabeg now face the 2017 losing finalists Slaughtneil in the All-Ireland semi-final and this is before they even get the chance to step foot in Croke Park. The most successful club in the history of the GAA with seven All-Ireland titles, Nemo have quite the battle on their hands if they are to land title number eight in 2018.

Nemo sharpshooter Barry O'Driscoll was 13 when Nemo last won the Andy Merrigan Cup in 2003, so while he is a member of a club steeped in rich tradition, O'Driscoll will be eager to win his own medal, much like the men of Slaughtneil who have never won All-Ireland honours.

The feats of Slaughtneil have left O’Driscoll scratching his head. The Derry side have become a magnet for silverware in recent seasons, necklacing together a raft of county titles, and a back-to-back Ulster double.

But for a red card to midfielder Padraig Cassidy before half-time against Dr Croke’s a year ago, then they might well be heading into this AIB All-Ireland semi-final clash with Nemo Rangers as reigning champions too.

“Their club is extremely impressive and I was trying to find out a bit about them, but what can you say?” says O’Driscoll.

“A club that can go into both codes to this stage of the year two years in a row, you're left scratching your head a bit. What are they doing compared to other clubs?

They'll be a different outfit for us to come up against again because of their style of play, and they must be extremely fit to be where they are, and they must have good football on top of it as well. So we won't be taking them for granted at all.

“You wonder if they had their 15 against Crokes' 15, who would have won (last Paddy's Day),” he adds. “It's just something else you think about, so we'll be giving them their due respect because they deserve it.”

It feels like only five minutes ago that Nemo celebrated their Munster win in the dying light of a sunny autumnal afternoon; however two months has since passed.

It was a 16th provincial crown for the Leeside giants, but they’re not happy to rest on their laurels and O’Driscoll admits he has been waiting with baited breath.

“It was my third Munster title,” he explains. “It was brilliant because it's a newer team and it would have been a lot of lads winning Munster for the first time.

“We would have been written off because we were coming up against Crokes who were All-Ireland champions, I think the main thing everyone was most pleased about as well was we were consistent all the way through the game, which was important to us. I’m extremely excited and I've been waiting a long time since our last game,” he says of the Slaughtneil test.

“I just really wanted to come now and at least now we're into the week before the game so it really starts to gear up now.

“You go back in January, do a full month of training, and then you hit February and you're still waiting for the 24th. Now at least we can start zoning in on the game and start fine-tuning things, so it's great.”

In a boost for the club, Cork captain Paul Kerrigan is likely to feature after it was feared he suffered cruciate damage in November's win over Dr Crokes. However it was later confirmed that Kerrigan had damaged his posterior cruciate ligament, and after playing a number of challenge games in the lead-up to Saturday, looks set to play against Slaughtneil, welcome news for team manager Larry Kavanagh.

The AIB GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Club Championship Semi-Final taking will take place at O’Moore Park on Saturday 24 February with throw in at 4.30pm.

 

ePaper Service

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8
Desktop, Tablet & Smartphone friendly
Cookies on Cork Independent website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Cork Independent website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time by amending your browser settings.
How does Cork Independent use cookies?
Cookies enable us to identify your device, or you when you have logged in. We use cookies that are strictly necessary to enable you to move around the site or to provide certain basic features. We use cookies to enhance the functionality of the website by storing your preferences, for example. We also use cookies to help us to improve the performance of our website to provide you with a better user experience.
We don't sell the information collected by cookies, nor do we disclose the information to third parties, except where required by law (for example to government bodies and law enforcement agencies).
Hide Message