Nemo Rangers will face a different Dr Crokes on Sunday, warns Buckley

Nemo Rangers will face a different Dr Crokes on Sunday, warns Buckley
Johnny Buckley (left)

Johnny Buckley reckons AIB All-Ireland club football title holders Dr Crokes are a superior force now to the version that was 'blown away' by Nemo Rangers when they last met in a provincial decider, writes Paul Keane.

That game took place in early 2011 in Mallow and Nemo effectively won the game by half-time when they led by 1-13 to 0-3 after a whirlwind start.

Nemo boss Eddie Kirwan said at the time that their first-half performance was "as good as I've seen and a pleasure to be involved in".

Crokes, without Kerry ace Buckley who was injured, staged a remarkable second-half rally to trail by just two points at full-time but had simply left themselves too much to do.

Crokes have since won four Munster club titles, as well as the All-Ireland, and Buckley is confident that they won't suffer the same beating six years on when they renew acquaintances on Sunday.

"It was something else, Nemo were on fire," recalled Buckley, who was a water carrier that day due to knee trouble.

"They were scoring from everywhere. We just couldn't handle it. It is a good few years ago now. It has obviously come back up in conversation over the last couple of weeks since we've known our Munster final opposition.

"That was a tough pill to swallow at the time. We had felt like we were going well after winning the county championship. But we were really blown away that day. In the years afterwards, we'd like to think we learned from that. Hopefully, we'll take a few bits from that for the weekend.

"That team wouldn't be too dissimilar to what we have now. Fellas have a few more years on the clock.

"There is definitely that bit of experience there. Looking back, it is a game that stands out for this group in that we learned plenty from it.

"We were working off county championship pace and weren't ready for a Munster championship style match. We were just blown out of the water for sure."

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