Keane taking clash of the Saints very seriously

ST MARY’S coach Peter Keane insists his side will not be underestimating the challenge posed by Manchester outfit St Peter’s in Sunday’s All-Ireland JFC semi-final in Kilmallock.

St Peter’s caused a huge upset a fortnight ago when they dumped Connacht champions Parke/Keelogues/Crimlin out at the quarter-final stage, a late extra-time goal securing their victory. Keane believes that result entitles St Peter’s to the utmost respect this weekend.

“The reality is that if we’d been playing the Mayo and Connacht champions, people would be saying that it’s a tough game and one we need to prepare properly for.

“So we don’t see why it should be in anyway different just because it’s a team from England that we’re playing. You’d expect that they would be a tough side after the results they have achieved.

“We’re down to the last four of the competition now and any team that you play at this stage is bound to be good.”

The postponements in the South Kerry championship around Christmas led to the final being rescheduled for earlier this month and provided St Mary’s with good competitive encounters in preparation for this tie.

Keane is hopeful their divisional final replay victory over St Michael’s-Foilmore will benefit the Caherciveen team.

“It was definitely a help to us as it’s better for the players to have games ahead of them than being involved in training.

“The weather was bad for everyone over Christmas which obviously affected our training. But we got two good games in the South Kerry final and replay.

“In the Munster campaign we’d a tough game the first day against the Cork champions but that wasn’t really the case in the two matches we had after that.

“But you can only play what’s in front of you.”

St Mary’s will have to plan without centre-forward Raymond Keane for this clash as he is sidelined through injury.

Opponents St Peter’s will be without centre-back Shane Gallagher and midfielder Ronan Gallagher through injury.

Full-back Eamonn Hansberry from Galway, and corner-forward Patrick O’Brien from Cork both featured last weekend for Fullen Gaels in their All-Ireland JHC quarter-final defeat against Munster champions Meelin.

St Peter’s also have a Caherciveen native in their ranks in defender Paudie O’Shea.

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