Unfancied Carrigaline will play without pressure

According to the bookmakers, Kerry side St Mary’s are short-priced favourites to claim the Munster Club IFC title in Killarney tomorrow.
Unfancied Carrigaline will play without pressure

Opposing the Caherciveen outfit will be Cork’s representatives Carrigaline. Having won the second-tier county championship for the first time last month, Carrig were comfortable winners over Oola of Limerick in their semi-final but they are still seen as outsiders for the silverware.

Not that that bothers veteran midfielder Nicholas Murphy, however.

“When you’re dealing with odds and things like that, it’s very hard to judge teams that have never played each other,” he says.

“We wouldn’t know a massive amount about them, I don’t think they’d know a whole pile about us. We’d like to think we’re prepared fairly well and that we’re in with a good chance.

“We’ve made ourselves hard to beat over the year, the Éire Óg game [county semi-final] being the best example, we were dead and buried and we came back. You’d like to think that the spirit within the team will keep you going.

“Everything has gone well and we’ll be going out to perform as best we can. Once you perform, you’re giving yourself a chance. They will be a good side, there was four or five of them involved with South Kerry and that’ll give them a boost after winning last weekend but we can only look after ourselves.”

In the four years before 2015, Carrigaline reached two Premier IFC semi-finals but were in the relegation play-off a couple of times too. Consistency was achieved by becoming meaner in defence.

“Last year, we felt that we came up against a very good Valley Rovers team and you have to take your hat off when a team is better than you on the day,” Murphy says.

“We learned a lot from that game, we just felt that we conceded a bit too much and we focused on making ourselves more difficult to beat.

“We did reasonably well in the league and when you’re winning games that becomes a habit. Fellas will dig deep, knowing that they have done it before during the year.

“On Saturday, if we do go two or three points down, we’ll know that we’re able to come back and get ourselves back into the game.”

The stock line in the provincial club championship is that it’s all bonus territory, with the primary objective of a county title having been achieved. Murphy is keen to make clear, though, that Carrigaline won’t be just showing up with a carefree attitude.

“It’s still a Munster final and it is uncharted territory,” he says.

“The county championship was our aim first and foremost, thankfully we won that and we’ll be senior next year, but you’re still in a competition.

“It’s still a game you want to win, there’s not too many can say that they’ve won a Munster club title. We’ll certainly be going out to give it as good a shot as we can,” he says.

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