Nemo Rangers marched on to the All-Ireland semi-final with a somewhat surprise win over reigning champions Dr Crokes in Páirc Uí Rinn on Sunday afternoon.
For any Munster team coming up against a side who had won the previous year’s All-Ireland title, as well as the last four provincial championships, it was always going to be a daunting task.
However, Nemo took the game to the Kerry side right from the off, and in truth they could have won by more had they shown more composure in front of goal.
It was certainly pleasing for Nemo manager Larry Kavanagh, who felt his side showed Crokes plenty of respect, but no fear. Asked after the game if he felt if the pedigree of a club like Nemo, with seven All-Ireland titles to their name, counted for anything, he admitted that it did give them belief.
“It probably does when you’re going up against the likes of Dr Crokes who have four [Munster titles] in a row. Other teams might be intimidated by them.
“Nemo are a cocky old shower, we always think we’re going to win anyway! It probably does count, it’s not going to win you a game.
“But at least the young fellas weren’t nervous, everyone wanted to play. Some fellas can go into their shell… ‘Oh Jesus we’re playing Crokes, they’ve won four Munsters, they’re All-Ireland champions’.
“Our fellas would be rubbing shoulders with All-Ireland medals out in the club. So they’re comfortable out.”
The fact that the game was in Páirc Uí Rinn where Nemo play the majority of their county championship games was certainly an advantage for the Southsiders. Travelling to Lee-side was a tough assignment for Dr Crokes, and Kavanagh felt they were more comfortable playing there.
“We’re more familiar with it. The logistics of not having to get a bus, to arrange a hotel… small things.
“They [the Nemo players] know the dressing rooms, they know the pitch. One or two balls were dropping into the goalkeeper’s hands for Crokes. But at the end of the day, it’s a pitch.”
Nemo now march on to the All-Ireland semi-final, where they will face Slaughtneil.