Clonmel Commercials star Michael Quinlivan is confident of his side’s chances against Ballyboden St Enda’s on Saturday, despite acknowledging the Dublin champions are a “fantastic team”.
Clonmel face the south Dublin side on Saturday for a place in the All-Ireland club final against Crossmaglen or Castlebar Mitchels, and the Leinster kingpins, who feature Conal Keaney and Paul Durcan in their ranks, are firm favourites.
“The pedigree of any team coming out of Dublin... it’s a very tough championship to win,” Tipperary senior Quinlivan told RTÉ Sport.
“They won a Dublin championship the hard way and have come through a tough Leinster campaign so they’re there on merit.
“They’re a fantastic team with fantastic players but we’re confident of our chances and if we can put in a performance it will go a long way towards a victory hopefully.”
Clonmel became the first Tipperary club to win a Munster title when Quinlivan scored an injury-time goal against Cork giants Nemo Rangers in November and he believes that the result gave the entire town a lift.
“I don’t really remember much after it. The place just went haywire, a blur. The ball rolls into the net and when you turn around half the stand is nearly out on the pitch.
“You forget that there’s 30 seconds left and you have to try to stop them scoring. Thankfully, we got there in the end.
“The way it happened couldn’t have been any sweeter really. That stuff doesn’t really happen in GAA anymore, which is a pity. Those are the sort of things that get people off the edge of their seats.
“The supporters in the final were fantastic for us. When we probably should have kicked on, with 20 minutes to go, they dragged us back when we fell behind. It was as much for the town of Clonmel as the players.”
The 22-year-old won a minor All-Ireland title with Tipperary in 2011, in the midst of a five-in-a-row of county minor titles for the club.
Clubmates like Seamus Kennedy and Aldo Matassa have also made their mark on the inter-county scene and Quinlivan is optimistic that that successful crop of players can inspire Clonmel to greater things.
“A lot of this team have grown up together,” he said. “We came into a team that had quality and hopefully we’ve added to it.
“We won five minor county titles in a row and those teams are starting to come through now. Hopefully, we can add more players to an already exciting group and build on our own success.”