Na Piarsaigh focus solely on Loughiel challenge

THERE is no talk of St Patrick’s Day in Croke Park out around Caherdavin, according to Na Piarsaigh captain Kieran Bermingham.

THERE is no talk of St Patrick’s Day in Croke Park out around Caherdavin, according to Na Piarsaigh captain Kieran Bermingham.

This Saturday, the men from the Ennis Road bid to become the first Limerick club to reach the All-Ireland club final since Kilmallock in 1993 when they take on Loughiel Shamrocks in the All Ireland semi-final.

But Bermingham insists that his side are not looking beyond the Antrim champions.

“Our main aim is to come out of Parnell Park at 4.00 on February 11 with another game to play,” said Bermingham.

“This time last year we couldn’t buy a challenge game and now we are playing in an All-Ireland semi-final and truth be told we are loving it.”

He added: “If someone had said last year that we would have all this hype ahead of an All-Ireland semi-final, honestly you would have said that they were liars”.

The bookies make Na Piarsaigh favourites to lift the Tommy Moore Cup on March 17 - ahead of fellow semi-finalists; Loughgiel, Gort and Coolderry.

“We have a 25% chance of winning it without ever pucking a ball,” smiled Bermingham.

He insists that Na Piarsaigh only have sights on the men in red from Ulster.

“To be fair to Loughgiel they are a very experienced team and they are going to take beating. They mean business - they are there on merit and they firmly believe that they can win it. We are just focused on ourselves and that is what we have done all year - we try to do things right in our own camp and once we keep doing things right the result will look after itself,” explained the sterling corner back.

“We are really looking forward to the game now - we are just going to try as hard as we can to keep this thing going. We will tick every box and it is with the gods after that.”

This time last season Na Piarsaigh were preparing for the county champions, never even dreaming that an unbeaten run of nine games lay ahead.

“It is extremely hard to say that there is one stand out thing that is the difference - the group as a whole became very honest, we knew if we did what we did every other year that we would get the same as we got every other year and that was beaten. We didn’t change dramatic things, we changed small things and obviously it worked. I firmly believe that there is an absolute ball of credit due to the management team of Paul Beary, Sean Stack, Donal Hartnett and PJ Breen - they have been very honest with us and we have been honest back.”

He continued: “You would be asking how would Na Piarsaigh prepare for an All-Ireland club semi-final and in a word we don’t know how to gauge it because we have never been there - we are just delighted to be there and we will give it everything we have. It’s the first year in a long time that we had to take it easy on the swiss roll at Christmas - these are real exciting times.”

Bermingham said that the historic run was testament to the work of many in the Limerick city club.

“We finished the Munster final with seven U-21s and that speaks volumes of the work that goes on in the club at underage level and its really starting to pay off,” he said recalling how the club lost four county finals in a week in 2009.

“We knew in our heart and soul that we were doing things right so we kept doing them and this year it has really paid off.”

Ahead of Saturday, Na Piarsaigh report no injuries and should be in a position to start with the side that beat Crusheen in the Munster final.