Cork look to reach seven
WOMEN'S FOOTBALL ALL-IRELAND SENIOR FINAL Cork v KerryON AND on they roll, one of the great teams in Irish sport. Cork come to Croke Park tomorrow looking to win their seventh All-Ireland title in eight years.
And although a stat like that hardly needs any more context than it holds on its own, it’s remarkable to think that Cork had never even been in a senior final before 2005. But since then, they’ve taken on all comers. Whatever the outcome tomorrow, they’re a phenomenon.
This time around it’s Kerry who stand in their way. The win over Galway in the semi-final put Kerry into their first final in 23 years so they will be lacking in experience.
They will have to rely pretty heavily on the effervescence of midfielder Bernie Breen if they’re to get any sort of foothold and if they can manage that, they have two classy forwards inside in Louise Ní Muircheartaigh and Sarah Houlihan.
But whatever they bring, it’s hard not to see Cork having enough to deal with them. After last year’s pulsating final performance, it looked like Monaghan would rise to match them and possibly even pass them this time around. But Cork put that kind of talk back in its box in the semi-final and some of the weaponry they can call on is frightening.
Juliet Murphy is often unplayable in midfield and her strength and power will drive Cork here.
How Kerry deal with the trickery of Valerie Murphy will be interesting to watch, as Monaghan had no answer in the semi-final.
Cork put Kerry away handily in the Munster final and there’s no good reason to expect anything different here.
CORK: E Harte; AM Walsh, B Stack, D O’Reilly; B Corkery, R Buckley, G O’Flynn; J Murphy, N Kelly; O Farmer, D O’Sullivan, C O’Sullivan; N Cleary, V Mulcahy, R Ní Bhuachalla.
KERRY: E Murphy; C Lynch, A Leonard, A Lyons; J Brosnan, A Desmond, C Kelly; L Scanlon, B Breen; S Houlihan, E Sherwood, L Galvin; M O’Connell, D Corridan, L Ní Mhuircheartaigh.
Referee: Gavin Corrigan(Down).
Armagh seem likely
INTERMEDIATE FINAL Armagh v WaterfordIT’S NOT so very long ago since these two counties were contenders for the senior crown, with Armagh runners-up in 2006 and Waterford serial champions in the 1990s. Armagh made easier work of their semi-final and look to have the upper hand here.
Louth to finish well
JUNIOR FINAL Louth v AntrimLOUTH HAVE been the stand-out team all the way through this competition, but Antrim ran them close right up until the last five minutes when the sides met in July. They should finish off the year in style here, but Antrim won’t be pushovers.