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Five Reasons Why Cork Can Beat Kerry

cork gaa hurling

Cork Replay Kerry on Saturday

After a typically intense Munster Final in which Kerry and Cork could not be separated, this weekend offers the Rebels the opportunity to finish off the job they started in Killarney.

Here are five reasons why the Rebels can overcome the much vaunted Kingdom.

1. Momentum

Coming into the drawn game, not many people gave Cork a chance. However they will feel as if they should have beaten Kerry. The rebels dominated the game for long periods and only struggled during the period immediately after Paul Kerrigan received his black card. It is not without coincidence that, following Kerrigan’s dismissal, Kerry took control of the remainder of the first half and led at half time by four points.

Nevertheless in the second half Cork reverted to their running game and dominated Kerry. The Kingdom were kept in the game by a controversial penalty decision and some superb scores taken by the likes of Colm Cooper and Bryan Sheehan. Indeed despite Fionn Fitzgerald’s equaliser at the death, it looked as if Kerry were only holding on throughout the second, as they struggled to stifle Cork’s momentum.

2. Eoin Cadogan

At the outset there were question marks over the ability of Cadogan to deal with Kieran Donaghy. Played in midfield and in the half back line during the league, Cadogan was switched to full back to deal with ‘The Star’. However the Douglas club man did well against the Kerry captain, keeping him quiet for long periods.

Cadogan did not just perform a man marking job though. He broke out of defence on a number of occasions, carrying the ball into the heart of the Kerry midfield. Two of these breaks led to the awarding of a black and yellow cards against David Moran and Kieran Donaghy.

3. Alan O’Connor

Last year Cork were wiped out in midfield by Kerry, as they ran out easy winners in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. However Alan O’Connor’s return to the Cork team negated much of Kerry’s dominance in the air.

O’Connor physicality troubled Kerry throughout the game, but came to prominence after David Moran was black carded in the second half. O’Connor provided a platform from which Cork were able to dominate Kerry’s kick outs and instigate their running game.

4. Possessing Two Established Game plans

During the drawn game, Cork played two differing strategies. In the first half Kerry pushed high up the field in a bid to entrap Cork in their own half. Cork counteracted this by withdrawing deep, and using Mark Collins and Kerrigan not only sweepers, but playmakers who could quickly transition the ball from defence to attack.

This plan seemed to be working for Cork, as Colm O’Neill in particular, was finding space and making use of quick ball. However after Paul Kerrigan was sent to the stands on the twenty second minute, Cork looked listless as they struggled to provide an outlet to provide for their forwards.

Four points down at half time, Cork returned to their running game in the second half and dominated the Kingdom. Kerry were unable to track Cork’s runners coming from deep as they penetrated the Kingdoms defensive line.

Brian Cuthbert therefore has the ability to switch between game plans as a means of knocking Kerry off balance.

5. Holding No Fear

Coming into the drawn game, there was much made out of the fact that Cork had not beaten Kerry in Fitzgerald Stadium in twenty years. However they left Killarney knowing they should have won the game. Cork will therefore not hold any fear of taking the game to the Kingdom in the venue on Saturday, and neither will their sizeable travelling support.

 

Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena

 

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.