Now they have a shot at redemption. Like the Waterford game, Cork have enough talent at their disposal to beat Dublin. Like the Waterford game, their opponents will fancy their chances if their work-rate is high enough.
They looked impressive when they gained a modicum of revenge on Laois at Croke Park the weekend before last Saturday’s games of two halves against Kilkenny. They reeled in a 15-point deficit and were only caught in injury time.
As it turned out, Cork were subsequently defeated by Wexford in the next round of the qualifiers. That facilitated a Rebel reboot, Darragh Fitzgibbon, Mark Coleman, Shane Kingston, Colm Spillane and Luke Meade coming into the start 15 in 2017.
His pace and scoring threat was missed against the Déise and there’s an argument that Aidan Walsh would offer 45 minutes of hard work and physicality if he’s fit. Now 30, Walsh isn’t a young gun either, but the Cork management’s priority will be keeping this season alive, whatever it takes.