CORK will have home advantage for the Munster football final against Tipperary.
They're strong favourites to claim a first Munster title since 2012 but recent history would suggest Tipp have nothing to fear. In addition, they'll be wearing a special new geansaí to mark the 100th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. Just for added motivation.
Tipp beat Clare and Limerick in recent weeks, Brian Fox kicking the point to decide the semi-final in the Gaelic Grounds, which also went to extra time. Robbie Kiely, county medalist with Carbery Rangers and now lining out for Barryroe, featured prominently for Tipp.
As per the current agreement between the counties, the latest championship meeting will take place in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Semple Stadium was the venue for the last game, the 2018 provincial semi-final where Cork recorded a fine 1-17 to 0-9 win. Colm O'Neill was the goalscorer, with Luke Connolly the Man of the Match, hitting 10 points. Even in the space of two seasons, the Cork team has evolved quite a bit, partially down to injuries.
While that 2018 encounter was an emphatic win for Cork, the Premier beat them in the 2016 clash in Thurles.
In 2014, Aidan Walsh's haul of 0-3 as a sub was the only reason the Rebels weren't defeated by Tipp at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. The underdogs were 1-11 to 0-12 clear after 66 minutes thanks to Conor Sweeney's goal, only for Walsh to level and then nudge Cork ahead, before Barry O'Driscoll's insurance point.
In '17 at Páirc Uí Rinn, a late Luke Connolly goal was required to deny them. With Sweeney on song again, and Fox as the sweeper, they were 0-6 to 0-1 ahead before Cork got motoring at all and then 1-9 to 0-10 in front by the 70th minute only for Connolly to pounce.
Tipp had the edge on Cork in the opening 2018 league game at floodlit Páirc Uí Chaoimh and though Cork got revenge the following season, both counties ended up being relegated to Division 3.
The Rebels won this year's league clash as well, but only by a point 3-13 to 0-21, after having a goal to spare in 2019, showing how tight the meetings have generally been.
The last Munster final between Cork and Tipp was in 2002 down the Páirc, a replay after a Colin Corkery and Declan Browne shootout had ended in a draw at Semple.
Under Larry Tompkins, Cork made no mistake at the second time of asking to get their hands on the provincial title though there was some controversy after because the hosts used one sub too many.
Given the winning margin was 19 points there was probably never any danger of the result being reversed, and former secretary Frank Murphy made the case there was no penalty in the rule book anyway.
Mark White; Kevin Crowley, Jamie O’Sullivan, Kevin Flahive; Sean White, Stephen Cronin, Tomás Clancy; Aidan Walsh, Ian Maguire; Kevin O’Driscoll, Mark Collins, Ruairi Deane; John O’Rourke, Colm O’Neill, Luke Connolly.
Brian Hurley for O’Neill (47), Ronan O’Toole for O’Driscoll (56), Peter Kelleher for Walsh (58), Paul Kerrigan for O’Rourke (58), James Loughrey for Sean White (63), Mattie Taylor for Clancy (68).