TIPPERARY legend Declan Browne says he feels that Cork footballers were not given nearly enough credit for their shock Munster semi-final victory over Kerry.
Chasing their eighth provincial title on the trot, the Kingdom were red-hot favourites to extend their winning sequence over the Rebels in the recent Páirc Uí Chaoimh showdown.
But with the form-book looking almost certain to be endorsed, Ronan McCarthy’s charges staged a last-minute smash-and-grab raid thanks to sub Mark Keane’s opportunist goal, to come up trumps on a 1-12 to 0-13 scoreline.
Their reward is a home Munster final against Tipp on Sunday.
“Nearly all the pundits were saying afterwards that Kerry were very poor on the day, but I wouldn’t agree at all with that assessment of the game,” stated Browne, who won football All-Star awards in 1998 and 2003.
“In fact, I feel that the main reason why Kerry did not play as well as most people would have expected was due to the quality of Cork’s play and to the fact that they put so much pressure on the Kerry players throughout the match.
“As well, for a team that had been playing in Division 3, Cork played with tremendous composure and confidence and they never lost their shape even when Kerry looked like they were going on to win when they went two points up near the end of the game.
“Instead, Cork refused to panic and they kept plugging away by using the ball very intelligently and they got their reward when Mark Keane scored that tremendous goal,” added Browne, who featured with Tipperary seniors 1996 to 2007.
In the wake of landing their first win over Kerry since 2012, the Cork players understandably celebrated on the pitch with widespread abandon, but the Tipp legend feels McCarthy’s troops will be as equally fired up for the clash against his county on Sunday at 1.30pm in the Páirc.
“After pulling the rug from under Kerry, the Cork players will desperately not want their season to end in Sunday’s game.
"I know that they will be as equally motivated against our lads as they were for the Kerry game and that they won’t fall into the trap of underestimating Tipp or of adopting a complacent or over-confident approach going into the game.
“As well, the Cork players will have no problem coping with the fact that they are strong favourites."