Paudie Palmer: Jack McCaffrey's absence means Kerry will fancy their chances once they get past Cork

Paudie Palmer: Jack McCaffrey's absence means Kerry will fancy their chances once they get past Cork
Páirc Uí Chaoimh under LED lights. By the time the Cork hurlers and footballers play their again they'll need them. Picture: Larry Cummins

LAST week, if you remember, we visited the world of the Premier League for some guidance.

This week we should probably do so again and congratulate those of you who devote a sizeable amount of your sporting existence following the fortunes of Liverpool FC.

In doing so, I also accept there is another cohort of you who would have wished if the 30-year wait could have been extended by at least another 30! Now is not the time for reflective jealousy.

In a world where male arrogance appears to be a characteristic of some of the main leaders, an tUasal Boris Johnson agus Donald Trump come to mind, it’s a source of some comfort, even for those of us who don’t follow association football, that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp seems a decent individual.

Picture: PA
Picture: PA

The Cork County Council recently presented certificates to GAA clubs to acknowledge their massive role, they played during the Covid-19 crisis.

I hope that in time these certificates are framed and hung in clubhouses throughout the county to serve as a reminder for this and future generations of how our GAA clubs fulfilled their social obligations. Well done one and all.

Now that Leo’s roadmaps are no more, it’s on to the Croke Park and Kevin O’Donovan documents to act as our google maps from here until Christmas night.

Not wishing to rain in on anyone’s party, while scribbling these few lines, I received a call from a fellow pensmith who certainly altered the direction of the winds assisting our sails.

Not long into the conversation, he made his prophetic announcement, that I shouldn’t concern myself about the race for Liam McCarthy, Sam Maguire or any other trophy because come the fall Mr Covid will be back in town to add to his collection. God almighty, what a sobering thought!

For the moment whether deluded or otherwise let’s look at the aforementioned documents and their relevance for both Rebel armies. We will begin with the seriously ambitious hurlers!

The wee French general and statesman Napoleon placed quite an amount of emphasis on the role that luck can play on any journey to the victory podium.

He would be very impressed with the amount of it that has been bestowed on the Cork hurlers so far.

When the Munster senior suits sat down to make the draws for their hurling championship on Friday night last, all five counties were hoping that they would get one of the three semi-final places that were up for grabs and to add a sprinkling of icing, it would be nice to get one of weakest of the four remaining in that semi-final spot.

Let us stop beating around the bush, Cork got the perfect draw.

They will defeat the Déise representatives and win or lose the Munster final they will have a teal chance of teaching the All-Ireland semi-final.

You read it here first, the Covid Liam could very well be on the banks of the Lee on Christmas night!

Prior to any forensics of the footballers’ chances, can we mention that even in these times, the GAA have displayed their ever-growing tendency to treat hurling in a more advantageous manner that the big ball entity?

In case you haven’t noticed each of the 10 big hurling counties, well eight really as Dublin and Laois are only there for convenience purposes, will have two bites at championship cherry but for inter-county footballers, one defeat and the expulsion order is signed.

This situation, will in all probability mean one game for the Ronan McCarthy lead team.

Can I mention once again the column’s early-season objectives for this team?

Firstly, to gain promotion from Division 3 and thankfully the new road map makes this a realisable goal.

On the weekend of October 17-18, Louth will be welcomed to Páirc Uí Chaoimh, a week later Cork will travel to Longford and in the aftermath of those two games, they should have done enough, to gain admission to the Division 2 house for 2021.

The second objective had a dose of realism attached to it. When the football draws that were made in pre-Covid times, it pitted the Rebels against the second favourites for Sam in a Munster semi-final.

Barring a miracle, on a par with Mary Lou joining Michéal Martin for the 2021 New Year’s Day swim at Courtmacsherry, the great rivals will emerge from Páirc Uí Chaoimh chasing a Munster title.

But then we hoped that the Ian Maguire captained side would enjoy an extended run in the qualifiers. Sadly that option no longer applies. Napoleon would not have been impressed.

For those of you who may want advice on which county you should lay your hard or soft earned euros on, in relation to where Sam will reside for the turkey festival, the removal of the qualifier route makes the prediction somewhat easier.

Kerry to come out of Munster and should then meet Galway in an All-Ireland semi-final.

Dublin after its usual stroll through Leinster will see off an Ulster side battle-worn from its journey along the northern minefields.

Jack McCaffrey won't play for Dublin this year. A boost for Kerry... Picture: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Jack McCaffrey won't play for Dublin this year. A boost for Kerry... Picture: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

On the Saturday prior to Santa’s arrival you might just witness the surge for six being derailed, particularly now that Dr Jack McCaffrey has probably taken his final curtain call.

The 2020 version of Sam could very well be on its way to the Kingdom!

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