GREAT rivals Cork and Kerry lock horns in another Munster football final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday fortnight at 7pm.
The neighbours came through their semi-finals without too much fuss at the weekend, Cork overwhelming Limerick by 3-18 to 0-6 and Kerry defeating Clare by 1-15 to 0-12.
Goals from Brian Hurley (2) and another from man-of-the-match Ruairí Deane inside the opening 12 minutes set Cork up for an unexpected 21-point thrashing at Páirc Uí Rinn.
They led 3-8 to 0-2 at the interval and did as they pleased in the second-half with Mark Collins kicking the opening four points for his side.
Cork’s debutants, defenders Nathan Walsh (Douglas) and Liam O’Donovan (Clonakilty) and wing-forward Eoghan McSweeney (Knocknagree), impressed in a fine team effort with McSweeney scoring 0-3 from play.
Castlehaven’s Hurley, who has overcome serious hamstring injuries, was the only injury concern afterwards though coach Ronan McCarthy was quick to point out that his withdrawal was more of a precaution.
“Brian’s moving well though he’s still not quite there and we will have to mind him and manage him closely.
“Brian has an incredible determination to play for Cork. In fact the biggest problem is holding him back.
“That’s why we took him off. Brian manages his own training. He knows whether to push on or not,” he said.
The final is a repeat of last year, when Kerry dished out a 15-point hammering so revenge will be on Cork’s mind.
“We can’t replay the game from last year. We focused on our job and exorcising demons is for another day.”
McCarthy was full of praise for the players in bouncing back from being relegated from Division 2 in the league.
“They have responded really well from a difficult league campaign and shown great character and resilience.
“We’ve now won seven of our last eight games in league, challenge and championship,” he added.
The Cork U20s were in action earlier on Saturday in the John Kerins’ U20 Development League against Dublin, a clash which finished in a 1-18 apiece. Last week in Clon Keith Ricken’s charges struck late to snatch a draw against Kerry.
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