THE first chapter in the annual saga of Cork and Kerry football will be written in Austin Stack Park in Tralee on Tuesday where the minor footballers of both counties bid for a place in the Munster final.
It’s the first year that the grade has been reduced to U17 with Kerry going for a fifth provincial title on the trot while Cork will be hoping for their first win in the grade since 2013. Both teams had comprehensive first-round victories, Cork trouncing Waterford and Kerry easily overcoming Tipperary.
Now the stakes could not be higher here because there ’s the opportunity for the winners to reach the final and, at the same time, reach the All-Ireland quarter-final.
The losers, however, will go home empty handed and their season will be terminated in the first week in May.
Despite the comprehensive nature of the win over Waterford, Cork boss Bobby O’Dwyer believes there’s still room for improvement.
“There were a lot of things that we were happy with but then nearly every single thing that we did needs improvement. The further you go along in the championship, you have to be tightening up and sharpening up what you are doing.
“It’s a knockout competition and it’s all about getting a performance on the night.”
In Cork’s 4-20 to 0-5 quarter-final win over Waterford, the starting 15 featured players from 15 different clubs. Tonight’s game, which has a 7pm start, will see 14 clubs represented in the starting line-up, with two players from Douglas on board.