In Munster, the holders Dr Croke’s were the hot fancy and Slaughtneil and Corofin the leading contenders even after Nemo blitzed the Kerry side at Páirc Uí Rinn. It is Nemo, though, who will head to Croke Park on St Patrick’s Day to face Corofin, having excelled last weekend.
This being Cork football, they were beaten by Derry, turning a 1-3 to no score advantage into a 1-8 to 1-7 loss. O’Driscoll looked a class act then and has been a vital cog for Nemo since.
The Rebels are struggling without the Nemo crew. Kerrigan, Connolly, O’Driscoll and Stephen Cronin were in the squad last year and you could make a strong case for Aidan O’Reilly coming in, too, as he’s a natural in the full-back line. Cork are highly unlikely to get promoted from Division 2 — with away trips to Meath and Roscommon, as well as a home tie against Clare — but you couldn’t expect them to with the Nemo lads out, as well as Aidan Walsh, Seán Powter and James Loughrey. That’s the spine of a decent team.
On the plus side, John Meyler and his selectors have looked at a number of new faces, with Seán O’Donoghue and Tim O’Mahony the most impressive. Eoin Cadogan has been decent at full-back on his return.