In the Leinster championship, a 0-20 to 0-16 win over Offaly preceded a disappointing 5-9 to 0-15 loss at the hands of Meath in the penultimate round. Granted, the past two years have been difficult to build any sort of momentum for inter-county squads because of Covid-19. Yet, the manner of Kildare’s loss to a Division 1 team, albeit relegated that same year, struck a chord with O’Connor.
That’s why Cork getting off to a positive start against Kildare and carrying that momentum into the Laois and Clare games, two teams that only barely avoided relegation from Division 2, is imperative. Should Cork finish in the top two of their southern section then a league semi-final against Mayo, Meath or Down is potentially on the cards.
Cork v Kildare in Semple Stadium at 3.30pm.
Laois v Cork in O’Moore Park, Portlaoise at 7pm.
Clare v Cork in Cusack Park, Ennis at 1.45pm.