Guide to the weekend Gaelic football action in Cork and beyond

There are a host of Cork league finals on this Sunday and the delayed 2020 PIFC decider
Guide to the weekend Gaelic football action in Cork and beyond

A fine action study of Kerry's Sean O'Shea against Tyrone. He is now the favourite to be crowned Footballer of the Year. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

NOW show us what you’ve got! That’s the question Kerry are posing for All-Ireland champions Dublin ahead of their Leinster final against Kildare at Croke Park on Sunday.

It’s not that the fierce rivals are scheduled to clash in the All-Ireland semi-final, but all the money is on a seismic collision in the final itself.

Kerry, who are due to meet either Tyrone or Monaghan for a place in the decider, displayed their many talents against Cork in the Munster final and now the pressure is on the seven-in-a-row chasing Dubs to follow suit.

And while 1/16 Dublin are expected to collect their 11th consecutive provincial title in their 2017 final repeat, it’s how the champions perform which will carry most scrutiny.

Back then, Kildare managed a respectable 1-17 only to still come up 1-6 short and this is their first final in the meantime.

Dublin’s lofty standards have dropped this summer, defeating Wexford unimpressively by 0-15 to 0-7 before engaging Meath once more.

What's next? Dublin manager Dessie Farrell is feeling the heat ahead of the Leinster final against Kildare. Picture: INPHO/Tommy Dickson
What's next? Dublin manager Dessie Farrell is feeling the heat ahead of the Leinster final against Kildare. Picture: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

In last year’s final Dublin romped home by 3-21 to 0-9 and when they held an 11-point half-time lead on this occasion, it suggested another hammering for the Royals.

But, that advantage was cut to three entering the closings stages before a run of points helped the holders over the line, 2-16 to 1-13.

Kildare struggled to shake off both Offaly and Westmeath en route and there’s little to indicate they can win their 14th Leinster title and the first since 2000.

Given the players available to manager Dessie Farrell, the likes of Ciaran Kilkenny, Con O’Callaghan, Brian Fenton, Dean Rock and Cormac Costello, it’s unthinkable that Dublin won’t win.

Their dominance in Leinster reflects Kerry’s in Munster.

The Dubs are chasing a 60th success, miles ahead of Meath on 21 while Kerry have won eight of the last nine Munsters and 10 of the last 12 in their grand total of 82.

Not only that, but the bookies have installed Peter Keane’s side as the new 6/5 favourites to lift the Sam Maguire Cup and deny Dublin seven-in-a-row.

It’s the first time in recent years that the Dubs are not the All-Ireland fancies, now considered 11/8, the biggest price they’ve been since claiming their sixth successive title against Mayo last December. Despite their awful All-Ireland final record, Mayo are rated the main threat to Kerry and Dublin at 9/2.

Tyrone and Monaghan who meet in the Ulster final at Croke Park on Saturday are the 16/1 and 25/1 outsiders respectively.

And to further emphasise Kerry’s standing, their skilful centre-forward, Sean O’Shea, has leapfrogged Con O’Callaghan in the Footballer of the Year betting. The gifted Kenmare player has been backed into 15/8 from 8/1 with Dublin’s O’Callaghan available at threes and the Cliffords, Paudie and David, 5/1 and 6/1 respectively.

O’Shea scored 1-6 against Cork and is on course to scoop an award won by Dublin players in four of the last six seasons.

FIXTURES

SATURDAY

All-Ireland SHC quarter-finals: Tipperary v Waterford, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, 1pm, (RTÉ1); Cork v Dublin, Thurles, 7pm, (Sky Sports Arena).

Nickey Rackard Cup final: Tyrone v Mayo, Croke, Park, 1.30pm, (Sport TG4).

Ulster SFC final: Tyrone v Monaghan, Croke Park, 4pm, (RTÉ2).

All-Ireland U20 football semi-final: Cork v Offaly, Portlaoise, 5.15pm, (TG4).

Lory Meagher Cup final: Fermanagh v Cavan, Croke Park, 6.30pm, (Sport TG4).

SUNDAY

Bon Secours 2020 PIFC final: Knocknagree v Kanturk, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, 7pm.

Cork Credit Union Football League finals: Division 1: St Finbarr’s v Clonakilty, Bandon, 2pm.

Division 2: Newmarket v Castlehaven, Macroom, 2pm.

Division 3: Newcestown v Carrigaline, Cloughduv, 3pm.

Division 4: Bandon v Naomh Aban, 3pm.

Division 6: Kilshannig v Na Piarsaigh, Carrignavar, 4pm.

Division 7: Glanmire v Castletownbere, Ballinacarriga, 4pm.

JBFC final: Dripsey v Kilbrin, Pairc Ui Rinn, 4.30pm.

JAFC semi-final: Iveleary v Kilmacabea, Dunmanway, 2pm.

Christy Ring Cup final: Derry v Offaly, Croke Park, 1pm, (Sport TG4).

Leinster SFC final: Dublin v Kildare, Croke Park, 4pm, Croke Park, (RTÉ2).

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