WITH Clare in the past, we played Antrim a couple of times up there in league and championship.
It was in the old Casement Park which is now closed for a few years. They got the go-ahead to refurbish that recently and we look forward to seeing a new state-of-the-art Casement, which is long overdue.
There are some fantastic GAA people and supporters of the game up there, so it is only right and proper that they should have a decent stadium to showcase their games. It hasn't always been easy to keep the games going, sometimes doing so at their own risk.
Cork are the latest team to have to travel north, but this time it is in the tighter confines of Corrigan Park where the crowd is up on top of you, a passionate crowd. A lot of counties have gone up there and struggled.
I know it was in league games, but Clare, Tipperary, Wexford and Waterford all found it very difficult. Some of them were beaten and more very lucky to come away with a victory.
It is a venue that really suits Antrim's style of play, and they take full advantage of it, more so than Casement Park. I know in talking to managers and players that have played there, that they found it very intimidating, so Cork cannot show any complacency.
Antrim have been improving all the time under Darren Gleeson. He is with them a few years now making the long trek up from Tipperary a few times a week.
It is a long round trip, but Darren sees something in these boys and is definitely getting a good tune out of them. He is very popular there and they have great faith in him. He has delivered a couple of McDonagh Cups but I think he is targeting more than that now.
Taking on a Munster team is a big plus for him as he knows all about Munster hurling from his time playing with Tipperary, and he would definitely know Cork hurling and what way to play against them.
He also has a lot of good hurlers that can carry out that... McManus and Cunning and Clark and Elliott are all good forwards who are well able to take their scores, and Cunning is an exceptional free-taker, as he proved against Kerry.
Cork go to Antrim as the hottest of favourites, having taken care of Tipperary the last day after saving their year with a win against Waterford.
Cork could be coming good at the right time and this is a good start for them. Let's be honest, Tipp were very poor and I'm expecting Antrim to put up more of a challenge.
I know Kieran Kingston is well aware of what he is meeting and is taking nothing for granted.
Cork will need to have a full-strength team here and starting with their defence with Niall O'Leary and Sean O'Donoghue, who would want to be very alert in the full-back line, as would Ciarán Joyce and Mark Coleman outside them I'm sure Darragh Fitzgibbon and Luke Meade would want to continue the good form that they showed against Tipperary.
It will be very interesting which forwards Cork will pick for this game.
Seamus Harnedy is getting back to his old form, but the man that showed all the great form the last day was Conor Lehane. Sometimes he does not show the consistency to do it game after game.
Cork will need him to do it here. Robbie O'Flynn and Shane Kingston will also need to show their form and their score-taking ability, but the big question of all is, will Kieran Kingston start Patrick Horgan?
Patrick is suffering a loss of form this year, which can happen to the best of them, but he also has a lot of mileage on the clock. Maybe as an impact sub would be a better role for him now.
I'm sure the Cork management will know best.
This is a game Cork should be winning comfortably, and move on to bigger challenges.
I believe they will do that and they need to if they have any ambitions about going further.