Cork fans hoping for a huge upset at Croker but it could be a long journey for an even longer 70 minutes

Dublin are unbackable favourites for this All-Ireland quarter-final
Cork fans hoping for a huge upset at Croker but it could be a long journey for an even longer 70 minutes

Con O'Callaghan of Dublin scores his side's fifth goal against Kildare. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

SINCE the draw for the All-Ireland SFC was made phrases like ‘they have nothing to lose,’ or ‘Cork are in bonus territory’ have been on the lips of many.

It’s difficult to argue against that when you look at Cork’s football season overall but the Rebels management and players won’t be thinking that way.

Realistically they are massive longshots to beat Dublin at Croke Park tomorrow but we have seen miracle results before and with absolutely no pressure on them then could we see them pull off the shock of the championship?

Supporters will be hoping for that miracle but the odds are very much stacked in Dublin’s favour. From playing the game at the crazy time of 6pm in Dublin to the talent in their squad that woke up once the championship started and left their poor league form well behind them.

For Rebel fans hoping to go to Croker the timing of the game is far from ideal. With the cost of hotels etc most will be looking to travel up and down on the day. But there is only one train out of Dublin back to Cork, at 9pm, that ties in with the game so it means that lots of supporters would have to drive.

Supporters stand for the playing of Amhrán na bhFiann before Cork's win over Limerick. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Supporters stand for the playing of Amhrán na bhFiann before Cork's win over Limerick. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

That in itself will put a fair share off travelling, especially from West Cork, where a large core of supporters are from. You are looking at journey times of four to five hours each way and with the current price of petrol/diesel, then many are going to take the TV option of watching.

Of course, the hardcore supporters will make the journey but they will do so more in hope than expectation.

All you have to do is look at Dublin’s win over Kildare to see the level they are operating at, with a final score of 5-17 to 1-15. Add in the fact they had nine different scorers and the likes of Con O’Callaghan back firing on all cylinders it is a huge ask for the Rebels to come out on top.

Defensively they have tightened up as well with John Small, captain James McCarthy and Lee Gannon all in top form against Kildare. Then add in the likes of Jonny Cooper coming in off the bench and you can see the strength-in-depth of their panel.

NO PRESSURE

The fact no one expects Cork to beat the Dubs means they can go in under no pressure and there is plenty of talent in the Rebels side. Steven Sherlock must now be considered one of the best forwards in the country and his partnership with Brian Hurley and Cathail O’Mahony in the full-forward line is a combination that can cause problems for any defence.

Ian Maguire is another class act and one of the hardest-working players in the game and sometimes doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Against Limerick, the powerful running of Seán Powter and Kevin ODonovan caused havoc for their defence.

Dublin will have to keep a close eye on that, which is easier said than done. With the likes of Sean Meehan also in contention, Cork will only be thinking about winning this clash and advancing to the semis. Far from easy but we have seen upsets before!

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