Cork are through to the All-Ireland final after an epic extra-time victory over Kilkenny.
In the process, they ended several hoodoos. A first win at Croke Park since 2013. A first final appearance in eight years. And a first win over the Cats at Jones’ Road since 2004.
But they are not done just yet. On Lee-side, they will be planning to end a 16-year wait for the Liam MacCarthy Cup.
Pondering their chances against Limerick, the Sky Sports pundits feel they took a step up in the semi-final.
“We felt coming into the game, would they have the fight? Would they be able to go toe-to-toe with this Kilkenny team? We knew Kilkenny would fight to the very end, which they did. And could Cork show the resolve in the extra-time? And they really did answer that,” opined Ollie Canning.
“So credit, hats off to them. In years gone by, Cork may have fallen away there under the pressure from Kilkenny. But they answered the questions. It was a deserved victory. End-to-end action. Brilliant game.”
Jamesie O’Connor feels that the Rebels have tools to test Limerick in the decider.
“It’s a brilliant place to be [for Cork]. Given how impressive Limerick were, Cork were the underdogs and that’s the position you want to be in,” said the Clare legend.
“They have a chance, and they will bring something different. They won’t try and beat Limerick playing Limerick’s game. They will play Cork’s game. And that gives them a chance. It’s great to be a Cork supporter and a Cork player for the next two weeks.”
And JJ Delaney feels the Rebels have nothing to lose as they prepare to have another crack off the reigning champions.
“This team definitely has [answered the critics]. What a great preparation going into an All-Ireland final, especially against Limerick, bringing Kilkenny to extra-time and comprehensively beating them. They were brilliant. I’d say they are hopping in the dressing room at the moment,” outlined the nine-time All-Ireland winner.
“You see Hoggy (Patrick Horgan) going over to the Cork fans, they’re celebrating this and rightly they should. They’re in an All-Ireland final. I think they’re going to appreciate that. They’re a very grounded bunch. They come across that way, so they’ll appreciate the next couple of weeks.
“They’ll have a proper crack off Limerick. It’s the second game they’re playing Limerick as well. They had a game against them earlier on, tried a few things against them. Now they can go back and study the tape, see what worked and what didn’t work, and they can tweak them now for two weeks’ time.”
The Lee-siders are already plotting the Treaty’s downfall.
“Underdogs, if you were to listen to the television and everything written and said today lads, Limerick’s name is already etched on the cup,” said selector Diarmuid O’Sullivan after the match.
“They are the greatest team that have played the game over the last number of years. We will come up. We will see how we get on and we will throw what we can at them.”
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