Kerry set for winner-takes-all trip to face Cork at Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Kerry set for winner-takes-all trip to face Cork at Páirc Uí Chaoimh
Kerry's David Moran is tackled by Nathan Walsh and Ian Maguire during last year's Munster final win over Cork at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

Kerry will honour their home and away arrangement with Cork for November’s Munster SFC semi-final, a knockout fixture to be played at Páirc Uí Chaoimh which will spell the end of one team’s interest in the championship.

Although the venue for the Munster semi-final on November 7/8 has yet to be confirmed by the Central Competitions Control Committee, it is widely expected the game will take place at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Kerry county board chairman Tim Murphy said this afternoon Kerry have no issue upholding their home and away arrangement for what will be a winner-takes-all contest on Leeside.

The Cork footballers travelled to Killarney on three occasions while Páirc Uí Chaoimh was being redeveloped between 2015 and 2017. The first of those visits to Fitzgerald Stadium was for the 2015 Munster final, a fixture Kerry would have hosted irrespective of Páirc Uí Chaoimh's availability given the previous year’s meeting between the counties was played at the old Ballintemple venue.

The 2015 Munster final replay and the 2017 provincial decider were also played at Fitzgerald Stadium, meaning Kerry owed Cork two home games when Páirc Uí Chaoimh reopened.

That debt was paid in 2018 and 2019, with the longstanding home and away arrangement between the counties kicking back in this year, under which it is Cork's turn to play host.

Cork and Kerry last met in a knockout provincial fixture in 2000, a Munster semi-final in Killarney which the Kingdom won with five to spare.

“My understanding is that it is still intended to be played at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, but because of the unknown or what might or might not happen in terms of restrictions or unforeseen events, the CCCC are reserving the right to decide [the venue] closer to the time. But assuming everything remains as is, the game will be going ahead at Páirc Uí Chaoimh and absolutely, we will honour our agreement with Cork,” said Kerry chairman Murphy.

He welcomed the decision to conclude the league before the knockout All-Ireland championship throws in.

“It makes perfect sense to play off those two league games in October. Rather than counties having to look for challenge games, it is a perfect opportunity to finish the league and get that level of competition in before championship. That is very welcome.

“Also, it is great to see the All-Ireland U20 championship being finished.”

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