Put aside momentarily the gulf in strength and game experience between the two sides in Tralee yesterday. Any cursory examination of what Cork started with, brought on, didn’t use — or have away on club duty with Nemo Rangers — would lead one to conclude there’s impressive depth and breadth to the Cork football squad as 2020 looms.
Life was breathed into the Munster championship on Saturday in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Cork showed up and battled, stayed with Kerry for the game but ultimately came up short. Kerry played in fits and starts, put up a good score and got the job done. Both teams have plenty to reflect on this week as they ready themselves for the serious stuff.
Cork have not reached the last eight of the championship since 2014, falling at the fourth-round hurdle each summer since. But irrespective of who Cork are pitted against on this occasion, McCarthy is adamant that his team are well capable of progressing to the Super 8s.
A pair of winning points of real quality from Darragh Fitzgibbon, at the end of the second period of extra-time, finally put daylight between these two teams after a pulsating and fiercely contested Cork SHC first round at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday.