Rebels can edge tactical encounter

SUNDAY’S All-Ireland SFC final will be a tight game.

I’d expect Cork to win after last year’s experience but Down have the classier forwards. Cork have come this far playing badly and they will have to produce their best performance of the last two years to get over the line. I don’t know why Cork’s form has been so poor. They’ve never had their strongest 15 on the pitch and that doesn’t help but I still think the Sam Maguire Cup is theirs to lose. This will be a very tactical game, it won’t be open and free-flowing. Down will pack plenty of bodies behind the ball and you could see a final score like 0-13 0-11 or 0-14 0-12. Goals will be priceless.

Down are very good at closing down space and they will look to hit Cork on the break. I’m a great admirer of Down’s Benny Coulter. I played International Rules football with him and he’s is a fantastic player. It’s great to see him playing in a final, it us just rewards for his efforts through the years, and he’s one of the most talented forwards I ever played with.

I hope Graham Canty is fit for Cork too. He’s an honest individual and it would be a shame for him to miss the final. Colm O’Neill’s a good young player in attack for Cork, very talented but I think he could increase his workrate a small bit. Down have three or four forwards who will score every day and normally over the years, teams that win All-Irelands have two or three scoring attackers. This is a hard one to call and I think it will be a point or two either way at the finish. I wouldn’t be surprised if it finished in a draw but this really is do or die for Cork. If they don’t win it will set them back a lot. And with Kerry and Tyrone out of the equation, it is Cork’s for the taking.


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