We’re not going to spend too much time comparing and contrasting the respective forward units largely because we don’t see much of a difference between the two.
Where Colm Cooper, Daithi Casey and Kieran O’Leary carry the mantle for Crokes, read Paul Kerrigan, Luke Connolly and Barry O’Driscoll for Nemo.
The Crokes half-forward line of Micheál Burns, Gavin O’Shea and Brian Looney never fail in chipping in with a handful of white flags, the same for Nemo’s Colin O’Brien, Ciaran Dalton and the impressive Paddy Gumley.
To a large degree, they cancel each other out.
It is further back the field where this game will be decided. First to midfield, even if we don’t believe this will be the crucial battle. Nemo were badly stung by Barrs midfielder Ian Maguire during the drawn county final. It was a different story come the replay.
Johnny Buckley had an inspired afternoon during Crokes’ Munster semi-final win over Kilmurry-Ibrickane, so dominant under the opposition kick-out. Nemo will have looked at this and in the same way that Maguire didn’t twice wreak havoc, the Kerry footballer will be a watched man tomorrow.
Now, to the defences. Having conceded 2-16 against UCC in the county quarter-final and 3-13 on the afternoon of the Cork final replay, Nemo have a tendency to get dragged into a shootout. Crokes don’t, they know it’s not worth the hassle.
Go back to early February at the Gaelic Grounds and recall the frugal manner in which Crokes held a Corofin attack laced with inter-county talent to just five points from play. Moreover, Pat O’Shea’s charges have conceded just one goal in seven championship games en-route to the Munster decider.
Nemo are missing Cian McWhinney and Tomás Ó Sé on the right flank and we’re not sure they have the defenders who’ll offer the same level of interrogation as Fionn Fitzgerald, John Payne, Gavin White and David O’Leary will when the Nemo forwards stand beside them.
A fifth Munster crown in seven years for Crokes would be some achievement.
Verdict: Dr Crokes.
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