Thirteen days ago they shocked Tipperary in the hurling final with a last-minute winning goal. With five of that team available - Ken O’Halloran, Niall Horgan, Eoin Cadogan, Carthrach Keane and Kevin Canty, Cork, are optimistic ahead of tomorrow’s decider.
Kerry are bidding for their fourth title in a row with Cork last winning the title in 2000. Cork coach Der O’Donovan feels that the five dual players could hold the key to success.
“It’s a third of the team and such experience has to be an advantage,” he said. “They know what it takes to win Munster titles and hopefully they can use it to good advantage tomorrow.
“Kerry have an advantage over us in that they have played two different counties on their way to the final while we’ve only had the one opposition.
“Secondly they are playing in Limerick for the second time in nine days and will have the benefit of huge support.
“Cork will include eight players from last year’s squad and they are getting the chance to atone for last year’s defeat which still rankles with us. We had Kerry on the rack in that game but failed to put them away and paid the price for it.”
Both selection committees have made the minimum of changes for tomorrow’s showdown,
Micheal O’Donoghue did enough when introduced as a sub against Tipperary to retain his place on the Kerry team, while Kevin Canty comes in for his fellow clubmate Fiachra Lynch.
Kerry looked impressive against a highly-rated Tipperary side in the semi-final. Killian Young, Luke Quinn and Kieran Kelleher are solid in defence while up front Darren O’Sullivan, Brian Dennehy and Shane Murphy offer the Kingdom potent attacking options.
Midfield though will be vital. Kerry are very strong in this department with Brian Moran’s excellent high fielding complimented well by the workrate of Rory Keating. Should Carthrach Keane and Andrew O’Sullivan break even and offer good supply to Fintan Gould, Daniel Goulding and Paul Kerrigan, then Cork should bridge that four-year gap.
KERRY (MFC v Cork): B. Kealy (Kilcummin); P. Reidy (Scartaglin), L. Quinn (Dr. Crokes), K. Young (Renard); D. Doyle (Churchill), C. Kelliher (Milltown/Castlemaine); D. O’Connor (Gneeveguilla); B. Moran (Kerins O’Rahillys), R. Keating (St. Mary’s); M. O’Donoghue (Spa), D. O’Sullivan (Glenbeigh/Glencar), P. Curran (Waterville); B. Dennehy (Austin Stacks), S. Murphy, capt, (Milltown/Castlemaine), J. Buckley (Currow).
Subs: A. O'Connell (Gneeveguilla), A. Kennelly (Dr. Crokes), M. Evans (Dingle), C. O’Mahony (Ballydonoghue), D. Culloty (Na Gaeil), A. O’Sullivan (Tuosist), K. O’Leary (Dr. Crokes), J. Murphy (Dingle), P. O’Connor (Kenmare).
CORK (MFC v Kerry): K O’Halloran (Bishopstown); R Carey (Clyda Rovers), N Horgan (St. Nicks), K Harrington (Bantry Blues); M Shields (St. Finbarr’s), E Cadogan (Douglas), S Keohane (St. Mary’s); A O’Sullivan (Castletownbere), C Keane (Newcestown); C Callinan (Clonakilty), F Gould (Macroom), P Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers); A Concannon (Ballingeary), D Goulding (Eire Og), K Canty (Valley Rovers).
Subs: T. O'Connor (Douglas) S. O'Donoghue (Ballincollig) G. O'Shea (Nemo Rangers) K. O'Halloran (Mallow) , D. Harrington (Garnish) J. Lane (Douglas) D. Crowley (Bishopstown) F. Lynch (Valley Rovers) J. Halbert (Glenville)