Coach Mossie Barrett has presided over a golden run for the Rebels who landed All-Ireland titles in 2005 and 2007. But tonight they aim to make amends for last year’s Munster final loss to Kerry.
Barrett said: “A Munster final is always something to look forward to. We’ve had great wins over the last few years but when you’ve had success, the time to look back on it is when you retire. We’re concentrating on the present.”
Cork opened their campaign by accounting for Waterford by ten points but it was their semi-final dismantling of Kerry (3-10 to 0-9) which garnered most plaudits.
“It was a very satisfying result as we were playing a very highly-rated Kerry team. We played exceptionally well and the line about goals winning games was proven. We got the vital ones that we needed.”
Since that match Cork have been forced into shuffling their pack for tonight’s showdown.
Fiachra Lynch’s late introduction for the Cork seniors in their Munster semi-final replay makes him ineligible, while Paddy O’Shea is injured and Anthony Fenton is unavailable.
But Cork can call on senior panellist Kevin Murphy in goals, and U21 duo Aidan Walsh and Ciarán Sheehan who will bolster the side from centre-back and full-forward respectively.
“It’s disappointing to be without players from the last game but you just have to drive on. We’ve some excellent replacements and I think it bodes well that we’ll have five of the Cork All-Ireland U21 winning team in our panel.”
CORK: K Murphy; P Gayer, E Wiseman, M Prout; R O’Sullivan, A Walsh, M Fehilly; A O’Sullivan, C O’Donovan; D O’Donovan, C Keane, C O’Driscoll; V Hurley, C Sheehan, JP Murphy.
CLARE: C O’Loughlin; S Canavan, B Cummins, P Aherne; B Carrig,. D Blake, B Curtin; N Kennedy, P O Connor (capt); E Griffin, I McInerney, M McCarthy; E Lyons, J Daly, D Molohan.