Cork captain Martina O’Brien expects more 'measured' meeting against Dublin than seven-goal thriller

“Hopefully, it is a cracker again because with spectators there, it could really, really make for a great evening. Dublin-Cork is always notoriously good.” 
Cork captain Martina O’Brien expects more 'measured' meeting against Dublin than seven-goal thriller

Division 1 final captains Sinead Aherne of Dublin, left, and Martina O'Brien of Cork in attendance during the Lidl Ladies National Football League Finals captains day at Croke Park. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Cork ladies football captain Martina O’Brien does not expect Saturday’s Division 1 League final to be “as loose” a contest as the seven-goal group-stage meeting between the counties last month.

Dublin emerged 3-15 to 4-11 winners at the end of a cracking hour’s football in Páirc Uí Chaoimh three weeks ago but Cork goalkeeper O’Brien is anticipating a more “measured” approach from both sides on Saturday.

“That group game was riddled with mistakes and mistakes then led to lots of scores,” said O’Brien.

“I can't imagine it is going to be as loose as it was that day on Saturday because Dublin are going to have looked at themselves and they are going to want to tighten up on different areas. And certainly, we are the same.

“We are not going to want to leak any goals against Dublin, they surely won't want to give away any either. I think it'll be very measured the next day from both teams. Certainly from us, we probably want to be a bit safer.

“Hopefully, it is a cracker again because with spectators there, it could really, really make for a great evening. Dublin-Cork is always notoriously good.” 

With Cork having come off second best to Dublin in the 2018 and 2020 All-Ireland finals, as well as the 2019 All-Ireland semi-final, do Ephie Fitzgerald’s charges need to make a winning statement this weekend ahead of Championship?

“It is a good and bad thing if you beat the reigning All-Ireland champions before the Championship. You either give them a kick to say, ‘maybe we need to do more’ or you are actually setting down a marker that you are going to build on.

“We are setting our sights on winning every game we play. It doesn't matter if it is Dublin or whoever, we want to win. Saturday is a final and we want to take the cup home, whether Dublin are there or not.

“It is important for ourselves on Saturday, more than anything, to maybe give confidence in the squad and that, going forward, we are going in the right direction.”

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