DOWN have the better forwards and could find goals easier to come by than Cork.
Down get players behind the ball and counter-attack by utilising a two-man full-forward line inside, with Benny Coulter particularly dangerous.
They’re always rotating and it’s never the same two boys inside. Marty Clarke comes out around the middle to create attacks and he’s always looking for the diagonal ball into Benny. You could see a couple of goals coming from there.
The battle around the middle of the field will be tough and Ambrose Rogers not playing is a blow to Down.
If Cork lose this game, it’s curtains and this bunch of players won’t be seen together again. They’ve been knocking on the door, the pressure is huge but they haven’t played overly well on their way to the final.
Look at Down’s pathway and they beat us (Sligo), Longford, Offaly, a Kerry team missing Tomás O Sé and Paul Galvin. They’ve come in under the radar but they played very well against Kildare in the semi-final.
You can’t argue with Down’s record in finals either and their players are high on confidence. When we played them, there was so much talk on the pitch, they’re always communicating with each other. They really ooze confidence and when you take into account how Down are playing and the way they will set up, it’s pointing in their direction for me. There won’t be that much between the teams but Clarke coming back from Australia and a few other things falling into place for Down has left me optimistic about their chances. It’s hard to believe this team was beaten in a Division 3 final last year and their march to the final gives hope to everybody else out there.
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