We have live GAA score commentary as Cork and Down meet in the second semi final of Division One of the Allianz National Football League at Croke Park on Sunday afternoon(4.00pm).
It is the first time the two counties have met in knockout competition since the 2010 All Ireland Final,when the Rebels came from behind to take the title.
Both sides have had a mixed campaign to date and needed to win their final round matches last weekend to reach the last four. Cork overcame Dublin, while the Ulster side easily disposed of Laois. Back in February the two counties met in Round Two of the league and the Rebels ran out easy winners, on a scoreline of 4-11 to 0-10. Down seemed to improve in the aftermath of that game and went on to defeat Mayo and Dublin in their next two outings but a defeat to Armagh left them needing points in the last round.
Cork are a side that have something to prove in 2012. After their heroics of two years ago,nothing went right for the Munster men in 2011. They were forced to play Mayo in the championship less than a week after their qualifier round and the short turnaround cost them their crown. Conor Counihan will be all out to show that his team are much better than recent results,and this weekend provides the Corkmen with a good opportunity to reach their first national decider since that All Ireland success.
The Down bandwagon has certainly been derailed in recent months and the Mourne men have struggled to replace the mercurial Marty Clarke. The former minor star led them to the last two in 2010 but since his return to Australia the fortunes of the side have continued to dip. It would be a huge boost for Down football if they were to win on Sunday and return to Croke Park for the final of the competition. However,they look up against it and will find it a very tall order to overcome a tough Cork outfit.
Despite an indifferent campaign to date, Cork get the vote to win through to the final. They may well face a date with their old rivals Kerry, who should have too much for Mayo in the other semifinal.
Cork – Alan Quirke, Ray Carey, Michael Shields, Eoin Cotter, Noel O’Leary, Graham Canty, Paudie Kissane, Alan O’Connor, Pearse O’Neill, Fintan Goold, Patrick Kelly, Paul Kerrigan, Colm O’Neill, Aidan Walsh, Donncha O’Connor.
Down – B McVeigh; D McCartan, B McArdle, D Turley; K McKernan, N McParland, C Garvey; A Rogers, K King; P Turley, M Poland, A Carr; A McConville, C Laverty, B Coulter.