Cork and Clare meet at 2pm this Sunday in the Gaelic Grounds Limerick, in the final of the Munster SFC
This tie has a real novelty factor about it, as this is only the third Munster final over the last 20 years that Clare have managed to reach. They played Kerry in the finals of 1992 (which they won) and 2000. They will travel in hope rather than expectation, as they are facing a serious Cork team.
Clare played their league football in division 4 this year, where they narrowly missed out on promotion as the result of a loss to Wicklow in their final game. With Cork and Kerry drawn on the same side in Munster this year, this opened the door for Limerick, Waterford or Clare to reach the final. Limerick would have been favourites to reach the decider but they were narrowly defeated by Clare in a thrilling semi-final.
Clare will look to Gary Brennan in midfield and full forward David Tubridy to drive them forward. Both actually played in the Railway Cup for Munster this year with several players from the Cork team.
Cork on the other hand have been operating at a much higher level than Clare over the last few years. They finished their last three league campaigns as division 1 champions and completed the double in 2010, when they defeated Down in the All Ireland final.
Cork manager Conor Counihan arguably has the strongest squad in the country to choose from. They have all stars in every line of their team. At the back Micheal Shields and Graham Canty allways lead from the front in the central positions. In midfield Aiden Walsh is their star man, and up front they have excellent finishers in Donncha O’ Connor and Paul Kerrigan.
In reality Cork did the hard work when they defeated Kerry in the semi-final, and they should prove far too strong for a gallant Clare side.
Cork – Alan Quirke, Ray Carey, Michael Shields, Eoin Cadogan, Paudie Kissane, Graham Canty, Noel O’Leary, Alan O’Connor, Aidan Walsh, Ciaran Sheehan, Patrick Kelly, Paul Kerrigan, Colm O’Neill, Donncha O’Connor, Nicholas Murphy.
Clare – Joe Hayes, Kevin Harnett, Barry Duggan, Laurence Healy, Enda Coughlan, Gordan Kelly, John Hayes, Gary Brennan, Ger Quinlin, Shane Brennan, Shane McGrath, Alan Clohessy, Rory Donnelly, David Tubridy, Michael O’Shea.