Sunday 19 February 2017

Dubs and Cork face up for make-or-break summer

Published 13/04/2015 | 02:30

Cork's Colm O'Neill in action against Michael Murphy, Donegal
Cork's Colm O'Neill in action against Michael Murphy, Donegal

The National League final may give a clue as to what the summer holds as both Dublin and Cork seek some sort of redemption for what both would have been seen as disappointing championship seasons in 2014.

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Dublin routed Monaghan last week up in Clones but were pushed to the pin of their collar to win yesterday's Croke Park semi-final encounter by the odd point in 33.

They are now on the cusp of a three-in-a-row of league titles but as we know that is not how teams are measured. Cork shaped up well last year but were totally dismantled by Kerry in Munster and never fully recovered their poise.

Well, maybe they have and despite showing typical Rebel naivety in many turnovers or incorrect shooting options, they came up with the goals against Donegal yesterday that their game often threatens when the likes of Colm O'Neill and Brian Hurley are in their attack.

Their big test though won't come against Dublin in the final but when they face Kerry in the Munster Championship.

Still, if they can get a winning habit in the final, it will stand them in good stead for the real deal against their Munster rivals.

Meanwhile, both Monaghan and Donegal go back and get ready for the minefield that is the Ulster Championship.

In many ways both of these teams looked better than their opponents at various times in a sparse Cork Park yesterday and the players and their management teams will have taken a lot of confidence from their performances.

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