slow burners -- the history
Cork are trying to emerge from a few seasons of close calls in the All-Ireland championship but, as the following sequence shows, a slow burner doesn't always burst into glorious flames.
All-Ireland final defeats in 2004 and 2006 left them quite optimistic heading into 2007, especially as John O'Mahony had taken over. However, Galway hammered them in the Connacht quarter-final while they later lost heavily to Derry in the qualifiers.
They lost the All-Ireland final for the second successive year in 1997 but had high hopes of mounting another major challenge in 1998, only to lose to Galway in the first round of the Connacht championship.
Defeat by Meath in 1987 and '88 left them in much the same position as the current Cork squad. The 1989 season was make-or-break time and Cork responded by winning the title and retaining it a year later.
Defeats by Kerry in the 1980 semi-final and the 1981 final left Offaly under pressure in 1982. Their response was impressive as they powered their way to the final, which they won thanks to Seamus Darby's dramatic late goal against Kerry.
They reached the final for the third time in four years (having lost to Offaly in 1971 and Cork in 1973) but big-day experience counted for nothing against Dublin. Somewhat similar to Down this year, the Dubs came from way back in the pack to win their first All-Ireland for 11 years. It would be another 14 years before Galway next won the title.
Reached a second successive All-Ireland final, having also lost the 1963 semi-final. However, they were beaten by Galway for a third successive year and wouldn't even win Munster over the next two years.