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Cork unlikely to be caught late on again

SECONDS out, round two. A fascinating if not quite free-flowing Munster final last Sunday offered no winner so Cork and Waterford's spectacular recent rivalry gets another chapter written this evening in Thurles.

On the balance of play, Cork remain favourites but with enough caveats to make this one a close call.

The rumour mill that Eoin Kelly was set to be hampered by a foot infection a week ago turned out to be complete pie in the sky, a self-generated smokescreen from within the Déise camp.

Kelly had an important game, not just on the ball but in an important role following Donal Óg Cusack's puck-outs. So adept were Waterford with stopping the Rebel supply line at source that all of the Cloyne man's restarts in the final 20 minutes of the match were sent long, high into the horizon.


No surprise then that big Michael Cussen starts, albeit for the injured Jerry O'Connor in the Cork half-forward line, but so necessary was his presence there towards the end, the former senior footballer may well have started anyway.

The other big boost for Cork is Seán Óg Ó hAilpín's declaration of full fitness, a contradiction to his prediction earlier in the week. Whether he will follow Kelly or stick to his zone on the left wing of the Rebel defence remains uncertain however.

One thing for sure from a Waterford perspective, though, is that whoever actually plays full-forward this evening must put more pressure on Eoin Cadogan if the Déise are to have any success.

John Mullane may start there but he will wander and it will be up to Seamus Prendergast, Stephen Molumphy or eventually, Dan Shanahan, to stop the dual man mopping up and clearing everything that moves close to the Cork square.

Cork will, of course, feel they left this one behind them last week and such is their momentum this year, another Munster title should be gleaned by the close of business tonight.

WATERFORD: C Hennessy; E Murphy, L Lawlor, N Connors; T Browne, M Walsh, D Prendergast; S O'Sullivan, R Foley; S Walsh, K Moran, E Kelly; S Molumphy, J Mullane, S Prendergast.

CORK: D Óg Cusack; S O'Neill, E Cadogan, B Murphy; J Gardiner, R Curran, S Óg Ó hAilpín; T Kenny, C Naughton; B O'Connor, N McCarthy, M Cussen; K Murphy, A Ó hAilpín, P Horgan.

ODDS: Cork 4/7, Draw 19/2, Waterford 17/10