Thursday 12 December 2019

Young guns to tackle big two on Croker stage

Members of the Cork team stand for the National Anthem
Members of the Cork team stand for the National Anthem

A new breed of young contenders will take their cases to Croke Park this Sunday to challenge football's leading duo in a double-header showdown to decide who contests the Division 1 Allianz Football League final on April 27, WRITES MARTIN BREHENY.

Despite hesitating after the semi-final pairings became known, the GAA has opted for Croke Park as the venue for the Derry v Mayo (2.0) and Cork v Dublin (4.0) clashes.

It involves long journeys for Derry, Mayo and Cork but the option of playing the games at separate provincial venues was deemed counter-productive to the promotion of the semi-finals. Besides, playing in Croke Park will provide valuable experience for Cork and Derry who, unlike Dublin and Mayo, have relatively young teams.

With a new-look side, Cork manager Brian Cuthbert was anxious to get more experience at HQ, after an excellent performance there last month when they beat Dublin by two points. "The more times we get up there, the better for us," he said.

The GAA also announced details of the football league finals, all of which will be in Croke Park.

ALLIANZ FL FINALS – Sat, April 26: Division 4: Clare v Tipperary (5.0); Division 3: Cavan v Roscommon (7.0). Sun, April 27: Division 2: Donegal v Monaghan (2.0); Division 1: Cork/Dublin v Derry/Mayo (4.0).

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