SOMETIMES even manager Eamon Ryan is taken aback by the sheer majesty of the Cork ladies team.
He's watched them win six of the last seven TG4 All-Ireland titles but the hunger levels for success remain unsated.
Ryan hoped that his players would rise to the challenge in last Saturday's All-Ireland semi-final against Monaghan in Birr and his players, as they normally do, delivered in style.
Make no mistake, this was a challenge for all-conquering Cork.
Back in May, Monaghan beat them by three points in the National League Division 1 final.
Monaghan cruised to Ulster championship glory before hitting 4-15 against Mayo in the All-Ireland quarter-final.
Cork, in contrast, were barely tested in this year's championship and would have preferred a much tougher challenge against Donegal in the last eight. The Leesiders won by 8-27 to 0-2 and learned absolutely nothing new.
But as Ryan said, his players love a challenge.
"That was very satisfying," Ryan said. "Monaghan are a very good team. We knew they would be a huge challenge, but we rose to it, I'd say even better than we expected."
The positives were many, with Brid Stack outstanding at full-back and Briege Corkery magnificent in the half-back line. At midfield, Juliet Murphy pulled the strings with Valerie Mulcahy and Nollaig Cleary, particularly in the second half, scoring freely up front.
Cork led by 1-9 to 0-6 at half-time and it was a devastating scoring blitz before the break that put the holders in a real comfort zone.
Cork's nine-point win sets up a final meeting with Kerry on September 30. Barring a massive display from the Kingdom, the Brendan Martin Cup looks to be on its way back to Cork for the seventh time in eight seasons.
Scorers -- Cork: N Cleary 1-2, V Mulcahy 0-5 (3f), J Murphy 0-4 (2f), R Ní Bhuachalla 1-0, B Corkery, O Finn 0-2 each. Monaghan: C McConnell 0-4 (2f), N Kindlon 0-4f, C McAnespie, E McCarron, L McEnaney, C Mohan 0-1 each.
CORK -- E Harte; A M Walsh, B Stack, D O'Reilly; B Corkery, R Buckley, G O'Flynn; J Murphy, N Kelly; O Farmer, C O'Sullivan, D O'Sullivan; N Cleary, V Mulcahy, R Ní Bhuachalla. Subs: L McMahon for Farmer (42), O Finn for Ní Bhuachalla (50), Angela Walsh for C O'Sullivan (51), A Hutchings for Kelly (54), Annie Walsh for Cleary (58).
MONAGHAN -- L Martin; G McNally, S Courtney, C Reilly; T McNally, N Fahy, A McAnespie; A Casey, E McElroy; C McAnespie, L McEnaney, C Mohan; C McConnell, N Kindlon, C Courtney. Subs: E McCarron for McElroy (25).
Ref -- J Niland (Sligo).