Championship 2024 Blog

Munster Championship Questions

Mike Finnerty | 17 April 2024

Waterford v Cork our Munster Hurling exclusive is preceded on Saturday with Kerry v Cork in Football.

Can Cork upset the odds again?

Do you know how many times that Kerry and Cork have played each other in championship football over the last 15 years? 18.

Do you know how many of those games that Cork have won? Three.

That’s the sort of recent history and tradition that the Rebels will be up against in Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney on Saturday.

The infamous upset in the 2020 Munster semi-final was one occasion when Cork turned the tables but, on all known form, the odds are stacked against them again.

Are Kerry doing anything differently?

After coasting through the National League, winning five games, being pipped by Derry and well beaten by Dublin, we really are none the wiser about last year’s All-Ireland finalists.

Jack O’Connor stuck with the majority of his tried and trusted lieutenants over the spring, although he did take a look at the Barry Dan O’Sullivan-Joe O’Connor partnership at midfield; and tried out the likes of Cillian Burke and Dylan Roche in the attack.

It will be interesting to see what approach they take against Cork.

How do you solve a problem like David Clifford?

As usual all eyes in Killarney will be on Kerry’s talisman.

The 25 year-old from Fossa has lit up the last six championships and there is no reason to suggest that this summer will be any different.

Clifford racked up 1-24 (all but eight points from open play) during the recent National League without over-exerting himself and continues to make it look easy.

How Cork decide to try and curb his influence will have a huge bearing on the outcome.

Is there a kick in Waterford?

It’s 14 years now since the Deise last won the Munster senior hurling championship and they are long odds to end that long wait and reclaim the title this summer.

Davy Fitzgerald’s team welcome Cork to Walsh Park after losing four of their five league games in the top-flight and being relegated to Division 1B.

All their defeats were relatively narrow ones, but without Austin Gleeson (who has taken a year out) it’s going to take a big improvement to get off to a winning start.

Can Cork be title contenders again?

It’s hard to believe that the Rebels last won the All-Ireland senior hurling title in 2005.

And such has been Limerick’s recent dominance in Munster, Cork are without a Munster crown for six years.

It’s rare that the most successful county in the province has spent so long on the outside looking in.

Manager Pat Ryan’s focus won’t be looking beyond Sunday’s trip to Waterford and, despite losing their opening two league games to Clare and Kilkenny, Cork should hit the ground running.