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Cork have “nothing to fear” | Kerry angles of attack like “pouring water into a sieve”

Have Kerry enough defensively to go man-to-man? Has Ronan McCarthy introduced enough fresh talent to lead Cork to a surprise?

Have Kerry enough defensively to go man-to-man? Has Ronan McCarthy introduced enough fresh talent to take Cork to a point where they can spring a surprise?

BY SHANE STAPLETON
Steven Poacher believes that Cork footballers have nothing to fear when they face Kerry in the Munster SFC semi-final on Sunday.

The Rebels have not beaten their local rivals since the Munster semi-final of 2012 and, outside of a draw in 2015, have tasted nothing other than defeat in the years since.

After running the Kingdom close in last year’s provincial clash — 1-19 to 3-10 — with Cork’s direct running causing trouble, and powering their way through Division Three, things are looking up for Ronan McCarthy’s side.

“Seven wins from seven in Division Three,” says Down minor coach Poacher. “You could argue there’s a massive gulf but Cavan will be a Division Three teams next year, and they beat Division One Monaghan last weekend.

“When you’re used to winning, as Cork are, it breeds momentum and confidence, and football ultimately is a game of confidence.

“Listen, Cork have always had huge athletes and they have a bit of class too.

“The likes of Ruairi Deane, Paul Kerrigan, Mark Collins who came off the bench the last day against Down and scored 1-5.

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“Cork is a massive county and obviously Kerry don’t have the distraction of playing hurling at the highest level as Cork do.

“This team have nothing to fear,” he adds of Cork. “Kerry will go in as massive favourites.

“They have David Clifford, Sean O’Shea, Tony Brosnan who is playing out of his skin, the power they have from their half-back line, but there are question marks over Kerry defensively.

“We have seen against Monaghan they can adapt and get back to suffocate the game, so it will be interesting to see how this weekend goes.”

Click play on the video at the top of the page for the full preview.

SATURDAY
Connacht SFC semi-final 

Galway vs Sligo 13.15 – game awarded to Galway

Munster SFC semi-final
Limerick vs Tipperary 13.15

Ulster SFC quarter-final
Cavan vs Antrim 13.15

Leinster quarter-final
Westmeath vs Dublin 18.15

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SUNDAY
Connacht SFC semi-final

Roscommon vs Mayo 13.30

Leinster SFC quarter-final
Longford vs Laois 13.30 
Wicklow vs Meath 13.30
Kildare vs Offaly 17.30

Ulster SFC quarter-final
Fermanagh vs Down 13.30

Munster SFC semi-final
Cork vs Kerry 16.00

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