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Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Underdogs Cork can make a flying start against Kerry

Pressure is off for Rebels

Paul Kerrigan (right) has been in top form for Cork
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Munster football final: Cork v Kerry
Premier Sports, 2pm Sunday

Neighbours Cork and Kerry have never been further away from each other.

Kerry are the only team to have beaten Dublin in a competitive outing in the last two years. They are the Division 1 champions and second favourites to lift the Sam Maguire and odds of 1-7 about them winning the Munster final in 70 minutes are a clear indication of where the sides are right now.

But, perhaps the layers have underestimated the Rebels for this showdown. That's not to say that we are in for a massive upset at Killarney, and Kerry's quality will surely shine though in the closing stages, but it could be touch-and-go heading into the final 15 minutes.

History shows that Cork footballers are most dangerous when their confidence appears to be at its lowest. For the first time this summer there is no pressure on the Rebels and they travel to Killarney with nothing to lose.

They can play with freedom without fear of ridicule. That is, of course, unless they suffer a humiliating defeat at the hands of their arch-rivals, but that looks unlikely.

For 105 minutes of the championship, Cork have been utterly atrocious. They were blessed to beat Waterford by a single point and somehow managed to produce an even worse display in the first half against Tipperary.

But something happened in the second half of that provincial semi-final. This Cork team decided to take the shackles off and to play on instinct.

Cork tormented Tipperary for 35 minutes and fully deserved to come out on top. Paul Kerrigan epitomised their improved performance by driving at the heart of the Tipperary defence and kicking some crucial points.

Cork have useful forwards, including some inexperienced younger ones, and it was blatantly obvious that they were seriously lacking confidence against Waterford and Tipperary. We may now finally get to see something positive from the Rebels.

They scored 4-90 in their seven league matches in Division 2, an average of almost 15 points per game, and the bet that appeals most is for the Rebels to score over 14.5 at a shade of odds-against.

Cork scored 0-18 against Meath and 0-20 in their win over Derry. With Kerrigan in top form, the underdogs should not suffer on the scoreboard. It is at the other end of the pitch where most of their problems could occur.

Kerry started really poorly against Clare. They were only on level terms at half-time, despite playing with a strong breeze, and it was only in the final 15 minutes when they pulled away.

Expect Cork to explode from the traps and they might be in front at the halfway point. It is 4-1 with BoyleSports for that to happen.

Recommendations
Cork to lead at half-time
1pt 4-1 BoyleSports
Cork to score over 14.5 points
2pts 11-10 BoyleSports

Cork scored 0-18 against Meath and 0-20 in their win over Derry. With Kerrigan in top form, the underdogs should not suffer on the scoreboard
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