Kilkenny v Cork, Sunday, 2 pm, Croke Park
Kilkenny and Cork will battle it out in the All-Ireland Quarter-Final at Croke Park on Sunday afternoon in what promises to be an exciting game. The game throws in at 2 pm and is live on RTE television.
Firstly let’s begin with Brian Cody’s Kilkenny. Kilkenny beat Dublin 2-23 to 1-21 in the round robin, before going on to beat Carlow 3-22 to 1-14, they lost to Galway by just a point 3-20 to 2-22, before drawing with Wexford in Wexford Park 1-18 to 0-21. That meant both sides met in the Leinster Final, but it was the Slaneysiders that ran out winners 1-23 to 0-23. From been at that game Kilkenny panicked, something that you don’t normally see with Kilkenny teams, they were heading for goals with 10 minutes to play and there were only two or three points between the sides. TJ Reid played a short free on the 21-yard line to Fennelly but it was called back and Wexford was given a free for the sliothar not been hit the minimum distance, Kilkenny also hit 12 wides to Wexford’s 3, indeed Wexford hit none in the second half. I expect Cody to roll the dice here and Cillian Buckley is likely to return now with another few weeks of training behind him. Huw Lawlor impressed me at times, while Paddy Deegan found things hard against the impressive Lee Chin. A quick forward which Cork has plenty of could be his downfall in Croke Park. TJ Reid, Walter Walsh, and Adrian Mullen will be looking to pull the strings in attack.
Looking at Cork, they lost to Tipperary in their first game in Munster, before going on to beat Limerick 1-26 to 1-19. They followed that up with a big win over Waterford, before losing to Clare in Ennis. Last weekend they played Westmeath and without getting out of second gear they racked up 1-40 (1-35 from play) in a convincing 1-40 to 0-20 win. This will be a lot tougher obviously and the Cork forward won’t get as much freedom. However, what they do have in their side is 6 brilliant forwards that all have the pace. Alan Cadogan, Patrick Horgan, Shane Kingston, and Conor Lehane to name just a few that can all be match winners.
Previous Championship Meetings
2013 Cork 0-19 Kilkenny 0-14 (All-Ireland quarter-final)
2010 Kilkenny 3-22 Cork 0-19 (All-Ireland semi-final)
2008 Kilkenny 1-23 Cork 0-17 (All-Ireland semi-final)
2006 Kilkenny 1-16 Cork 1-13 (All-Ireland Final)
2004 Cork 0-17 Kilkenny 0-09 (All-Ireland Final)
Kilkenny have been in eight All-Ireland quarter-finals. They have won 5, drawn 1 and lost 2. The losses coming to Limerick in 2018 and then Cork in 2013. This will be Cork’s 10th All-Ireland quarter-final. So far they have won 6, drawn 1 and lost two. TJ Reid is Kilkenny’s top scorer this year with 5-54 (0-37f, 2-00 pen, 0-06 65’s), Cork’s top scorer is Patrick Horgan with 4-52 ( 0-38 frees). Brian Cody will be looking for his fifth win over Cork in 8 championship games, he has the won four and lost three over the last 20 years.
Kilkenny: Eoin Murphy, Paul Murphy, Huw Lawlor, Joey Holden, Paddy Deegan, Padraig Walsh, Cillian Buckley, Conor Browne, Conor Fogarty, Richie Hogan, TJ Reid, Richie Leahy, Adrian Mullen, Colin Fennelly, John Donnelly
Cork: Anthony Nash, Sean O’Donoghue, Eoin Cadogan, Stephen McDonnell, Niall O’Leary, Mark Ellis, Mark Coleman, Darragh Fitzgibbon, Bill Cooper, Daniel Kearney, Conor Lehane, Luke Meade, Alan Cadogan, Patrick Horgan, Seamus Harnedy.
Cork haven’t beaten Kilkenny in Croke Park since the 2004 All-Ireland Final so that may be a worry for Cork fans travelling up. However, I think they will win this game. My reasoning is at present Cork have the better forwards and of course the team with the most scores wins the game. I think have more goalscoring threat as well and they will grab a goal or two. Cork are 4/6 to win, Kilkenny are 13/8 and the draw is 8/1. Pat Horgan is 11/2 to get the first goal, while Darragh Fitzgibbon may be worth a bet at 14/1 to get the man of the match.