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Friday 17 August 2018

Cork firepower can get blow away Banner backs

Conor Lehane of Cork. Photo: Sportsfile
Conor Lehane of Cork. Photo: Sportsfile

How the mighty have fallen. Five years ago, this pair served up a brace of epic All-Ireland finals.

Now Clare, such buoyant young champions then, are fifth favourites of five to win their province.

Maybe it's because their last Munster title is a fading 20-year memory. Or because they haven't been back to Croker since 2013. Or because of the players they have lost.

Even Cork, current Munster holders, must settle for third-favourites. Maybe that's because they were so unfancied to begin with last summer; or because they ended up in a Division 1A relegation play-off last March.

Countering that, when the pressure was on that day, they beat Waterford. This is no straight-forward call but Banner legend Jamesie O'Connor admitted this week that it was "hard to see us coming out of Munster", primarily because of their lack of defensive depth.

This is where Cork, through Conor Lehane, Patrick Horgan and Alan Cadogan, can hurt them most.

ODDS: Cork 8/11 Draw 9/1 Clare 11/8

VERDICT: Cork

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