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Saturday 16 December 2017

Cork's visit doesn't Bode' well for Jackies

EARLY days yet, but this might be the match of the season. The 'Boden headquarters could be rocking and rolling.

There hasn't been more than a cocktail sausage between the counties in recent times.

And this tie has all the makings of a Sunday Carvery.

Both sides have full marks. Something has to give.

Both enjoyed handsome victories in their opening fixtures -- Cork against Donegal and Dublin against Kildare.

Last week, the bar went up considerably -- Cork got a test from Monaghan, while Meath asked the Jackies a few stiff questions.

It's Dublin's first home fixture. It should attract a big crowd.

Ballyboden St Enda's say they'll have the under- soil heating on!

Dublin's defence had the sirens on in the Royal County, and they'll have to ensure a repeat against the All-Ireland and League champions.

The Rebelette's full-forward, Rhona Ní Bhuachalla, bagged two against Monaghan, while classy corner-forward, Nollaig Cleary, also found the net.

Midfielder, Juliet Murphy, is the Cork Sportswoman of the Year.

And Cork have other Wonder Women in Briege Corkery and Bríd Stack.

It will be the biggest challenge yet for the new Dublin boss, Peter Clarke.

But this is a game that will tell him all he needs to know.

Everybody knows that Sinéad Aherne is among the best forwards the sport has ever seen. Sinéad Goldrick and Fiona Hudson have also delivered powerful performances for the Blues this term.

The last time they met in Division 1 back in 2009, Dublin won by a point in Portmarnock. Later that year, Cork beat the Dubs by a point in the All-Ireland final. And in last year's All-Ireland quarter-final in Birr, Cork edged it by a point. Another photo-finish is likely and we think Cork will just edge it.

DUBLIN: C O'Connor; G O'Malley, S Treacy, A McKenna; S McGrath, S Finnegan, F Hudson; S Goldrick, N McEvoy (St Sylvester's); K Flood, C Murphy, O Leonard; O Egan, N Owens, S Aherne.

VERDICT: Cork

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