Lonesharkoy previews the All Ireland Football Qualifier between Cork and Kildare and believes that the Rebels will be much too strong for the Lilywhites.
Cork vs Kildare, All Ireland SF Qualifier
On paper, Kildare have got their season back on track with wins over Offaly and Longford – yet in neither fixture did we see enough from the Lily Whites to suggest that they are capable of living with the teams in the top tier, and for that reason Cork get the nod to win quite comfortably tonight in Semple Stadium.
Kildare might not be as bad as their position in Division Three for 2016 would suggest, but this season’s results have made it patently clear that in the football pecking order at the moment, there is a top six and then a big drop to the rest after that. There have been isolated instances (only in Ulster) where those leading contenders have been pushed to the wire by other sides (Donegal vs Derry/Tyrone, Monaghan vs Cavan), but in general results have suggested that there is a dramatic fall-off in standards once we look beyond the four provincial winners as well as Cork and Donegal.
Dry conditions and an open arena in Thurles will also play into the hands of the Cork attacking unit, who will relish the opportunity to take on a Kildare backline that is low on face-to-face tenacity in the absence of Hugh McGrillen and Mick Foley. Kildare are also one of the few remaining sides that won’t look to play any form of blanket defence, and while that might be refreshing for supporters, we’d wager that it’ll Colm O’Neill and his colleagues who will enjoy that most.
Kildare’s mobility around the middle third will be a key weapon for the Leinster county as they seek to keep Cork on the back foot and build up their time of possession statistics, but while it’s entirely realistic to imagine Kildare racking up fifteen points or so, envisaging Cork finishing with less than twenty is very tough.
2 points win Cork -5pts to beat Kildare at 11/10 with Paddy Power