This coming weekend is NFL final weekend at Croke Park, with the Division Three and Four deciders taking place on Saturday evening while the Division One and Two showdowns are on the agenda for Sunday afternoon. Two Croke Park double-headers in this kind of weather would really make it feel like summer is upon us but, sadly, the glorious weather we’re currently experiencing is set to have ended before the ball is thrown in for the first of the weekend’s four deciders.
We’re sitting on the sidelines, of course, but with the rising Rossies taking on Down in the Division Two decider on Sunday (throw-in 2pm) there’ll be a fair bit of interest in the day’s action, with an eye to what might pan out in Connacht this year, in that one. The bookies have this clash priced as an even-money contest.
The money men have, though, chalked Dublin down as clear 4/9 favourites to land the Division One title for the third successive year when they face Cork at 4pm on Sunday. It’s not hard to see why – memories are still fresh from twelve months ago when the counties last met at HQ, when Cork threatened to tear Jim Gavin’s side to pieces in their semi-final clash before the Dubs launched an impressive second half comeback that ultimately floored the Leesiders. Dublin went on to trounce Derry in the final last year and I’d say that performance might also be influencing the pricing for Sunday’s meeting.
It is a different year, though, and Brian Cuthbert’s side are building nicely again. That defeat to Dublin and the walloping Kerry gave them in Munster did for them last year, though we had a right old battle against them at the All-Ireland quarter-final stage before finally subduing them. The Rebels have enjoyed a positive League campaign this year and so it’s no surprise to see them back in the hunt for spring honours once again.
An interesting backdrop to this clash is that the finalists have between them won every Division One title this decade. Cork did a three-in-a-row between 2010 and 2012, beating us in the final in both of those years while edging out Dublin in the 2011 decider, while Dublin were victorious in 2013 and again last year. Between them, they truly are the League specialists of the modern era and a win for Dublin on Sunday would see us lose our long-standing position as the county with the second most League titles.
So, then, time for a vote on it – will this one go to form or will Cork upset the odds? Over to you.
Who'll win the League final?
- Dublin (56%, 69 Votes)
- Cork (44%, 55 Votes)
Total Voters: 124