Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Morgan's men keen to do the trick

Cork are hoping to make it a hat-trick of sorts when they line out against Kerry in tomorrow's Bank of Ireland All Ireland football final at Croke Park (3.30pm).

Billy Morgan's men can become the third team on the trot to lift the Sam Maguire Cup via the qualifier route following in the footsteps of Tyrone (2005) and Kerry last year.

Tyrone set up a record of their own two years ago when they played no fewer than ten matches to claim the blue riband of gaelic football.

In contrast, while Kerry have assembled 34 titles to date, the fingers of one hand would be more than adequate to count the number of games they would played en route to the majority of these triumphs.

Tomorrow, though, they will aim to become the first side since Cork in 1990 to retain the All-Ireland football title - and that Cork outfit was managed by Billy Morgan who will, of course, be in charge again this weekend.

Indeed, this will be Morgan's seventh final at the helm having previously been in charge in 1987 (lost to Meath), 1988 (drew and lost to Meath), 1989 (beat Mayo), 1990 (beat Meath) and 1993 (lost to Derry).

Previously, he played in as goalkeeper two All-Ireland finals, losing against Meath in 1967 and winning against Galway in 1973.

He was captain of that successful '73 side, of course.

In taking Cork into tomorrow's decider, Morgan has endured elation and frustration in almost equal measure - elation following his side's stunning ten-point victory over Meath in particular and frustration at what he feels is the lack of credit accorded to his team by the media.

Now he wants his players to provide the best possible answer to the sceptics by making a mockery of Kerry's ranking as firm favourites for Sunday's showdown.

For them to achieve this will require a massive infusion of his own motivational skills and tactical nous, though.

"I know that people feel Kerry have a psychological edge on us but I don't see it this way. We ran them close in the Munster final and I think we have come on since then," maintains Morgan.

Tomorrow will tell if this is, in fact, the case.

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