Sarah Houlihan admits Kerry are bracing themselves for a Cork backlash when the sides go head-to-head for a place in the All-Ireland Ladies Football final.

The showdown between Cork and Kerry at the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday will be the first time for the local rivals to clash since the Munster decider earlier in the season.

On that occasion Kerry came out on top, just like they did in 2013, before the tables were turned when they met in the last four in the All-Ireland series later in the year.

Houlihan said the Kingdom are wary of the possibility of history repeating itself when they play the All-Ireland champions this time around.

She said: "No doubt Cork are pleased to be playing us as they will not need much motivating for the game after they lost to us in the Munster final.

"When we also beat them to win the province two years ago, they bounced back strongly and got revenge later in the All-Ireland semi-finals so that is something we are mindful of.

"Leaving that aside, they are simply a powerful team and do not lose many Championship games.

"They are chasing a tenth All-Ireland in 11 years and that incentive for them will only serve to make our task harder.

"Having said that, we are trying not to get too bogged down with Cork and are instead concentrating on our own game.

"It is important that we make sure that we manage to perform to our potential."

Houlihan said Kerry can go into the game with real confidence from some Munster Championship victories over Cork and one in the National League too.

Not long ago, Kerry might have almost been beaten before the throw-in when it came to playing Cork, but she says that has changed.

Houlihan added: "A few years ago there tended to be a bit of a fear factor involved when we met Cork and it was difficult to overcome that.

"Then, two years ago, we defeated them by two points in the group phase in Munster before we then won the final.

"Coming away from that first game, you could feel the whole squad had been lifted and it gave us the confidence to go and beat them again.

"Unfortunately, we could not complete the hat-trick in the All-Ireland semi-finals, but it was a significant corner that we had turned.

"The self-belief we gained back then is still there and that is why we think we have a real chance of coming out on top.

"Going into this year's Munster final, we felt really good in ourselves. We were ready for the challenge and whatever scenarios might develop through the course of the game.

"Some followers of ladies football were probably surprised that we won but it was not a shock to us at all.

"We had put in the required work in the run-up to the game and we got our reward. The same approach has been adopted for this game and it is fingers crossed that the outcome will be the same."

Alan O'Neill's Kerry outfit booked their place in the TG4 All-Ireland semi-finals with a win over Mayo in the last round.

Kerry won by 2-13 to 1-08 after turning in an impressive display in the second half of the contest. 

Houlihan said Kerry will need to play like they did after the break in that game for the full 60 minutes if they are to get the better of Cork, who have never lost an All-Ireland semi-final.

She recalled: "It was very much a game of two halves when we played Kerry with the second quite different to the first.

"At the start of the game it was tight and low-scoring and it was like that all the way up to half-time. But in the dressing-room we got ourselves together and refocused for the rest of the game.

"We came out and stepped up our game, playing the way we felt we could and thankfully got on top with the help of two goals.

"If we are to get the better of Cork then we will have to play to our best from the throw-in all the way to the end. You cannot really afford to hit a poor patch because the chances are they will be on their game throughout.

"It promises to be our biggest challenge of the season so far, but it is one we are relishing."