An early-season title for Limerick, winners over Cork in this Co-Op Superstores Munster SHL final in the Gaelic Grounds, with 5,295 in attendance. The home side were far too good for an understrength Cork.
Cork hit five points in the first five minutes, with Conor Lehane impressing, but David Dempsey helped Limerick to stay in touch before Aaron Gillane struck for goal from close range: 1-3 to 0-5 on 11 minutes.
Newcomer Sean Twomey’s second and Aidan Walsh’s first point nudged Cork one ahead by the end of the first quarter, 0-8 to 1-4, but David Reidy’s accuracy from frees levelled the game before Barry Nash and Diarmaid Byrnes (free) put Limerick ahead, 1-8 to 0-9.
By the 25th minute Lehane (free) and Seamus Harnedy had levelled for Cork, but Reidy restored Limerick’s lead with a free and Tom Morrissey chipped in to make it 1-10 to 0-11.
Lehane and Twomey tied it up once again but Limerick took over: Morrissey, Gillane and Graham Mulcahy pushed them four ahead, though there was still time for Chris O’Leary to hit a late free to make it 1-14 to 0-14.
Cork restarted with a Lehane free but Limerick came close to a goal on the resumption, Tom Morrissey narrowly wide. Reidy (free) and Aidan Walsh swapped points before Reidy pointed from the wing. When he added another two soon after it was 1-18 to 0-16 on 43 minutes.
Byrnes and Reidy (free) stretched Limerick’s lead to seven as the home side settled into gear, dominating the middle of the field. Darragh O’Donovan made it seven points on the spin before sub Patrick Horgan pointed a free: 1-22 to 0-17 on 54 minutes.
Limerick were cruising at this stage, eventually running out winners by points.
Scorers for Limerick: D. Reidy (0-12, 8 frees); G. Mulcahy (0-5); A. Gillane (1-1); D. Dempsey (0-4); D. Byrnes (1 frees), B. Nash, T. Morrissey, D. O’Donovan (0-2 each); C. Lynch, G. Hegarty (0-1 each).
Scorers for Cork: C. Lehane (0-6, 3 frees); S. Harnedy, S. Twomey, C. O’Leary (frees)(0-3 each); A. Walsh (0-2 ); B. Turnbull, J. O’Connor, P. Horgan (free)(0-1 each).
LIMERICK: B. Hennessy, T. Condon, R. English, A. Costello, D. Byrnes, D. Morrissey, B. Nash, R. Hanley, ,C. Lynch, D. O’Donovan, T. Morrissey, D. Dempsey G. Mulcahy, D. Reidy, A. Breen.
Subs: S Finn for Costello, G. Hegarty for T. Morrissey (both 45); M. Quinlan for Gillane (55); B. O’Grady for Condon (55); J. Boylan for English (65).
CORK: P Collins, C. Spillane, E. Cadogan, S. O’Donoghue, C. O’Leary, B. Cooper, D. Cahalane, R. Walsh, A. Walsh, C. Lehane, L. Meade, S. Twomey, J. O’Connor, S. Harnedy, B. Turnbull.
Subs: P. Horgan for O’Connor, S. O’Regan for R. Walsh (HT); R. Downey for Meade (52); T. Connell for Twomey (70); J. Keating for Spillane (72).
Referee: K. Jordan (Tipperary).