Indeed had the Shannonsiders not spurned two great goal chances and a point later in the first-half, the outcome might have been different.
Corner-forward Tony Barry, who troubled the Críost Rí defence all afternoon, drove a 13-metre free wide from almost straight in front of the posts and later overhit a pass to David Dalton which would have left the big full-forward with only the 'keeper to beat.
All that occurred during Limerick's best spell which saw them jump into a 1-3 to 0-3 lead. Another four points down and the champions would have been in dire trouble.
Críost Rí may have underestimated the Limerick challenge. While their football was excellent they could never quite stamp their authority on a side which was not prepared to roll over.
The sides were level twice in the opening 12 minutes before the lively Limerick side struck for their goal. Eoin Hogan tested the Críost Rí 'keeper with a blistering shot but the ball ran loose to Neil Mulvihill who found the net from the rebound.
Limerick were full value for their 1-3 to 0-3 lead and the excellence of Paul O'Brien, Jamsie Carroll and Tony Barry meant the champions had a right battle on their hands.
Críost Rí were totally dependent on Paul Kerrigan and Roy Leahy for scores, and a point apiece by the pair had the deficit down to the minimum after 25 minutes before the champions showed a glimpse of their potential.
Working the ball superbly out of their defence, outstanding midfielder Fiachra Lynch was on the end of the move to drive low to the corner of the Limerick net and the Capwell side were expected to take over from there.
Limerick weren't quite ready to cave in and it was fitting that corner forward Tony Barry's point should leave the sides tied at 1-5 apiece at the break.
Neil Mulvihill edged his side in front with a point just after the restart but Limerick weren't to score again until the last minute as Críost Rí, clearly smarting from their half-time team talk, began to play with a lot more purpose.
Paul Kerrigan blasted home a great goal after Barry Newman set him up and a succession of points had the champions comfortably in front at 2-9 to 1-6 as a resolute Críost Rí defence in which Michael O'Sullivan, David Coughlan and Colin O'Brien were outstanding, completely blotted out the Limerick attack.
To their credit Limerick refused to throw in the towel, and when Críost Rí keeper Roy Heaphy was penalised for a leg block, David Dalton stroked home the resultant penalty.
However, there was no time left to mount one final challenge and Críost Rí will be glad to have gotten this thorny opposition out of the way as they look forward to a semi-final meeting against the winners of the Dingle-CSN clash.
Scorers: Criost Ri: P. Kerrigan 1-3 (0-1 free); F. Lynch 1-1; R. Leahy 0-3 (0-1 free); B. Newman, E. Hegarty 0-1 each.
Limerick: D. Dalton, N. Mulvihill 1-1 each; T. Barry 0-3 (0-2 free); D. Hyland 0-1.
CRÍOST RÍ: R. Heaphy; I. Lyons, M. O'Sullivan, A. Meaney; D. Coughlan, C. O'Brien, R. O'Keeffe; F. Lynch, I. Madden; R. Leahy, P. Kerrigan, P. Butler; E. Hegarty, B. Newman, G. Cummins. Subs. D. Murphy for Meaney; K. Donnellan for Coughlan; S. Morgan for Kerrigan; S. Horgan for G. Cummins.
LIMERICK COLLEGES: S. Lyons (St. Endas); P. Bourke (Ard Scoil Ris), P. O'Brien (St. Endas), O. Nolan (St. Clements); M. Cahill (do.), J. Carroll (Ard Scoil Ris), P. Mullins (CBS); P. Corrigan (Ard Scoil Ris), B. O'Doherty (St. Clements); E. Hogan (Ard Scoil Ris), J. Murphy (St. Clements), G. Collins (Castletroy); T. Barry (Ard Scoil Ris), D. Dalton (do.), N. Milvihill (Crescent Comp). Sub. D. Hyland (Castletroy) for Collins.
Referee: K. Walsh (Clare).