Forced under rule to field a complete new team, the Leesiders showed their depth of talent as they completely out-hurled the home side with an exhibition of point scoring by Darren Dineen, Paul McGrath, Rory O'Doherty and wing back Dessie Fitzgerald.
Limerick fielded an experienced side that included former seniors Pat Heffernan and Paul Neenan, but apart from a brief period in opening quarter were never in the game.
Cork drew first blood with a Darren Dineen point after two minutes, and while Limerick led briefly with a brace of points by Pat Heffernan, Cork's greater stickwork was very evident.
Well on top in defence where John Crowley was an excellent corner back, Cork proceeded to hit over a succession of points by Darren Dineen before the Ballinhassig man showed his class with a splendid goal which helped the defending champions to a 1-6 to 0-3 lead after 20 minutes.
Pat Heffernan used his vast experience to pose problems for the Cork defence and his vision set David Clancy up for a badly needed goal in the 23rd minute and when Paul Neenan added two points in a row, the deficit was down to the minimum after 25 minutes.
Cork's ability to win possession from the air and their big men Darren Dineen, Tadhg Healy and Jonathan Olden saw to that.
With Rory O'Doherty doing well at full forward, Cork hit over four points without reply, Paul McGrath scoring two, and the defending champions were well worth their 1-10 to 1-5 half time lead.
Cork were six to the good before Heffernan missed a sitter of a goal.
The ability of the Cork attack to pick off their points both from play and frees saw they stretch their lead to 10 points by the end of the third quarter, as the Limerick challenge finally wilted.
Three excellent long range points from frees by wing back Dessie Fitzgerald, coupled with a brace by the impressive Rory O'Doherty confirmed Cork's overall superiority and on the evidence of this performance, they won't give up their titles easily.
: Cork: D. Dineen 1-5 (0-4 frees); R. O'Doherty 0-5; P. McGrath, D. Fitzgerald (frees) 0-3 each; S. Dineen 0-2; S. Hayes, J. Olden, E. Conway 0-1 each. Limerick: P. Heffernan 0-5 (frees); D. Clancy 1-1; P. Neenan 0-2; J. Lynch, A. O'Connor (frees 0-1 each.
: A. Nash; J. Crowley, L. Hayes, R. McCarthy; B. Walsh, D. McSweeney, D. Fitzgerald; T. Healy, J. Olden; E. Conway, D. Dineen, P. McGrath; S. Dineen, R. O'Doherty, S. Hayes.
: B. O'Driscoll for McSweeney; M. Walsh for S. Dineen; R. Butler for Hayes; C. O'Reilly for McGrath; B. Johnson for O'Doherty.
: D. Bulfin; D. Moynihn, E. Sheehan, P. Reale; G. O'Leary, R. Murphy, P. Kennedy; T. McLoughlin, P. Neenan; K. Cregan, J. Lynch, M. Clancy; A. O'Connor, P. Heffernan, N. Curtin.
: D. Clancy for Curtin; L. Murphy for Moynihan; M. Fitzgerald for M. Clancy.
: G. Hoey (Clare).