Cork hold firm grip on Limerick

Cork 0-14 Limerick 1-7

Cork’s defence was excellent with Donal O’Donovan, Noel O’Riordan and Eamon O’Connor impressing. Seamus O’Sullivan excelled at midfield, while Kevin O’Sullivan contributed five points. Cian O’Riordan and John Hayes were also influential.

Limerick never played with the same fluency as they did in the opening round against Tipperary, and that was down to the tenacity of Cork who chased and harrassed their opponents at every opportunity.

Limerick goalkeeper Mike Jones made a number of saves and was assisted by senior full-back Johnny McCarthy, while Darren Horan and Paudie Browne did well.

Cork took an early grip at midfield, mainly through Seamus O’Sullivan and their dominance saw them scorch into an 0-5 to 0-1 lead after 12 minutes.

However Limerick settled well after the early Cork flurry.

Darren Horan’s switch to centre forward began to trouble Cork and his point had the visitors back in the game. Maintaining the pressure, Limerick won a penalty for a leg block on Sean Buckley and John O’Connell sent the ball to the roof of the net to tie the game after 20 minutes.

Cork were grateful for corner-forward Kevin O’Sullivan as he kicked two points which helped his side to a 0-8 to 1-3 interval lead.

Limerick resumed the second-half with purpose and Horan soon had the deficit down to the minimum.

However, Cork began to control in defence and when Michael Prout’s clearance fell to John Hayes, the youngster raced clear for a point.

Still they couldn’t shake off a dogged Limerick side who battled hard, and it took a save by ’keeper Mike Jones to deny Kevin O’Sullivan a goal.

The home side introduced Rob Long to attack and with O’Sullivan causing problems, Cork knocked over successive points to lead by four - an advantage they held to the finish.

Scorers: Cork: K. O'Sullivan 0-6 (0-3f); C. O'Riordan 0-3; J. Hayes 0-2; E. O'Connor, R. Long, P. Kelly 0-1 each. Limerick: J. O'Connell 1-0; D. Horan 0-2; G. Noonan, P. Kelly, A. Lane 0-1f each, J. Carroll, E. Benson 0-1 each.

CORK: K. Murphy; M. Prout, D. O'Donovan, B. Crowley; N. O'Riordan, P. Nealon, E. O'Connor; S. O'Sullivan, D. Coughlan; C. O'Riordan, P. Kelly, J. Hayes; J. O'Shea, T. Twomey, K. O'Sullivan. Subs; R. Long for O'Shea; D. Burns for Kelly; K. Murphy for Coughlan.

LIMERICK: M. Jones; S. Fox, J. McCarthy, D. McAuley; A. Lane, P. Browne, E. Benson; R. Hayes, D. Horan; S. Buckley, J. O'Connell, G. Noonan; J. Lyons, K. O'Connor, P. Kinnerk. Subs; J. Carroll for Lyons; V. O'Connell for Kinnerk; J. Ryan for O'Connor; A. McAntee for Noonan.

Referee: P. Russell (Tipperary).

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