The Nemo Rangers player caught the eye in finding the net twice from play in the first half to help Cork into a 2-8 to 0-1 lead at the interval and then converted a penalty in the 42nd minute after substitute Aidan Moynihan had been fouled.
Horgan’s contribution underpinned Cork’s victory on a comfortable night for Ephie Fitzgerald’s managerial bow as Rebel minor boss.
“It was over as a contest after a quarter of an hour,” admitted Fitzgerald. “We did rack up a good score and we had the extra touch of class up front.
“I thought at times we gave away possession easily but maybe that’s just being hyper-critical.”
Aside from Horgan, Cork had other attacking stars in captain Brian O’Driscoll, Cathal Vaughan and Sean T O’Sullivan, who all kicked quality points as they built up a commanding first-half lead. With Thomas O’Rourke and Jamie Davis strong in defence, and Alan O’Donovan in control at midfield, Cork were full value for their substantial interval advantage.
Limerick made a valiant effort to come back into contention in the second half with midfielder Robbie Burke landing some superb points.
However, Cork were always too strong and substitutes Ian Maguire and Moynihan both made fine impacts when introduced. While this was a routine assignment for Cork, they will face a greater challenge at the semi-final stage against a Tipperary side packed with All-Ireland winners.
“We’ll be well prepared and well ready for it. Hopefully we’ll put it up to Tipperary,” said Fitzgerald.
Scorers for Cork: C Horgan 3-0 (1-0 pen), B O’Driscoll 0-4 (2f), S T O’Sullivan 0-3, A O’Donovan, C Vaughan 0-2 each, P Fitzgerald, I Maguire 0-1 each.
Scorers for Limerick: R Burke 0-3 (1f), D O’Donovan, S Barrett, J Breen (1f) 0-1 each.
CORK: M Martin; S O’Leary, T O’Rourke, S Cronin; K Crowley, C Hyde, J Davis; P Fitzgerald, A O’Donovan; S T O’Sullivan, C Vaughan, B O’Driscoll; K McIntyre, K O’Connor, C Horgan.
Subs: I Maguire for McIntyre (half-time), A Moynihan for O’Connor (half-time), E Dennehy for Crowley (36), A Murphy for O’Leary (53), P Kelleher for Fitzgerald (58).
LIMERICK: J O’Meara; D Greaney, M O’Connor, K Meade; P White, S Cahill, S Barrett; D Condron, R Burke; S O’Dea, D Daly, R McKenna; J Frawley, D O’Donovan, E O’Donnell.
Subs: T McCarthy for McKenna (28), C O’Shea for O’Dea (28), J Breen for Frawley (35), G Bateman for O’Donnell (50), C Sheehan for O’Donovan (53).
Referee: Edmund Walsh (Kerry).