Teenager Luke Meade scored three goals as the Cork hurlers began the new year with victory over Limerick at Martinstown on Saturday.
In a game featuring two largely experimental sides at the home ground of Limerick club Staker Wallace, it was the hosts who struck first as Willie Griffin goaled, but Anthony Spillane cancelled that out when he netted for Cork.
Pat Begley – the younger brother of former Limerick star Brian – got his side’s second but it was Cork who led at half-time, 2-7 to 2-5, after Spillane set up Newcestown clubman Meade for his first.
He added another shortly after the restart, Peter Kelleher the provider, while the hat-trick goal came soon after as Cork found the key to the Limerick defence.
One of the few established players on show in red, Luke O’Farrell, got two more goals and while John Fitzgibbon and David Reidy responded with Limerick points, the goals proved to be the difference for Cork.
Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s side continue their pre-season preparations in the Canon O’Brien Cup against UCC at the Mardyke on Thursday night before opening their Waterford Crystal Cup campaign against UL in CIT on Saturday.
Scorers for Cork: L Meade 3-0, L O’Farrell 2-2, R O’Shea 0-7 (six frees), A Spillane 1-1, P Kelleher 0-2, A Walsh 0-1.
Scorers for Limerick: J Fitzgibbon 0-6 (frees), D Reidy 0-5 (frees), W Griffin 1-1, P Begley 1-0, K O’Brien 0-3, C Lynch, T Quaid S O’Brien 0-1 each.
CORK: P Collins; W Kearney, D Cahalane, K Burke; S O’Donoghue, C Murphy, B O’Sullivan; R O’Shea, B Murray; P Kelleher, A Frahill-O’Connor, A Walsh; A Spillane, L O’Farrell, L Meade.
Subs: C Barry for Kearney (19, injured), G O’Connor for Burke (43), P Haughney for Murray (46), Brian Lawton for Meade (53).
LIMERICK: A Murphy; A Dempsey, T McMahon, C McEniry; B O’Connell, C Alliss, M Carmody; S O’Brien, D Reidy; J Fitzgibbon, W Hickey, T Quaid; W Griffin, P Begley, K O’Brien.
Sub: C Lynch for Reidy (47).
Referee: J Murphy (Limerick).