In the week of the retirement of the long serving Limerick midfielder, UCC were dominant for long periods and were deserving 10-point winners to advance to a semi-final with IT Tralee.
In front of a small crowd at the west Limerick venue, Billy Morgan’s side raced into a 1-5 to 0-0 lead when playing against the elements in the first half.
They briefly lost the lead at the start of the second half but hit 1-8 without reply to claim a commanding victory.
“That’s a disappointing result, especially considering the position we got ourselves into midway through the second half. We were two points up going into an attack and lost a ball and they went off to score 1-6 or 1-7 without reply,” said Limerick boss John Brudair.
“We were pressurising up high and doing well but we didn’t do that for long enough periods. We didn’t play like we hoped in the first 15 minutes and overall we had too many periods where we were off the pace and they really punished us during those spells.”
The first of the UCC goals came in the sixth minute from wing back Tomas Clancy.
A 23rd minute Seán Buckley goal had Limerick back in contention and cut the gap to 1-5 to 1-2 entering the final minutes of the half.
But an Adrian Spillane goal ensured UCC had a 2-6 to 1-4 interval lead with the advantage of the wind to come in the second half.
Limerick’s purple patch was at the start of the second period with Buckley completing a hat-trick of goals to help his side to a 3-7 to 2-8 lead.
However, the hosts were to score just twice in the remaining 20 minutes as UCC took charge with two goals from Thomas Hickey in final quarter.
Scorers for Limerick: S Buckley 3-0 (1pen), J Naughton 0-6 (6f), S O’Dea, M Brosnan, I Corbett 0-1 each.
Scorers for UCC: T Hickey 2-5 (4f), A Spillane 1-1, C Horgan 0-3, T Clancy 1-0, D Harrington, C Cox (1) 0-2 each, C Dorman, E O’Connchuir, G O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
LIMERICK: B Scanlon; C Moran, J McCarthy, R Browne; I Corbett, C Fahy, S O’Dea; T Lee, S Buckley; C Sheehan, G Noonan, J Riordan; D Neville, M Brosnan, J Naughton.
Subs: J Mullins for Riordan (h-t), T McCarthy for Moran (53), D Ward for Neville (64), D O’Dea for Noonan (66).
UCC (Cork unless stated) - M Martin; J Davis, P O’Connor (Kerry), D Culhane (Kerry); C Dorman, S White, T Clancy; S Kiely, G O’Sullivan; A Spillane (Kerry), E Ó Conchuir (Kerry), S Keane (Kerry); T Hickey (Kerry), C Horgan, D Harrington.
Subs: J McGuire (Kerry) for P O’Connor, b-c (34), C Cox (Kerry) for Spillane (42), F O’Connor for Keane (60), K Davis for Ó Conchuir (70).
Referee: S Lonergan (Tipperary).