Limerick 3-20 Cork 1-16
Limerick scored all of their 3-20 tally from play, as they claimed the Waterford Crystal Cup for the first time since 2006 at Mallow GAA Club tonight.
Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald was among the attendance of an impressive 2,145 spectators on a bitterly cold night at the Cork venue, in a game which proved entertaining throughout.
Stephen Moylan netted the first goal of this game in the eight minute for Cork, but Gavin O'Mahony and Adrian Breen bagged goals for the visitors as Limerick led by 2-11 to 1-9 at the break.
Quick scores from Cian Lynch and O'Mahony extended the lead to 10 points inside 40 seconds of the restart, but Cian McCarthy inspired a Cork comeback.
Just a goal separated the sides following McCarthy's eighth point, with 15 minutes remaining.
However Limerick held out for victory with Breen's second goal coming in the 57th minute on the way to a 10-point win.
With Gavin O’Mahony picking up a red card in his sides Munster Club Final win pre Christmas and missing out next weekends All-Ireland semi-final, the Kilmallock man was gifted some game time and failed to disappoint.
While many will be more familiar with him playing a role closer to his own goals, O’Mahony started this game in the half-forward line and certainly showed his potency in attack registering 1-2 overall, with 1-1 of this tally coming in in the opening half.
Cork manager Jimmy Barry-Murphy also made an interesting placement in his starting line-up, with substitute goalkeeper of the last few years Darren McCarthy handed the left-corner forward role.
This game began at a frantic pace, with both sides wide of the mark in the opening minute - Paul Haughney for Cork, and Adrian Breen blazing wide with his first goal chance.
Aided by a slight wind Cian McCarthy opened the scoring soon after, with Cathal King firing an equaliser, before Niall Moran and Haughney swapped points to ensure a 0-2 each score-line after five minutes.
It was certainly a busy day for Moran, who earlier managed the Ard Scoil Ris side who lost out in the Harty Cup semi-finals.
Cork stole a march on Limerick in the eighth minute, after a long ball into Luke O’Farrell, saw the Midleton clubman send the ball to Stephen Moylan, who fired to the net to the delight of the home crowd.
1-2 to 0-2 ahead Cork failed to kick on, as the rest of the half really belonged to Limerick.
The visitors offered an immediate response through Tom Condon, with the half-back on target for the first of three fine long-range opening half points from play.
19-year old Cian Lynch also made a fine contribution, putting Lorcan McLoughlin under pressure for the first of his points to ensure a 1-2 to 0-4 score-line after nine minutes.
Points from Breen and O’Mahony pushed Limerick 0-6 to 1-2 ahead after 11 minutes, with O’Mahony becoming the sixth different scorer - and all of the Shannonsiders scores coming from play.
A 13th minute O’Mahony goal, arrived after James Ryan dispossessed Brian O’Sullivan, before O’Mahony buried the ball to the bottom left corner.
1-6 to 1-2 ahead Limerick looked comfortable, although Cork outscored Limerick by 0-2 to 0-1 over the remainder of the opening quarter.
A Brian Murray score ensured a 1-7 to 1-4 score-line at this stage, but Condon continued to impress for the visitors.
The Knockaderry man stretched Limerick’s lead to four points after 19 minutes, before Brian Lawton responded for Cork.
O’Mahony cut through for another Shannonsiders goal chance, but was denied after a fine save by Cork keeper Patrick Collins.
Points from McCarthy book-ended Lynch’s second score, with Limerick’s wides tally pushing to eight soon after.
It was Cork who were caught badly on the next attack, with Breen on hand to slot the ball to an unguarded net, as Limerick moved 2-9 to 1-7 clear after 31 minutes.
Lynch quickly extended this lead from the puck out, and following a Breen point, Limerick took a seven-point lead in the 33rd minute.
However Cork finished strongly with two unanswered points from McCarthy, bringing his tally to 0-5 by the break, and ensuring a 2-11 to 1-9 interval score-line.
Cork made two changes at half-time, with Mark Ellis and Seamus Harnedy introduced, and Glen O’Connor and McLoughlin making way in defence.
The second half began at lightning pace, with three scores inside the opening 75 seconds.
Lynch and O’Mahony bagged a point each inside 36 seconds of the throw-in, to open up a seven-point gap, before McCarthy quickly responded for Cork.
Limerick lost Niall Moran through injury, with Paul Browne coming on.
Jimmy Barry-Murphy continued to wield the axe on his defence with Brian O’Sullivan called ashore, with Christopher Joyce introduced.
With the likes of Patrick Horgan and Conor O’Sullivan also entering the fray in the third quarter, the Rebels upped their game.
A Cathal King goal effort was denied, but the Na Piarsaigh gathered from the rebound to hand Limerick a 2-14 to 1-12 lead, but Cork responded well.
Scores from Luke O’Farrell, Haughney and McCarthy ensured a goal separated the sides with 15 minutes remaining.
Limerick upped their game with Shane Dowling popping over a fine point, after gathering from a puck out, and with a James Ryan point, and Breen’s second goal, after good work by Patrick Begley, following; it handed Limerick a 3-17 to 1-15 lead in the 57th minute.
Cork claimed a point back through Horgan, but Limerick fired three unanswered points late on, including two from Tom Morrissey on the way to a 10-point win.
After the game Limerick captain Donal O’Grady received the impressive Waterford Crystal Trophy.
LIMERICK: N Quaid; S Hickey, R McCarthy, S Walsh; T Condon (0-3), D O’Grady, D Morrissey; J Ryan (0-2), C King (0-2); N Moran (0-1), G O’Mahony (1-2), C Lynch (0-4); T Morrissey (0-2), S Dowling (0-1), A Breen (2-3). Subs: P Browne for Moran (38, inj); W McNamara for Condon (40); P Begley for King (54); J Fitzgibbon for Lynch (60); C Allis for O’Grady (65).
CORK: P Collins; W Kearney, D Cahalane, S O’Donoghue; B O’Sullivan, L McLoughlin, G O’Connor; P Haughney (0-2), A Walsh (0-2); B Lawton (0-1), C McCarthy (0-8, 3f), B Murray (0-1); S Moylan (1-0), L O’Farrell (0-1), D McCarthy. Subs: S Harnedy for Murray (HT); M Ellis for O’Connor (HT); C Joyce for O’Sullivan (40); P Horgan (0-1) for D McCarthy (45); C O’Sullivan for O’Donoghue (54).
REFEREE: Johnny Ryan (Tipperary)