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Dublin: 5°C Saturday 5 December 2020

Cork off to winning qualifier start as Kelleher and Kerrigan bag goals against Limerick

Semple Stadium hosted today’s clash.

Peter Kelleher scored a first-half goal for Cork.
Peter Kelleher scored a first-half goal for Cork.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Cork 2-12
Limerick 0-10

Fintan O’Toole reports from Semple Stadium, Thurles

AFTER THE HORROR shows they suffered on their last two trips to Semple Stadium, the Cork footballers will be simply glad to have picked up a victory at the Thurles venue this afternoon.

Last July’s collapse against Kildare and last month’s shock loss to Tipperary had sunk Cork’s spirits but they got the job done at their first All-Ireland qualifier hurdle today against Limerick.

At the finish Cork had eight points to spare against their Munster opponents with Mark Collins (0-5) and Paul Kerrigan (1-3), the principal tormentors of the Limerick defence.

Paul Kerrigan and Daniel Goulding Paul Kerrigan and Daniel Goulding after Cork's win Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The first goal of the game was a crucial score with Cork’s breakthrough arriving in the 14th minute when Peter Kelleher – starting his first senior championship game – crowned that milestone by raising a green flag.

The score stemmed from a long Paul Kerrigan delivery and after Kelleher’s first shot was blocked by the Limerick defence, the Kilmichael man booted a shot left-footed to the corner of the net.

The problem for Cork in the opening period was the other goal chances they spurned and as a consequence, they did not put the contest to bed. Colm O’Neill’s 5th minute penalty after Mark Collins was fouled, was despatched mid height towards the right but Limerick goalkeeper Donal O’Sullivan beat the ball away.

In the 21st minute Kelleher palmed the ball against the crossbar after he perfectly judged a dropping shot by Kerrigan, and then four minutes later, Nemo Rangers man Kerrigan raced clear before flashing a fierce shot across the goal and wide.

Noel Galvin and Sean McSweeney Cork's Noel Galvin keeps a close eye on Limerick defender Sean McSweeney Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Kerrigan did finally find the net for Cork in injury-time at the end of the game when he finished emphatically after being set up by John O’Rourke. That score copperfastened a Cork success that deserved but the lack of a clinical streak in front of goal remains an issue.

Cork were in front 1-6 to 0-4 at the interval after bossing the first-half. They poured through Limerick relentlessly with Collins contributing 0-3 and Limerick reliant on a couple of super points by midfielder Darragh Treacy to help them stay in touch.

But Cork’s dominance continued in the opening stages of the second-half, even if they struggled to express that on the scoreboard. They did hit the opening three points after half-time courtesy of the excellent Kerrigan (2) and O’Rourke, to be in front 1-9 to 0-4 after the third quarter.

Peadar Healy and John Brudair after the game Cork boss Peadar Healy and Limerick manager John Brudair after the game Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The match petered out to an inevitable outcome from there. Iain Corbett and Ian Ryan notched points to try to drive Limerick on but they never came close to registering the goal they desperately needed.

Kerrigan and Collins – Cork’s two best players – continued to inspire them on the scoring front with the Nemo Rangers striking that second goal in the 71st minute. U21 forward Michael Hurley blasted over a point as well after coming off the bench for his senior championship debut and Cork’s place in Monday’s Round 3B qualifier draw was assured long before the final whistle.

Seanie Buckley and Ian Maguire Limerick's Seanie Buckley and Cork's Ian Maguire battle for possession. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Scorers for Cork: Paul Kerrigan 1-3, Mark Collins 0-5, Peter Kelleher 1-0, Colm O’Neill (0-1f), Luke Connolly (0-1f), John O’Rourke, Michael Hurley 0-1 each.

Scorers for Limerick: Ian Ryan 0-4 (0-2f), Darragh Treacy, Iain Corbett 0-2 each, Sean McSweeney (0-1f), Seanie Buckley 0-1 each.


1. Ryan Price (O’Donovan Rossa)

2. Colm O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh)
3. Eoin Cadogan (Douglas)
4. Noel Galvin (Ballincollig)

5. Tomas Clancy (Fermoy)
7. Brian O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh)
6. James Loughrey (Mallow)

8. Alan O’Connor (St Colum’s)
9. Ian Maguire (St Finbarr’s)

11. Mark Collins (Castlehaven)
15. Luke Connolly (Nemo Rangers)
12. Kevin O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh)

13. Colm O’Neill (Ballyclough)
14. Peter Kelleher (Kilmichael)
10. Paul Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers)


24. Sean Powter (Douglas) for Brian O’Driscoll (half-time)
17. Daniel Goulding (Éire Óg) for O’Neill (45)
19. John O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers) for Connolly (49)
23. Ruairi Deane (Bantry Blues) for O’Connor (60)
20. Michael Hurley (Castlehaven) for Kevin O’Driscoll (65)


1. Donal O’Sullivan (Monaleen)

2. Johnny McCarthy (St Kieran’s)
4. Stephen Cahill (Mountcollins)
3. Paudie Browne (Fr. Caseys)

5. Brian Fanning (Pallasgreen)
6. Sean O’Dea (Kilteely Dromkeen)
7. Pa Ranahan (Ballysteen)

8. Darragh Tracey (St Kieran’s)
21. Thomas Childs (Galtee Gaels)

11. Peter Nash (Kildimo/Pallaskenry)
12. Seanie Buckley (Dromcollogher/Broadford)
10. Garrett Noonan (Dromcollogher/Broadford)

13. Sean McSweeney (St Kieran’s)
14. Ian Ryan (St Senan’s)
15. Hugh Bourke (Adare)


9. Iain Corbett (Newcastlewest – Captain) for Childs (26)
22. Eoin Hogan (Na Piarsaigh) for McSweeney (47)
17. Paul White (Rathkeale) for Ranahan (52)
24. Padraig Scanlan (Glin) for Bourke (55)
26. James Naughton (St Senan’s) for Nash (63)
23. Killian Ryan (Mungret) for O’Dea (69)

Referee: Noel Mooney (Cavan)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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