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14-man Cork book All-Ireland quarter-final spot as goals key in win over Limerick

The quarter-finals take place the weekend of 25-26 June.

Cork's Cathail O'Mahony and Limerick's Jim Liston.
Cork's Cathail O'Mahony and Limerick's Jim Liston.
Image: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Cork 2-18

Limerick 1-16

A SPRING THAT saw the Cork footballers cling to safety in the league has preceded a summer that sees them qualify for the last eight in the championship.

For the second successive weekend they got the job done in Páirc Uí Chaoimh in a qualifier, shaking off the dogged and persistent challenge of a team promoted from Division 3 this year.

Limerick had cause to believe at different junctures of this game, only trailing 0-8 to 0-7 at the interval, and given renewed hope when Brian Donovan thumped home a terrific goal in the 59th minute to cut Cork’s advantage to two points.

Cork were hit with a hammer blow moments later when substitute Paul Walsh was shown two yellow cards in quick succession for separate challenges, the momentum shifting to the Limerick camp.

But they regained their composure with a brilliant run by defender Kevin O’Donovan yielding a penalty that Brian Hurley slotted to the net with five minutes left. Cork were able to protect that position and trade points with Limerick thereafter to seal their spot in the last eight. 

paul-walsh-is-sent-off-by-jerome-henry Paul Walsh is sent off by referee Jerome Henry. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

The other critical phase of the game occurred earlier in the second half. Limerick’s Gordon Brown was shown a black card in the 43rd minute, just as Hugh Bourke swept over a free that tied the teams at 0-10 apiece. When Brown returned to the fray, he notched a fine point immediately, but in his absence Cork had capitalised on the extra man advantage to post 1-3 without reply on the board.

The goal was a fine effort from Cathail O’Mahony, he accelerated in from the right wing past the Limerick defence and finished cooly to the net. Eoghan McSweeney and John O’Rourke both kept the scoreboard ticking over with points, and that attacking sector was more influential for Cork on this occasion.

brian-donovan-scores-a-goal Brian Donovan scores a goal for Limerick.

The opening half unfolded on a blustery June afternoon with the teams well matched as they aimed to seize the chance to grab the coveted quarter-final spot. Cork knocked over the first two points of the day courtesy of Sherlock, who fired six in the first half and eight overall, but Limerick rallied to plot a path back into contention. The impressive Adrian Enright swung over three points and a better eye in front of goal from their team would have seen them in front by a greater margin than the 0-6 to 0-4 position in the 23rd minute.

Cork looked nervy in the second quarter but found their range approaching half-time courtesy of McSweeney and Sherlock. They were narrowly in front as the second half resumed but Hugh Bourke grabbed three quick points for Limerick to give them a foothold in the third quarter.

The complexion of the game changed when O’Mahony raised his green flag and after Limerick hopes flared with the Donovan strike, Cork hit back at an opportune time courtesy of Hurley.

adrian-enright-shoots-under-pressure-from-ian-maguire Adrian Enright shoots under pressure from Ian Maguire. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

The Castlehaven man grabbed a point in the finale with Colm O’Callaghan and Damien Gore both clipping over scores for Cork as well. The giant figure of Josh Ryan raised a late white flag for Limerick and James Naughton contributed a sweetly-struck point. 

The end margin of five was sufficient representation of a game where Cork maintained their winning run, the defensive power play of Sean Powter, O’Donovan and Mattie Taylor proving crucial in the second half as their counter-attacking enabled Cork to push clear.

Scorers for Cork: Steven Sherlock 0-8 (0-5f, 0-1 ’45), Brian Hurley 1-2 (1-0 pen), Cathail O’Mahony 1-0, John O’Rourke 0-3, Eoghan McSweeney 0-2, Kevin O’Donovan 0-1, Colm O’Callaghan 0-1, Damien Gore 0-1.

Scorers for Limerick: Hugh Bourke 0-5 (0-4f), Adrian Enright 0-4, Brian Donovan 1-0, Josh Ryan 0-2, Gordon Brown 0-2, Cian Sheehan 0-1, Robbie Burke 0-1, James Naughton 0-1.


16. Micheal Martin (Nemo Rangers)

2. Sean Powter (Douglas), 3. Maurice Shanley (Clonakilty), 4. Kevin O’Donovan (Nemo Rangers)

5. John Cooper (Éire Óg), 6. Rory Maguire (Castlehaven), 7. Mattie Taylor (Mallow)

8. Ian Maguire (St Finbarr’s), 9. Colm O’Callaghan (Éire Óg)

11. Eoghan McSweeney (Knocknagree), 12. John O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers), 10. Daniel Dineen (Cill Na Martra)

13. Steven Sherlock (St Finbarr’s), 14. Brian Hurley (Castlehaven- captain), 15. Cathail O’Mahony (Mitchelstown)


23. Jack Cahalane (Castlehaven) for Dineen (53)

21. Paul Walsh (Kanturk) for McSweeney (60)

20. Cian Kiely (Ballincollig) for Sherlock (68)

24. Damien Gore (Kilmacabea) for O’Mahony (71)

19. Tommy Walsh (Kanturk) for O’Donovan (74)


1. Donal O’Sullivan (Monaleen)

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2. Sean O’Dea (Kilteely-Dromkeen), 3. Brian Fanning (Pallasgreen), 17. Jim Liston (Gerald Griffins)

5. Cian Sheehan (Newcastlewest), 6. Iain Corbett (Newcastlewest), 20. Gordon Brown (Na Piarsaigh)

8. Darragh Treacy (St Kieran’s), 9. Cillian Fahy (Dromcollogher-Broadford)

10. Adrian Enright (Fr Casey’s), 13. Peter Nash (Kildimo-Pallaskenry), 23. Pádraig De Brún (Firies)

11. Brian Donovan (Monaleen), 26. Robbie Burke (Adare), 15. Hugh Bourke (Adare)


12. James Naughton (St Senan’s) for De Brún (half-time)

14. Josh Ryan (Oola) for Nash (56)

7. Paul Maher (Adare) for Brown (56)

4. Michael Donovan (Galbally) for Liston (56)

24. Killian Ryan (Mungret St Paul’s) for Robbie Burke (66)

Referee: Jerome Henry (Mayo)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole  / Reports from Páirc Uí Chaoimh

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