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Limerick show their class in Munster opener as they prove too strong for Cork again

Páirc Uí Chaoimh hosted today’s game.

Cork and Limerick players in action.
Cork and Limerick players in action.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Limerick 2-25

Cork 1-17

ONCE AGAIN THERE was no concealing Limerick’s superiority when they collided on a hurling field with Cork.

Last August it was a victory margin of 16 points as they finished the 2021 championship at the top of the pile, this afternoon it was another emphatic success as they breezed clear by 11 points to issue a powerful statement of intent as the 2022 championship began.

The game began in a blaze of drama. Shane Kingston displayed his tendency to find the net against Limerick again, only 12 seconds had elapsed when he crashed home a goal after a flowing Cork move from the throw-in.

But Limerick showcased their capacity to find the net in the first half. Kyle Hayes, pushed into full-forward in a creative switch by management, notching the first goal in the 15th minute and Aaron Gillane bagging the second before the interval, Cork punished for sloppiness in possession as they emerged from defence.

Cork enjoyed a brief burst after the the interval with four points reeling Limerick in to leave the teams level, 2-9 to 1-12. But John Kiely’s men were in commanding form for the rest of the game as the points flowed and they won with considerable comfort.

Diarmaid Byrnes was in exceptional form for the winners, amassing 0-6 from wing-back. Aaron Gillane was top scorer with 1-4 and Gearoid Hegarty stamped his authority on the game as he struck 0-3. Limerick had 12 scorers overall and outscored Cork by 0-16 to 0-5 after the 38th minute of the match.

Cork were competitive during the first half, their challenge bolstered by Kingston’s goal and they responded well to that Kyle Hayes strike to the net, by managing a series of points. The Gillane score hurt them, they gathered their thoughts at half-time and emerged to hit four points on the bounce courtesy of Robbie O’Flynn, Shane Barrett and Conor Lehane (2).

That levelled the game and Barrett had sight of goal only for Nickie Quaid to deny him, a similar outcome when Lehane had a chance before the break. That was as good as it got for Cork, Limerick taking charge and they hit six of the last eight points to pull clear, getting their Munster campaign up and running in style.

Scorers for Limerick: Aaron Gillane 1-4 (0-2f), Diarmaid Byrnes 0-6 (0-3f), Kyle Hayes 1-1, Gearoid Hegarty 0-3, Cathal O’Neill 0-2, Cian Lynch 0-2, Barry Nash 0-2, Dan Morrissey 0-1, Declan Hannon 0-1, Tom Morrissey 0-1, Pat Ryan 0-1, David Reidy 0-1.

Scorers for Cork: Patrick Horgan 0-9 (0-8f), Shane Kingston 1-0, Conor Lehane 0-2, Shane Barrett 0-2, Robbie O’Flynn 0-2, Darragh Fitzgibbon 0-1, Tim O’Mahony 0-1.

Limerick

1. Nickie Quaid (Effin)

4. Barry Nash (South Liberties), 2. Sean Finn (Bruff), 18. Mike Casey (Na Piarsaigh)

5. Diarmaid Byrnes (Patrickswell), 6. Declan Hannon (Adare – captain), 3. Dan Morrissey (Ahane)

8. Darragh O’Donovan (Doon), 9. William O’Donoghue (Na Piarsiagh),

10. Gearoid Hegarty (St. Patrick’s), 11. Cian Lynch (Patrickswell), 12. Tom Morrissey (Ahane).

14. Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell), 7. Kyle Hayes (Kildimo-Pallaskenry). 15. Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock)

Subs

24. Cathal O’Neill (Crecora-Manister) for Tom Morrissey (56)

13. David Reidy (Dromin-Athlacaa) for O’Donovan (60)

25. Oisin O’Reilly (Kilmallock) for Hayes (63)

17. Conor Boylan (Na Piarsaigh) for Hegarty (68)

26. Pat Ryan (Doon) for Mulcahy (68)

Cork

1. Patrick Collins (Ballinhassig)

2. Niall O’Leary (Castlelyons), 3. Damien Cahalane (St Finbarr’s), 4.  Sean O’Donoghue (Inniscarra) 

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5. Tim O’Mahony (Newtownshandrum), 6. Mark Coleman (Blarney – captain), 7. Ciaran Joyce (Castlemartyr)

8. Darragh Fitzgibbon (Charleville), 9. Ger Millerick (Fr O’Neills)

10. Robbie O’Flynn (Erins Own), 11. Shane Barrett (Blarney), 22. Conor Cahalane (St Finbarr’s)

13. Shane Kingston (Douglas), 14. Patrick Horgan (Glen Rovers), 15. Conor Lehane (Midleton)

Subs

12. Seamus Harnedy (St Ita’s) for Conor Cahalane (half-time)

18. Robert Downey (Glen Rovers) for O’Donoghue (temp) (41)

O’Donoghue for Damien Cahalane (53

23. Jack O’Connor (Sarsfields) for Kingston (55)

25. Alan Connolly (Blackrock) for Barrett (55)

20. Luke Meade (Newcestown) for Lehane (60)

Referee: John Keenan (Wicklow)

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole  / Reports from Páirc Uí Chaoimh

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