Denis Hurley reports from Páirc Uí Chaoimh
CATHAL O’NEILL SCORED 11 points as Limerick became the first away team to record a win in the new Electric Ireland Munster MHC format.
The Shannonsiders never trailed at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday evening, with Cormac Ryan’s second-half goal proving decisive in seeing off Cork.
The home side, having conceded seven goals in their two games to date, sought to shore things up at the back by playing Cormac O’Brien as a sweeper with Cian O’Donovan dropping to centre-back. However, that deprived them of a body in attack and Limerick profited.
Wing-forward Cathal O’Neill shone for Limerick, scoring six points in the first half as they led all through, the Crecora-Manister man punishing and Cork indiscretions with accuracy from dead balls while Patrick Kirby, Eoin O’Mahony and Colin Coughlan chipped in too.
Cork were reliant on Jack Cahalane’s frees to stay in touch, but five points on the trot from Limerick in the four minutes before half-time had them 0-12 to 0-6 in front before Cahalane replied in injury time.
A long-range O’Brien free for Cork – who had reverted to a conventional format – reduced the gap to four points in the first minute of the second half but Limerick always had the scoring power to keep them at arm’s length.
The game was over as a contest when Cormac Ryan goaled for Limerick in the 42nd minute, producing a fine run and shot to the net following Diarmuid Hegarty’s pass.
O’Neill’s ninth point immediately after that made it 1-15 to 0-10 and Hegarty added two more as they moved ten clear.
O’Brien and Cahalane directed a mini-revival from Cork as they scored four points, but Limerick never looked troubled.
Scorers for Limerick: Cathal O’Neill 0-11 (0-7 frees, 0-1 65), Cormac Ryan 1-1, Diarmuid Hegarty 0-3, Eoin O’Mahony, Patrick Kirby 0-2 each, Colin Coughlan 0-1.
Scorers for Cork: Jack Cahalane 0-6 (frees), Cormac O’Brien 0-4 (0-3 frees), Ethan Twomey, Pádraig Power (0-1 free) 0-2 each, Olan Broderick, Daniel Hogan, Fergal O’Leary 0-1 each.
1. Bryan Heavey (Garryspillane)
2. Pádraig Harnett (Ahane)
3. Ben Herlihy (Castletown/Ballyagran)
4. Michael Keane (Adare)
5. Eoin O’Mahony (Garryspillane)
6. Emmet McEvoy (Na Piarsaigh)
7. Jack Nicholas (Murroe-Boher)
8. Patrick Kirby (Patrickswell)
9. Barry O’Connor (Ballybrown)
12. Diarmuid Hegarty (St Patrick’s)
11. Cormac Ryan (Doon)
13. Colin Coughlan (Ballybrown)
10. Cathal O’Neill (Crecora-Manister)
14. Bob Purcell (Doon)
15. Bryan Nix (Newcastlewest)
18. David Riordan (Castletown/Ballyagran) for Nix (37)
23. Danny O’Leary (Bruff) for Coughlan (54)
17. Michael Martin (Ballybricken-Bohermore) for Kirby (56)
24. Kyran O’Donnell (Pallasgreen) for Herlihy (57)
19. David Hickey (Murroe-Boher) for Purcell (60)
1. Cian Long (Glen Rovers)
4. Ciarán O’Brien (St Catherine’s)
3. Niall O’Riordan (Mallow)
2. Cian McCarthy (St Oliver Plunkett’s)
6. Cormac O’Brien (Newtownshandrum)
5. Luke Horgan (Glen Rovers)
8. Cian O’Donovan (Sarsfields)
7. Cillian O’Donovan (Douglas)
10. Ethan Twomey (St Finbarr’s)
9. Olan Broderick (Killeagh)
13. Pádraig Power (Blarney)
11. Shane Barrett (Blarney)
12. Daniel Hogan (Sarsfiels)
14. Paddy O’Flynn (Bride Rovers)
15. Jack Cahalane (St Finbarr’s)
23. Aaron Mulcahy (Midleton) for O’Flynn (34)
20. Cathal Hickey (Lisgoold) for Broderick (44)
18. Ryan McCarthy (Killeagh) for Cian McCarthy (47)
22. Fergal O’Leary (Inniscarra) for Hogan (48)
19. Paul Cooney (Ballincollig) for Cahalane (56)
Referee: Joe Mullins (Clare)