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Dublin: 7°C Tuesday 20 April 2021

Limerick end 17-year wait to be crowned Munster senior hurling champions

42,730 supporters were present to see Limerick see off Cork in the Gaelic Grounds.

Image: INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Limerick 0-24
Cork 0-15

LIMERICK claimed their first Munster senior hurling title since 1996 with a deserved nine-point success against Cork in front of their home fans in the Gaelic Grounds this afternoon.

42,730 supporters were present on a baking hot day in Limerick to see the John Allen managed side triumph after a stunning closing display to the game.

Inspired by sterling contributions from their substitutes Limerick reeled off the last seven points of the game without reply to confirm their passage to an All-Ireland semi-final on August 18th.

Cork were left to rue defeat and the controversial sending-off of ace attacker Patrick Horgan on the stroke of half-time by referee James McGrath.

The Westmeath whistler brandished a red card in Horgan’s direction for an adjudged strike on Limerick defender Paudie O’Brien.

That was a major setback for Cork as the teams went in at the interval tied at 0-10 apiece and their 14-men could not cope with the waves of Limerick attacks in the second-half.

INPHO/James Crombie

Indeed Cork had created plenty of chances in the first-half with Horgan and Seamus Harnedy showing up well in attack as they registered 0-7 between them. But Cork also hit 10 wides during that period and were left to regret some of those misses.

The teams were level six times in the opening period with Declan Hannon firing over a free that ensured they were tied at the break. However then Horgan was dismissed and the pendulum swung in Limerick’s favour for the second-half.

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They duly capitalized but found it difficult to initially shake off the challenge of a dogged Cork side. Limerick hit the first two points of the second-half from Graeme Mulcahy and Hannon to create a two-point gap but on a couple of occasions Cork did trim the deficit to the minimum.

With Shane O’Neill outstanding in defence and others like Daniel Kearney and Patrick Cronin working extremely hard, Cork stayed in the hunt. While Limerick went 0-17 to 0-12 ahead in the 53rd minute, Cork reeled off three points in a row and Cronin’s strike left two between them with ten minutes remaining.

But then Limerick took over with their substitutes making huge impacts as Shane Dowling, Kevin Downes and Niall Moran weighed in with 0-6 between them as they cruised to victory at the finish. The final whistle generated huge scenes of celebration as the Limerick fans invaded the pitch.

Scorers for Limerick: Declan Hannon 0-8 (0-5f, 0-1 sideline), James Ryan, Shane Dowling 0-3 each, Kevin Downes, Graeme Mulcahy, Sean Tobin 0-2 each, Paudie O’Brien, Niall Moran, Paul Browne, Seamus Hickey 0-1 each.
Scorers for Cork: Patrick Horgan 0-5 (0-3f), Seamus Harnedy 0-3, Patrick Cronin, Jamie Coughlan (0-2f) 0-2 each, Luke O’Farrell, Daniel Kearney, Cathal Naughton 0-1 each.

LIMERICK: Nickie Quaid (Effin); Stephen Walsh (Glenroe), Richie McCarthy (Blackrock), Tom Condon (Knockaderry); Paudie O’Brien (Kilmallock), Wayne McNamara (Adare), Gavin O’Mahony (Kilmallock); Paul Browne (Bruff), Donal O’Grady (capt, Granagh-Ballingarry); David Breen (Na Piarsaigh), James Ryan (Garryspillane), Seamus Hickey (Murroe-Boher); Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock), Declan Hannon (Adare), Seanie Tobin (Murroe-Boher).

Subs: Shane Dowling (Na Piarsaigh) for Breen (46), Conor Allis (Croom) for Mulcahy (51), Cathal King (Na Piarsaigh) for O’Brien (57), Kevin Downes (Na Piarsaigh) for Tobin (64), Niall Moran (Ahane) for Hickey (69).

CORK: Anthony Nash (Kanturk); Conor O Sullivan (Sarsfields), Shane O’Neill (Bishopstown), Stephen McDonnell (Glen Rovers); Tom Kenny (Grenagh), Lorcán McLoughlin (Kanturk), William Egan (Kilbrin); Christopher Joyce (Na Piarsaigh), Daniel Kearney (Sarsfields); Cian McCarthy (Sarsfields), Pa Cronin (Bishopstown), Conor Lehane (Midleton).; Luke O’Farrell (Midleton), Seamus Harnedy (St Ita’s), Patrick Horgan (Glen Rovers).

Subs: Jamie Coughlan (Newtownshandrum) for McCarthy (half-time), Cathal Naughton (Newtownshandrum) for Lehane (41), Stephen White (Ballygarvan) for McLoughlin (59), Michael Cussen (Sarsfields) for O’Farrell (62).

Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath)

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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