Late penalty denies Limerick on Leeside

Cork 3-28
Limerick 3-26

By Tom Clancy at SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh

A late, late Cork penalty from the stick of Patrick Horgan ended Limerick’s 12-month unbeaten run n the Championship, and threw further fuel fire on the wide-open Munster Senior Hurling Championship. While Hayes received a black-card for his foul, Nickie Quaid was unable to deny the Glen Rovers man, and the hosts notched the final score to seal a much-celebrated win. This, after Limerick had come from eight down at half-time to lead by as many as four, but John Kiely’s men couldn’t seal the deal on a sold out Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

This result won’t define Limerick’s season but it keeps Cork alive. Seamus Flanagan’s superb hat-trick may be forgotten but there was enough to be positive for the six-in-a-row chasing Munster champions.
An accurate and all-action Rebel start saw them lead 1-2 to 0-2 when Seamus Harnedy netted a fifth minute goal There was points from Patrick Horgan (frees) while Aaron Gillane and Gearoid Hegarty tried to keep Limerick in touch in the early exchanges.

Cork won a lot of breaking ball and they were 1-8 to 0-3 ahead after just 13 minutes. The scoring showing no sign of relenting, despite the Treaty’s odd moment of quality. Simply put, Cork looked the hungrier. Seamus Flanagan opened his account after a trademark Kyle Hayes surge. Moments later, Nickie Quaid saved from Brian Hayes, tipping the ball over for a point, when a goal looked likely.

Then, after a disputed David Reidy point there was four yellow cards. Paul Kinnerk and Pat Ryan on the sideline as well as Eoin Downey and Flangan on the field. This 17th minute exchange seemed to ramp the 41,670 in attendance up even further, as the sun continued to beam down on Leeside.

The Limerick goal, which they’d hoped would have been a catalyst, arrived after Aaron Gillane’s run opened the Cork defence. He cleverly handpassed across to Seamus Flanagan who touched on the hurley before firing low to the corner from 20 meters.

However, the Cork reply was to hit back a goal immediately, this through Shane Barrett as Seamus Harnedy won the dropping ball in found his half-forward colleague and he shot low beneath Nickie Quaid.
By half-time it was 2-15 to 1-10, with plenty to talk about, including an off the ball incident involving Kyle Hayes. Another blow in an untypical Limerick first-half display was the injury to Seán Finn, the Bruff man limped off with a hamstring complaint allowing Fergal O’Connor on for his Championship debut. The champions came back with a huge second half effort. Cian Lynch, Cathal O’Neill and Gillane helping cut the lead. It took a Hegarty turnover for a second green flag for Limerick, again Flanagan finishing.

The same combination were working wonders again for Limerick’s third goal, a lead score, to make it 3-21 to 2-23 on 58 minutes.

Then as neither side looked like fully securing the result, we ticked into stoppage time. Sub Aidan O’Connor fired Limerick two clear but Hayes’ cynical dragdown saw the penalty awarded, something that looked a possibility all afternoon, given Limerick’s poor tackling in their own full-back line. Limerick conclude their Munster Senior Hurling Championship with a meeting against Waterford at the TUS Gaelic Grounds in a fortnights time, on 26th May.

Scorers for Cork: Patrick Horgan 1-11 (0-9 frees; 1-0 penalty); Seamus Harnedy 1-2, Darragh Fitzgibbon 0-5; Shane Barrett 1-2; Declan Dalton 0-2 (0-2 frees), Ethan Twomey 0-1, Brian Hayes 0-1; Alan Connolly 0-1, Shane Kingston 0-1.

Scorers for Limerick:
Seamus Flanagan 3-3; Aaron Gillane 0-7 (all frees); Gearoid Hegarty 0-4; Cathal O’Neill 0-3; Tom Morrissey 0-2; Diarmaid Byrnes 0-2 (frees); David Reidy 0-1, Cian Lynch 0-1; Adam English 0-1; Kyle Hayes 0-1; Aidan O’Connor 0-1.

Cork: Patrick Collins; Niall Collins, Eoin Downey, Seán O’Donoghue (Capt); Tim O’Mahony, Robert Downey, Mark Coleman; Ethan Twomey, Darragh Fitzgibbon; Declan Dalton, Shane Barrett, Séamus Harnedy; Patrick Horgan, Alan Connolly, Brian Hayes.

Subs: Damien Cahalane for Downey (23); Brian Roche for Twomey (57), Ger Millerick for Coleman (61); Shane Kingston for Dalton (62); Tommy O’Connell for Downey (66).

Nickie Quaid; Seán Finn, Dan Morrissey, Barry Nash; Diarmaid Byrnes, Declan Hannon (Capt),  Kyle Hayes; William O’Donoghue, Cathal O’Neill; Gearóid Hegarty, David Reidy, Cian Lynch, Tom Morrissey; Aaron Gillane, Seamus Flanagan.

Subs: Fergal O’Connor for Finn (inj, 35+3); Adam English for Reidy (49), Conor Boylan for T. Morrissey (61); Aidan O’Connor for Hannon (68); Donnacha Ó Dálaigh for Gillane (70)

Sean Stack (Dublin)

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