John Kiely’s side earned a hard fought two point win over Cork on Sunday evening on a 2-25 to 4-17 scoreline.
The pre-championship challenge – a Mary Hegarty Memorial – took place in Old Christians GAA grounds at a sun soaked Rathbane.
Michael Cahalane scored the first of the game’s six goals seven minutes in to put Cork 1-2 to 0-3 ahead but Limerick responded in the 15th minute wth a Colin Ryan goal giving John Kiely’s men a 1-5 to 1-4 lead.
Almost immediately, Cork’s Shane Kingston responded with another goal to restore the rebels 2-4 to 1-5 lead.
Cian Lynch and Daniel Kearney had a brace of points for their respective counties in an opening half that saw the visitors shoot nine wides while Limerick shot seven.
All in all, it meant Kieran Kingston’s side were 2-9 to 1-7 ahead at half time.
Both managers would have been reasonably happy with their opening halves but well aware of significant room for improvement.
Cork exploded out of the blocks in the second half with a Seamus Harnedy goal in side the first minute edging Cork three points clear.
The Lee-siders would maintain that lead until 15-minutes from the end when Darragh O’Donovan levelled, 1-20 to 3-14.
Kyle Hayes then stepped up with a superb goal that edged Limerick ahead once again. A brace of points each from Paul Browne and Alan Dempsey had Limerick in a 2-24 to 3-16 lead with seven minutes on the clock.
Seamus Harnedy scored Cork’s fourth goal from a 21 metre free with time drawing to a close but despite this, Limerick would prevail.
Focus will now switch to the Senior Club Championship in the next two weeks before the final countdown to the June 4 Munster SHC semi final with Clare.
SCORERS: Limerick: Ronan Lynch 0-8 (6frees), Kyle Hayes 1-2, Colin Ryan 1-1, Cian Lynch, Tom Morrissey, Alan Dempsey, Darragh O’Donovan (1lineball) and Paul Browne 0-2 each, Pat Ryan, James Ryan, Dan Morrissey and Shane Dowling (free) 0-1 each. Cork: Seamus Harnedy 2-6 (1-4frees), Michael Cahalane 1-2, Shane Kingston 1-1, Daniel Kearney 0-3, Luke Meade, Bill Cooper, Paul Haughney, Killian Burke and Robbie O’Flynn 0-1 each.
LIMERICK: Nickie Quaid; Stephen Cahill, Tom Condon, Sean Finn; Dan Morrissey, Gavin O’Mahony, Seamus Hickey; James Ryan, Pat Ryan; Darragh O’Donovan, Cian Lynch, Tom Morrissey, Colin Ryan, Barry Nash, Ronan Lynch. Subs: Kyle Hayes for Barry Nash (26mins), Alan Dempsey for Pat Ryan (34mins), Mike Casey for Tom Condon (39mins), Paul Browne for James Ryan (42mins), Shane Dowling for Ronan Lynch (53mins), Richie McCarthy for Sean Finn (61mins), Pat Ryan for Cian Lynch (65mins).
CORK: Pa Collins; Stephen McDonnell, Damien Cahalane, Conor O’Sullivan; Christopher Joyce, Mark Ellis, Killian Burke; Daniel Kearney, Brian Lawton; Seamus Harnedy, Luke Meade, Bill Cooper; Alan Cadogan, Michael Cahalane, Shane Kingston. Subs: Paul Haughney for Brian Lawton (34mins), Robbie O’Flynn for Mark Ellis (35mins), Jack Sheehan for Damien Cahalane (h-t), Michael O’Halloran for Bill Cooper (h-t), Luke O’Farrell for Alan Cadogan (39mins), Eoin Murphy for Michael Cahalane (42mins).
REFEREE: Brian Gavin (Offaly).