After a underwhelming Division 1B campaign, the Limerick hurlers give their faithful supporters something to cheer about yesterday in Pairc Ui Rinn, overcoming a resurgent Cork team on a scoreline of 1-20 to 1-18.
Played in front of 7,892 supporters, neither team was able to pull away from one another throughout the game. In total, the teams were level an incredible 9 times over the 70 minutes.
Limerick raced into a 1-4 to 0-2, thanks to a David Dempsey goal. However, 1-5 on the bounce for Cork pulled them clear approaching half time. Three Shane Dowling points drew the teams level once more with Gearoid Hegarty pulling Limerick ahead just before the break. Yet there was still time for Alan Cadogan to level the game 1-9 apiece at the half time whistle.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first. It took until the 54th minute for one side to pull ahead by more than a point, as Dowling pulled Limerick 1-16 to 1-14 clear. Patrick Horgan frees kept Cork within reach and with only 3 minutes remaining the sides remained deadlocked at 1-17 each.
However, Limerick eventually managed to pull ahead of their opponents with three scores from Hegarty, Dowling and Kyle Hayes. Cork responded with a Mark Coleman 65’ but were unable to secure a goal that would give them the win.
Limerick now progress to a League Semi-Final where they will face Galway. Limerick will be keen to make up for the disappointing loss to the Tribesmen in the Gaelic Grounds just over a week ago.
After the game John Kiely was pleased with his sides performance and was glad to see the team perform for the entirety of the game.
“The boys were very resolute to the fact that they were going to give it a right lash for the second half,”
“To be fair, they did it but they kept their composure and when we got the few chances we did get, we took them. We’d only one wide in the half, which was superb.”
“I’m just really pleased for the lads more than anything. We’ve had a few difficult days out with Wexford and Cork in the Munster league and then Galway last week. It’s not easy.
“Where do you go if that happened again today? The guys were really very resolute that they weren’t going to let this go today and it’s a huge lift for the group. We’re in a great place as a group.
“We’ve worked really hard all the winter. It’s just reward for all the effort really.”
The League Semi-Final will take place on Easter Sunday weekend in the Gaelic Grounds.
SCORERS: Limerick: Shane Dowling 0-9 (7f), David Dempsey 1-1, Gearoid Hegarty 0-4 (1 sideline), Cian Lynch, Kyle Hayes 0-2 each, Alan Dempsey, John Fitzgibbon 0-1 each; Cork: Patrick Horgan 0-8 (6f), Luke Meade 1-1 Seamus Harnedy 0-3, Alan Cadogan, Mark Coleman (1 ’65) 0-2 each, Anthony Nash (1f), Bill Cooper 0-1 each.
LIMERICK: Nickie Quaid; Richie English, Richie McCarthy, Mike Casey, Diarmaid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, Seamus Hickey, Alan Dempsey, William O’Donoghue; Shane Dowling, Gearoid Hegarty, David Dempsey, Cian Lynch, Kyle Hayes, Graeme Mulcahy, Subs: Barry Nash for D Dempsey (50), Pat Ryan for A Dempsey (50 mins), Peter Casey for Mulcahy (52 mins), John Fitzgibbon for O’Donoghue (61 mins), Gavin O’Mahony for Hannon (62 mins).
CORK: Anthony Nash; Stephen McDonnell, David Griffin, Colm Spillane; Christopher Joyce, Mark Ellis, Mark Coleman; Lorcan McLoughlin, Dean Brosnan; Bill Cooper, Darragh Fitzgibbon, Luke Meade; Alan Cadogan, Seamus Harnedy, Patrick Horgan; Subs: Brian Lawton for Griffin (h-t), Michael Cahalane for Fitzgibbon (42 mins), Daniel Kearney for Brosnan (54 mins), Luke O’Farrell for Cadogan (71 mins).
REFEREE: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary)