Limerick began their Munster Minor Hurling Championship with a 13-point defeat at the hands of an efficient and pacy Cork side.
Cork’s Ross O’Sullivan finished with 3-10 as the corner forward was on top form. Limerick had good spurts, but with Cork having a game under their belt, they looked the sharper from the first whistle.
Limerick, managed by Kevin O’Hagan, were unable to match the formidable attacking displayed by the Rebels, at a splendid looking Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Despite bright sparks, the damage was done early on by Cork’s full forward line. Ross O’Sullivan impressed and he added their second goal on 26 mins after Sean O’Donoghue had rifled home on 10 minutes.
In between those green flags, Limerick showed sparks with Pierce Connery and Bradley Moran on the scoresheet. Murroe Boher ace Darren Collopy found Limerick’s goal on 14 minutes, sending the ball low beyond Daniel O’Connell, after good work from the men in green.
The wide tally at half-time was 4-3 with Limerick hitting more, while also dropping a number of efforts agonisingly short. The half-time score was 2-12 to 1-7.
Two early goals from O’Sullivan ended any feint hopes of a Limerick fightback, but Mark Field finished to the net for some consolation. Ciaran McMahon impressed when introduced and was on target, as were Pierce Connery and Collopy in a disjointed second period.
Limerick face Kerry next Wednesday at the TUS Gaelic Grounds, vying for position, as all three sides advance. Cork now advance to a semi-final in early May, where they’ll have home advantage. Cork defeated Kerry last week.
Scorers for Cork: Ross O’Sullivan 3-10 (0-1 free, 0-2 ‘65); James Murray, Adam O’Sullivan 0-3 each; Sean O’Donoghue 1-0, Jimmy Wilk 0-2; Jayden Casey, Ben Walsh, Daniel Murnane 0-1 each.
Scorers for Limerick: Darren Collopy 1-5 (0-4 frees); Pierce Connery 0-5; Bradley Moran 0-3 (0-2 frees, 0-1 ’65); Mark Field 1-0, Darragh Langan 0-1.
Cork: Daniel O’Connell; Tadhg O’Leary Hayes; James O’Brien, Eoin Guinane; Seán Ahern, Daniel Murnane, Matthew Woods; Peter O’Shea, Ben Walsh; Adam O’Sullivan, Timmy Wilk (JC), Jayden Casey; Ross O’Sullivan (JC), James Murray, Seán O’Donoghue.
Subs Used: Cian Buckley for Ahern (44), Eoin O’Mahony for Walsh (47), Dylan McCarthy for O’Sullivan (50), Stephen Lynam for O’Donoghue (50), Oisin Fitzgerald for Murnane (53).
Limerick: Fionn O’Brien (Bruree); Billy Early (Patrickswell), Shane Fitzgibbon (Dromin Athlacca Banogue), Jack Daly (Croom); Diarmuid Lyons (Newcastlewest), Conor Frawley, Darragh Langan © (Monaleen); Fintan Fitzgerald (Mungret St. Paul’s), Owen Meany (Bruff); Pierce Connery (Kilmallock), Bradley Moran (Na Piarsaigh), Mark Field (Monaleen); Tadhg Hourigan (Pallasgreen), Josh Sheehan (Na Piarsaigh), Darren Collopy (Murroe Boher).
Subs Used: Ciaran McMahon (Kildimo/Pallaskenry) for Moran (37), Ben Murnane (Monaleen) for Sheehan (42), Michael O’Riordan (Bruff) for Lyons (43), Patrick Moloney (Mungret St. Paul’s) for Daly (46), Sean Hartigan (Kildimo/Pallaskenry) for Hourigan (49).
Referee: Jarlath Donnellan (Clare)