Cork qualified for the All-Ireland SFC quarter-finals thanks to victory over Limerick in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday afternoon.

It took second half Cathail O'Mahony and Brian Hurley (penalty) goals for Cork to finally see off their dogged opponents and book a place in the last eight of the championship.

Limerick proved more than a match for Cork during an entertaining tie but the winners’ clinical finishing got them over the line despite losing Paul Walsh to a red card.

Interim manager John Cleary made one change to their starting line-up with Míchéal Aodh Martin returning in goal to replace Chris Kelly. As for Limerick, Billy Lee made four alterations. Jim Liston and Gordon Brown began in defence with Pádraig De Brúin and Robbie Burke added to the visitors' attack.

Two Sherlock scores had Cork in front early on but Limerick hit back with Gordon Brown, Robbie Burke and Adrian Enright efforts making it 0-03 to 0-02 after 10 minutes.

The hosts lacked spark and Limerick took full advantage with Hugh Bourke and another Enright effort keeping the visitors ahead following a terrific John O'Rourke score.

Both sides were guilty of kicking a succession of poor wides as Sherlock (45’) and Enright exchanged points.

Cork were reliant on Steven Sherlock for the bulk of their scores and the St Finbarr’s forward levelled matters for a fifth time with a superb brace of points after half an hour.

Darragh Treacy of Limerick is tackled by Colm O'Callaghan

That made it 0-06 apiece but Limerick continued to cause the Rebels issues every time they entered the final third as Cian Sheehan cancelled out an Eoghan McSweeney effort. Dan Dineen rattled the Limerick crossbar with a stinging effort but was correctly adjudged to have picked the ball off the ground. It proved a rare goal-scoring opportunity.

Sherlock nosed Cork back in front from a free just before the break but Limerick were very much in a tight game, 0-08 to 0-07 at the interval.

Hugh Bourke levelled it up once again via a free shortly after the resumption but Sherlock responded, adding his fourth free of the tie. An evenly-fought game saw Bourke and Kevin O’Donovan exchange scores as Cork remained in front, 0-10 to 0-09.

A black card for Gordon Brown upset Limerick’s rhythm as Hugh Bourke equalised from a free but once again, Cork responded with Eoghan McSweeney splitting the posts. Brian Hurley was well marshalled throughout the afternoon but managed to wriggle free and push Cork two clear after 46 minutes.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Limerick continued to take the game to their opponents. The game’s crucial score arrived after 50 minutes when Cork turned over possession and worked the ball to Cathail O’Mahony. Cutting in from a tight angle, the corner-forward slid the ball under Donal Ó’Sullivan for a crucial goal.

Cork kept Limerick at arms length following that green flag with O’Rourke and Sherlock (free) scores maintaining the home side’s comfortable lead. Josh Ryan did split the posts but Limerick struggled to lessen a five-point deficit heading into the closing stages.

That was until Brian Donovan arrowed a sublime shot into the top corner with 10 minutes remaining. An Adrian Enright score made it a two-point game before Cork substitute Paul Walsh was sent off for two yellow card offences.

Limerick sensed their opportunity but a foul on Kevin O’Donovan resulted in a penalty which Brian Hurley dispatched before Cork eased to victory.

Cork: Míchéal Aodh Martin; Seán Powter, Maurice Shanley, Kevin O’Donovan (0-01); John Cooper, Rory Maguire, Mattie Taylor; Colm O’Callaghan (0-01), Ian Maguire; Daniel Dineen, Eoghan McSweeney (0-02), John O’Rourke (0-03); Steven Sherlock (0-08, 0-05 frees, 0-01 45’) , Brian Hurley (captain, 1-02, 1-00 pen), Cathail O’Mahony (1-00).

Subs: Jack Cahalane for Dineen (53), Paul Walsh for McSweeney (59), Cian Kiely for Sherlock (67), Damien Gore (0-01) for O’Mahony (70) Tommy Walsh for O’Donovan (73).

Limerick: Donal Ó’Sullivan (captain); Seán O’Shea, Brian Fanning, Jim Liston; Cian Sheehan (0-01), Iain Corbett, Gordon Brown (0-02); Darragh Treacy, Cillian Fahy; Adrian Enright (0-04), Brian Donovan, Pádraig De Brúin; Peter Nash, Robbie Burke (0-01), Hugh Bourke (0-05, 0-03 free).

Subs: James Naughton (0-01) for De Brúin (ht), Josh Ryan (1-02) for Nash (55), Paul Maher for Brown (55), Michael O’Donovan for Liston (55), Killian Ryan for Burke (66).

Referee: Jerome Henry (Mayo).