Patrick Horgan scored 1-09 and Cork avenged their All-Ireland semi-final defeat with an 2-21 to 1-21 victory over Limerick at the Gaelic Grounds.
The reigning All-Ireland champions had registered four wins-in-a-row against Cork including last July’s brilliant extra-time victory at Croke Park.
Cork were 1-13 to 1-07 in front at half-time as Horgan and Peter Casey traded first half goals. Conor Lehane pushed Cork further clear on the resumption and despite a spirited comeback Limerick fell short.
Cork captain Seamus Harnedy won the toss and he chose to play with a slight breeze in his side’s favour in the first half.
Cork started well and they were 0-03 to 0-00 ahead after four minutes. Their first point arrived through Aidan Walsh down the right wing, after only 35 seconds.
Horgan and Daniel Kearney added further points before Seamus Flanagan scored Limerick’s first in the sixth minute.
Shane Dowling uncharacteristically shot wide from a free and a 65, and Horgan punished those misses emphatically.
The Glen Rovers clubman popped over a second free before he finished to the net in the ninth minute. Horgan collected Christopher Joyce’s long ball into the danger area and flicked past the onrushing Nickie Quaid.
Limerick were reeling while they trailed by 1-04 to 0-01. Dowling hit back but Harnedy and Bill Cooper cancelled that out.
Dowling scored again in the 16th minute but Cork answered that with three points in a row. This time Harnedy and Dan Dooley found their range along with a massive free from centre-back Tim O’Mahony.
When Pat Ryan missed in the 18th minute Limerick had already registered seven wides, and Dowling’s third point was a welcome reprieve.
Horgan scored his third free to extend the gap to 1-10 to 0-04 but then Limerick found a badly needed goal in the 26th minute.
Ryan drove for the Cork goal and when the defenders closed in he put Casey away, who finished low to Patrick Collins’ bottom corner.
Horgan hit right back but the momentum was behind the home team and two quick-fire points from Diarmaid Byrnes and Gearoid Hegarty reduced the arrears to 1-11 to 1-06.
Cork needed to gain a strangehold again, and the dependable Horgan had the answer with two more frees. Byrnes scored a long range free and Cork could have doubled their goals tally only for Lehane to flash a shot wide.
Limerick should have had the last score of the half but wides from Dowling and Hegarty meant they trailed 1-13 to 1-07 at the interval.
Limerick made the ideal start to the second half with points from Casey, Dowling (free), Byrnes (free) and Flanagan.
Dan Dooley’s second stemmed the flow and Lehane rattled the Limerick net in the 45th minute after he raced through the heart of the defence. Lehane almost scored a second goal four minutes but his shot came back off the post.
Casey and Dowling (two) brought Limerick back within touching distance, and Cork began to fire wides too.
Limerick scored six points in a row with Byrnes levelling it in the 66th minute. But Cork finished well and a couple of Cormac Murphy scores sealed the win.
Cork: Patrick Collins; Seán O’Donoghue, Eoin Cadogan, Stephen McDonnell; Christopher Joyce, Tim O’Mahony (0-01, 0-01f), Robert Downey; Cormac Murphy (0-02), Bill Cooper (0-01); Daniel Kearney (0-02), Seamus Harnedy (0-02), Dan Dooley (0-02); Conor Lehane (1-01), Aidan Walsh (0-01), Patrick Horgan (1-09, 0-09f)
Subs used: Jack O’Connor for Dooley (60 mins), Conor Cahalane for Downey (65).
Limerick: Nicky Quaid; Tom Condon, Sean Finn, Richie English; Diarmaid Byrnes (0-06, 0-04f, 0-01 ’65), Declan Hannon, Mikey O’Brien; Cian Lynch (0-01), Darragh O’Donovan; Gearoid Hegarty, Shane Dowling (0-06, 0-03f), Tom Morrissey (0-01); Peter Casey (1-03), Seamus Flanagan (0-02), Pat Ryan
Subs used: Graeme Mulcahy (0-01) for Ryan (48 mins), Barry Murphy for Flanagan (56), Kyle Hayes for T Morrissey (67), Barry Nash for O’Brien (69).