Limerick 1-32 Cork 0-20
David Reidy scored 11 points as Limerick regained the Co-Op Superstores Munster HL title with a resounding win over Cork on Saturday night.
Before a crowd of 5,295 at the LIT Gaelic Grounds, the home side pushed clear in the second half after a competitive opening period.
Limerick had led by three, 1-14 to 0-14, at half-time, despite spotting Cork a four-point head-start and shooting 11 wides over the course of the first half.
However, their sights were calibrated far better in the second period and a spell where they scored seven unanswered points put them out of Cork's reach.
While the Treatymen had the game’s opening score in the first minute through David Dempsey, Cork then reeled off five in as many minutes, with Conor Lehane (two), Seán Twomey, Jack O’Connor and Chris O’Leary all on target.
However, such an intensity was always going to be difficult to maintain and Dempsey and Cian Lynch had Limerick back on track before Darragh O’Donovan’s delivery was won by Aaron Gillane, who created space for himself before firing home to give Limerick the lead.
David Reidy’s free extended the advantage, but back Cork came through Twomey, Aidan Walsh and Brian Turnbull, who was also impressing in link-up play.
Limerick replied to that burst with four of their own, two Reidy frees and points by wing-backs Barry Nash and Diarmaid Byrnes, and but for some wayward shooting they could have had a considerable cushion.
Shortly after the half-hour, Cork were back within a point, 1-10 to 0-12, after Twomey’s third was followed by Lehane’s fourth, but another four on the trot from Limerick – scored by Tom Morrissey, two from Graeme Mulcahy and one for Gillane – had them five clear, the game’s biggest lead up to that stage.
Cork did have the final two points of the half, Harnedy and a long-range O’Leary free, and Twomey might have even snaffled a late goal but Barry Hennessy kept the ball out.
With captain Patrick Horgan on as a half-time sub, Cork had the first score of the second half from Lehane and though Reidy restored the goal lead, Walsh made it a two-point game again on 39.
However, Cork would endure 15 scoreless minutes form there, Limerick getting seven in the interim, Reidy bringing his own tally to ten while Darragh O’Donovan and Byrnes were on target too.
They were nine to the good, 1-22 to 0-16, before Horgan ended Cork’s drought, but that didn’t signal a turnaround and they were only able to stay with Limerick point for point for a period before Limerick pushed on again, Mulcahy, Dempsey, Robbie Hanley and Gearóid Hegarty all on target.
Limerick: Barry Hennessy; Tom Condon, Richie English, Aaron Costello; Diarmaid Byrnes (0-02, 0-01 free), Dan Morrissey, Barry Nash (0-02); Robbie Hanley (0-01), Cian Lynch (0-01); Darragh O’Donovan (0-01), Tom Morrissey (0-02), David Dempsey (0-05); Aaron Gillane (1-01), Graeme Mulcahy (0-05), David Reidy (0-11, 0-08 frees).
Subs: Seán Finn for Costello, Gearóid Hegarty (0-01) for Tom Morrissey (both 45), Mark Quinlan for Gillane (55), Brian O’Grady for Condon (60), Jerome Boylan for English (65).
Cork: Patrick Collins; Colm Spillane, Eoin Cadogan, Seán O’Donoghue; Chris O’Leary (0-03 frees), Bill Cooper, Damien Cahalane; Ryan Walsh, Luke Meade; Aidan Walsh (0-02), Conor Lehane (0-06, 0-03 frees), Seán Twomey (0-03); Jack O’Connor (0-01), Séamus Harnedy (0-02), Brian Turnbull (0-01).
Subs: Shane O’Regan for Ryan Walsh, Patrick Horgan (0-01 free) for O’Connor (both half-time), Robert Downey for Meade (54), Tommy O’Connell for Twomey (69), James Keating for Spillane (70).
Referee: Kevin Jordan (Tipperary).