Cork fail to inspire as they breeze past Limerick in dour qualifier clash
Cork 2-12 Limerick 0-10
PEADAR Healy’s Cork got their championship campaign back on track with a comfortable eight-point victory over Limerick in round 2B of the All-Ireland SFC qualifiers.
The Rebels bounced back from their shock Munster semi-final defeat against Tipperary to keep their season alive.
Skipper Paul Kerrigan notched 1-3 and Mark Collins five points from play as the gulf between the Munster rivals told at Semple Stadium.
Cork were 1-6 to 0-4 clear by half-time but could have had more goals to show for their efforts in the opening half.
Peter Kelleher, making his first senior championship start, scored the 14th minute goal, knocking the ball home from close range after his initial effort was blocked.
But Cork also missed a fifth-minute penalty when Colm O’Neill was denied by Limerick goalkeeper Donal O’Sullivan, Kelleher palmed an effort off the crossbar and Kerrigan blazed wide after making inroads.
Collins had a couple of early points on the board as Cork moved into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead, before Limerick opened their account with a fine Darragh Treacy point from distance in the tenth minute.
But Limerick wouldn’t score again for 17 minutes, Seán McSweeney on target with a free, and Cork led by 1-5 to 0-2.
Treacy put over another long-range special to bring Limerick within five points before Kerrigan and Ian Ryan (free) traded points approaching the interval.
Cork, with midfielder Alan O’Connor excellent on his first championship appearance since the Kildare defeat last year, pushed on after half-time and cruised to a routine win.
Collins almost netted five minutes into the second half when his deceptive effort came back off the crossbar and Kelleher was denied a second goal by an excellent point-blank save from O’Sullivan.
Cork had the lead out to eight points on a couple of occasions but Limerick, with captain Iain Corbett coming off the bench to kick a couple of points, did get back to within six.
Kerrigan’s goal in the first minute of stoppage time added some gloss to the final scoreline from a Cork perspective but it was far from vintage stuff from the Leesiders.
Healy will be pleased to have the Tipp defeat out of his system but he’ll realise that Cork still have plenty to work on.
Better opposition would have troubled Cork in Thurles but O’Connor and young sidekick Ian Maguire ruled the roost around the middle of the field and this provided the platform for victory, with Kerrigan and Collins constant threats up front.
Scorers for Cork: P Kerrigan 1-3, M Collins 0-5, P Kelleher 1-0, C O’Neill (f), L Connolly (f), J O’Rourke & M Hurley 0-1 each.
Scorers for Limerick: I Ryan 0-4 (3f), D Treacy & I Corbett 0-2 each, S McSweeney (f) & S Buckley 0-1 each.
CORK: R Price; C O’Driscoll, E Cadogan, N Galvin; T Clancy, J Loughrey, B O’Driscoll; A O’Connor, I Maguire; P Kerrigan, M Collins, K O’Driscoll; C O’Neill, P Kelleher, L Connolly.
Subs: S Powter for B O’Driscoll (h.t.), D Goulding for O’Neill (46), J O’Rourke for Connolly (49), R Deane for O’Connor (60), M Hurley for K O’Driscoll (65), P Kelly for Kelleher (68).
LIMERICK: D O’Sullivan; P Browne, S Cahill, J McCarthy; P Ranahan, S O’Dea, B Fanning; S Buckley, D Treacy; G Noonan, P Nash, T Childs; H Bourke, I Ryan, S McSweeney.
Subs: I Corbett for Childs (27), E Hogan for McSweeney (47), P White for Ranahan (52), P Scanlan for Bourke (55), J Naughton for Nash (63), K Ryan for O’Dea (69).
Referee: N Mooney (Cavan).