Goulding rescues Rebels with vital late scores
Cork 1-10 Limerick 0-12
Daniel Goulding scored key points in the 68th and 69th minutes as Cork edged past Limerick at Mallow yesterday.
Having struggled in the second half in Peadar Healy's first game as manager, Cork fell behind as Danny Neville (two) and James Naughton scored three unanswered points for Limerick.
That put them 0-12 to 1-8 in front with 10 minutes left and it looked like an equaliser would remain elusive for Cork, especially when Goulding kicked a free wide.
However, he nailed one from further out and then fisted over from a tight angle to give them the points, with Healy hailing the character shown.
"I think they boys showed great character, great fight and they worked it out. Limerick, I felt, in the first half, they should have been ahead. They had 13 chances to our own nine," he said.
"A lot of it came from their half-back line and I think we got that right in the second half. I think that laid the foundations."
With only two starters from the All-Ireland qualifier defeat to Kildare last July - Colm and Kevin O'Driscoll - an experimental Cork side began well.
Kevin O'Driscoll's goal gave them a 1-3 to 0-2 lead and Limerick wasted a good chance to get back in contention as Seanie Buckley shot wide from a penalty.
They recovered from that, though, kicking five of the last seven points of the first half, with Stephen Kelly, Iain Corbett and Sean McSweeney among the scorers, and they trailed by 1-5 to 0-7 at half-time.
Brian Fanning levelled for them soon after the restart, but points by Dan Mac Eoin and Seamus Hickey ensured that Cork stayed in front as Limerick wasted good chances. Eventually, they found their groove and Neville's long-range shot put them in front, only for Goulding to dash their hopes and give Cork the points.
Healy revealed that there will be further experimentation against Waterford next week, where a win would guarantee Cork a place in the final.
"If you looked at today's team, only two of them started against Kildare in the championship," he said. "We are going to give them their heads now and that is it. Hopefully, they will perform and hopefully we will get a few players out of this for the league.
"I would be hoping to bring in the younger fellas and then as time goes on, bring in the older fellas ahead of the National League."
Helping him run the rule over those players was former Cork ladies' manager Eamonn Ryan and Healy believes that he is already having an effect.
"Eamonn is Eamonn, I don't have tell you what he brings," he said.
"The lads have great respect for him. He has a massive experience. He is just fabulous with the players and how he deals with them.
"Myself and the other younger lads in management are mad for road and Eamonn is able to keep the reins on us which is great."
Scorers - Cork: D Goulding 0-5 (2f), K O'Driscoll 1-0, D Mac Eoin, S Hickey 0-2 each, L Connolly 0-1 (f). Limerick: S McSweeney 0-3 (1f), S Kelly, D Neville, I Corbett 0-2 each, S O'Dea, J Naughton, B Fanning 0-1 each
CORK - M Martin; C O'Driscoll, J Davis, L Harrington; A O'Donovan, T Clancy, M Collins; I Maguire, R Deane; S Beston, L Connolly, K O'Driscoll; D Mac Eoin, D Goulding, S Hickey. Subs: D Hazel for Harrington, K O'Hanlon for Beston, B Coughlan for Connolly (all h-t), P Kelleher for K O'Driscoll (59), B Daly for Deane (64)
LIMERICK - B Scanlon; J McCarthy, P Browne, P White; S Cahill, I Corbett, S O'Dea; G Hegarty, D Tracey; B Fanning, P Ranahan, S Buckley; S McSweeney, S Kelly, D Neville. Subs: C Moran for McCarthy (30, injured), J Naughton for Ranahan (53)
Ref - A Kissane (Waterford)