Hurling

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Goals crucial as Cork end eight-year wait for Munster title

Published 13/07/2014|17:42

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13 July 2014; Cork players, including Anthony Nash, Patrick Horgan, Christopher Joyce, Paudie O'Sullivan and Jamie Coughlan, celebrate as team captain Patrick Horgan lifts the cup after the game. Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Final, Cork v Limerick, Pairc Uí Chaoimh, Cork. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Cork players, including Anthony Nash, Patrick Horgan, Christopher Joyce, Paudie O'Sullivan and Jamie Coughlan, celebrate as team captain Patrick Horgan lifts the cup after the game. Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Final, Cork v Limerick, Pairc Uí Chaoimh, Cork. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
13 July 2014; Seamus Harnedy, Cork, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal against Limerick. Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Final, Cork v Limerick, Pairc Uí Chaoimh, Cork. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Seamus Harnedy, Cork, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal against Limerick. Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Final, Cork v Limerick, Pairc Uí Chaoimh, Cork. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
13 July 2014; Seamus Harnedy, Cork, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal against Limerick. Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Final, Cork v Limerick, Pairc Uí Chaoimh, Cork. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Seamus Harnedy, Cork, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal against Limerick. Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Final, Cork v Limerick, Pairc Uí Chaoimh, Cork. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Jimmy Barry-Murphy has led Cork to a first Munster title since 2006 after a 2-24 to 0-24 victory over Limerick at Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

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Second half goals from Seamus Harnedy and Paudie O'Sullivan were pivotal on a famous day for the Rebels.

After defeats in the All-Ireland and Munster final last year, there was a clear sense of relief for Jimmy Barry-Murphy and his team after they ended an eight-year wait for a Munster title.

Graeme Mulcahy almost had a goal inside the opening minute but his effort from an acute angle was stopped by Anthony Nash with Shane Dowling wayward with the resulting 65.

After two early misses Dowling made it third time lucky to open the scoring.

Limerick were dominating the early possession stakes and James Ryan and Mulcahy scored two beauties before Aidan Walsh opened the Rebels account.

Conor Lehane and Declan Hannon traded two magnificent scores as the game continued at a frenetic pace.

Kevin Downes was next to raise a white flag before Conor Lehane grabbed his second point of the game.

Midfielder Donal O'Grady split the uprights before Patrick Horgan got his opening score of the game only for O'Grady to find his range again.

Anthony Nash may not be a penalty threat anymore but his booming free showed that he can still trouble the scoreboard.

Pat Horgan's second point of the game came before Shane Dowling had a great goal chance but his shot was brilliantly blocked by Shane O'Neill.

Another Horgan free and an Alan Cadogan point drew the Rebels level, something they scarcely deserved, after 28 minutes.

Two fine scores from Conor Lehane and Alan Cadogan put the home side two in front.

Paudie O'Brien and Lehane traded scores before Limerick scored three-in-a-row through Graeme Mulcahy, Paul Browne and Shane Dowling and the sides were level at 12 points apiece at the break.

Patrick Horgan earned a 20 metre free and opted to go for goal but Limerick were alive to the threat and it was blocked away.

The teams were cancelling each other out and going score for score until Seamus Harnedy, who was becoming an increasingly influential figure, shrugged off a number of tackles before bearing down on goals and blasting to the net to make it 1-18 to 0-18.

Pat Horgan and Bill Cooper extended Cork's lead to four with 14 minutes to go.

Shane Dowling's ninth and 10th points got the Treaty men back to within two after 62 minutes.

Seamus Harnedy restored his side's three point advantage and then Paudie O'Sullivan doubled it after he received a clever ball from Daniel Kearney before shooting low past Nicky Quaid.

Two more Dowling points made it a four-point game but Aidan Walsh immediately responded with a point of his own and a Patrick Horgan free was the insurance score as the Rebels ran out six-point winners.

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