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Cork trounce Limerick in Munster opener

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Cork's Graham Canty in action against Andrew Lane

Cork's Graham Canty in action against Andrew Lane

SPORTSFILE

Cork's Graham Canty in action against Andrew Lane

Cork eased into the Munster football championship semi-finals with an easy 3-17 to 0-8 win over Limerick at the Gaelic Grounds tonight.

All three goals came in a seven-minute spell before halft-time, from Brian Hurley, John O'Rourke and Pearse O'Neill.

Throughout their division four campaign Limerick proved to be one of the tightest defences and lean attacks in the country, and their impressive early pressuring of the Cork attack forced Conor Counihan's side into four poor wides by the 15th minute.

Limerick's tactics often saw just Ger Collins and Eoghan O'Connor deployed deep in Cork territory, but that produced two fine points from Seanie Buckley and Collins which drew the Treaty men level after 13 minutes.

Even at that stage Cork should have managed to work at least one goal as Goulding and Ciaran Sheehan on two occasions failed to hit the net after the Limerick defence was peeled open.

But their luck ran out in the 25th minute when another debutant Brian Hurley flicked Goulding's long ball to the net to open out a five-point lead for the Rebels.

Four minutes later the second goal arrived when O'Rourke's low shot somehow made it across the line despite Mark O'Riordan's best efforts, and three minutes from the break Pearse O'Neill drilled past Donal O'Sullivan after running on to a pass from O'Rourke to give the champions a 3-4 to 0-3 lead at the break.

Three half-time changes from Maurice Horan failed to fire up the home side, instead it was Cork that pushed on and extended their advantage.

Goulding was the man to benefit most in the second period as the Limerick challenge that dissipated and he helped himself to three quick points from play as Cork stretched their advantage to 14 points by the 50th minute.

Limerick's evening was typified when John Galvin's powerful run and shot for goal was turned around the post by Kissane's full-length dive after 53 minutes, but seven minutes later after his switch to full-forward he punched a good point.

Eoghan O'Connor blasted over the bar for Limerick's eight point in the closing stages, but even a goal at that stage would not have rescued Horan's side.

Scorers – Cork: D Goulding 0-5 (1f), B Hurley & J O'Rourke 1-1 each, M Collins 0-3, P O'Neill 1-0, D Cahalane (1f, 1'45), P Kerrigan & F Goold 0-2 each, C Sheehan 0-1. Limerick: E O'Connor 0-3 (1f), G Collins, S Buckley, S Lucey, M Sheehan & J Galvin 0-1

 

Cork: K O'Halloran; P Kissane, M Shields, D Cahalane; J Loughrey, G Canty, T Clancy; A O'Connor, P O'Neill; C Sheehan, P Kelly, J O'Rourke; D Goulding, B Hurley, P Kerrigan. Subs: F Goold for Kelly (50), N O'Leary for Canty (50), D O'Connor for Sheehan (50), A O'Sullivan for O'Neill (56), M Collins for Kerrigan (58).

 

Limerick: D O'Sullivan; A Lane, J McCarthy, M O'Riordan; S Lavin, P Ranahan, P Browne; B O'Brien, J Galvin; John Riordan, T Lee, S Buckley; G Collins, I Corbett, E O'Connor. Subs: M Sheehan for Corbett (h-t), D O'Connor for O'Brien (h-t), S O'Carroll for Corbett (h-t), S Lucey for Buckley (51), L O'Dwyer for O'Riordan (56).

 

Referee: Michael Duffy (Sligo).

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