Cork had two players shown black cards in what was a hugely entertaining contest before 692 patrons as Limerick gave the four in a row champions a rare fright.
By half time Cork led 3-4 to 0-8 with their third goal coming just on half-time when a long ball by Kevin Davis bounced past the Limerick goalkeeper James O'Meara.
Limerick had the opening point but Darragh Murphy was at the end of a long ball out of defence to score Cork's first goal after four minutes.
Six minutes later the Limerick defence was caught napping again and this time Sean O'Donoughue goaled.
Limerick clawed their way back through points by Kevin Moran and Evan Quinlan from frees and play but Cork looked in control with their fiv- point interval lead.
But Limerick drew level after 39 minutes thanks to a goal by Cian Sheehan which made it 3-6 to 1-12.
Ryan Harkin's goal after 44 minutes restored Cork's lead and Cillian McIntrye wrapped it up with Cork's fifth goal.
Limerick had a last minute consolation goal by Jason Mullins.
Scorers, Limerick, C Sheehan 1-2, J Mullins 1-1, K Moore and E Quinlan 0-4 each, C Smith, 0-1 each,
Cork R Harkin 1-2, K Davis 1-1, D Murphy, S O'Donoughue, C McIntrye 1-0 each, C Vaughan 0-3, P Kelleher, B O'Driscoll 0-1 each..
Limerick: J O'Meara; S Cusack, S Cahill, S Barrett; C Smith, C Fahy, T McCarthy; W O'Donoughue, G Hegarty; E Dillon, C Sheehan, K Ryan; K Moore, J English, J Mullins. Subs G reidy for Quinal 54, D daly for Moore 56.
Cork: M Martin; D Quinn, J Davis, S Cronin; T O'Rourke, S White, K Crowley; D Murphy, A Murphy; A O'Donovan, C Horgan, R Harkin; C Vaughan, P Kelleher, S O'Donoughue. Subs C Kiely for Crowley (BC 9), K Davis for Murphy (16), D O'Callaghan for D M urphy (37), B O'Driscoll for Horgan (40), M McSweeney for Quinn (BC 51), C McIntrye for Vaughan (55),
Referee, S Joy, Kerry.