Strong second half sees Cork advance to seventh consecutive Munster U21 final
Cork 2-10 Limerick 0-10
Sub Michael Hurley scored 1-3 as Cork saw off Limerick at Páirc Uí Rinn to reach the EirGrid Munster U-21 football final for the seventh year in succession.
Senior star Hurley, brother of Brian, had been kept in reserve as he returned from injury but both he and captain Sean O’Donoghue were introduced in the first half as Cork struggled against an impressive Limerick side.
Hugh Bourke and Brian Donovan had been among the scorers as the visitors moved 0-7 to 1-2 in front, Maidhci O Duinnin with the Cork goal, but they could have been further ahead but for a good penalty save by Cork’s Ross Donovan from AJ O’Connor.
Limerick goalkeeper Richard Hayes had a long-range free after that but Hurley and Gary Murphy had Cork back to a point before Bourke’s free left it 0-9 to 1-4 at half-time.
Brian Coakley (two) and Stephen Sherlock pushed Cork in front on the resumption, and while Bourke was on hand to level for Limerick once more, it would prove to be their last score. Sherlock and a pair of Hurley points gave Cork their biggest lead of the game as the end neared, and at the death Sean Powter set Hurley up for the clinching goal.
Scorers – Cork: M Hurley 1-3, B Coakley 0-4 (2f), M Ó Duinnín 1-0, S Sherlock 0-2 (1f), G Murphy 0-1. Limerick: H Bourke 0-5(f), B Donovan 0-2, R Hayes (f), K Daly, AJ O’Connor 0-1 each.
CORK – R Donovan; S Daly, J Mullins, S Wilson; J O’Riordan, A Browne, C Kiely; K Flahive, S O’Leary; B Coakley, S Powter, D Meaney; G Murphy, M Ó Duinnín, S Sherlock. Subs: M Hurley for Meaney (22), S O’Donoghue for O’Leary (28), L O’Donovan for Ó Duinnín (h-t), S O’Donovan for Sherlock (56), M Buckley for Coakley (60).
LIMERICK – R Hayes; E Sheehy, M Donovan, D Connolly; R Childs, C Flanagan, B Fanning; J Liston, T Childs; P de Brún, S Murphy, B Donovan; K Daly, AJ O’Connor, H Bourke. Subs: S Stack for de Brún (46), M Connolly for O’Connor (51), S Brosnan for Flanagan (56).
Ref – R Hickey (Clare)